Honey? After coming up for air after our wedding ( Wait! What? Yes, Lesley and I got married on July 24th, then hit the road for an awesome road trip for 9 days or so. More on all THAT to come soon. ) I have started to get focused back on work. I read a ton of blogs, local and national concerns, food and restaurant business and of course mostly photography blogs, so when I read on a local food critics blog that the new Ritz Carlton here in Charlotte was going to be harvesting the honey from their roof top hives, I was very intrigued. I knew that the hotel was Charlotte’s first LEED-Gold certified built hotel. I also have photographed at the excellent restaurant there, BLT Steak. Even caught a glimpse of LeBron James while he was in town for a game while on assignment. When they opened the hotel with all of it’s green roofs and other things full of awesome green-ness, the Executive Chef Jon Farace, installed a couple of bee hives with the goal of making their own honey. It is used for granola, yogurt, tea, served as a raw honey comb and in some tremendous pecan-honey ice cream. Pretty neat stuff all around. So I made a few calls and was allowed to be a part of the event. While it is not the kind of event I usually cover or really like, sort of set up for the media with 4 television stations and some other local print media on hand, I really enjoyed it. It was a pretty cool experience. The actual harvesting was handled by Randall York from Cloister Honey. He was very good at what he did and was very at ease with all the cameras around. Funnily enough, we had just bought some of his raw creamed honey from him at a farmers market! Great stuff. After he pulled out all of the frames with the honey comb ( capped honey ) in them, they were taken down to the kitchen where they were processed. The racks have the ‘caps’ cut off then are put into an extractor which operates like a slow speed centrifuge. The honey is spun out and drains to the bottom where it comes out a drain and is filtered twice.. After that it is ready to go. I got to try some of it, that was, literally, 30 minutes before, covered in bees in a hive on the roof of a Ritz Carlton. Weird. It was really awesome honey.
Without further boring details, here are the photos!