Bee Haven: Local Chef Creates Urban Honey

05/26/2017 01:42 pm ET Updated May 26, 2017

There is something magical that happens during the span of time between spring and summer in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Besides the seasons changing, and the school year ending, the blossoming of new opportunities also give way to creativity for Chef Todd Ruiz.

There are lots of things that the city of New Haven, Connecticut is known for. Settled on the tip of New England, New Haven has a creative and bustling vibe that sets it apart from other Connecticut cities. Besides Yale University, its downtown area is centered around a large piece of landscape known as the New Haven Green. The New Haven Green is a 16-acre privately owned park and recreation area located in the downtown district. 

Just across the New Haven Green sits the Omni Hotel, which has served as a staple for the downtown area. Known for its creative culinary delights, the John Davenport’s Restaurant is putting a twist on the classic ingredient of honey. Chef Todd Ruiz has created a new and innovative way to serve honey. Ruiz has been at the Omni since 2013, and started with the brand at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida. Ruiz is currently a chef at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.

Chef Todd Ruiz
“Our team of Chefs, along with an amazing property with several outdoor venues was an amazing place to start my love for all things bees. while dive head first into multiple projects to include beekeeping, aquaponics farming, and charcuterie.” Chef Todd Ruiz

On top of the 19-story hotel sits a beehive, created by Ruiz. “As we look at continuing to make New Haven a foodie destination, I saw a place and opportunity to use my previous experience to create a truly authentic house made product,” says Ruiz. It all started with 2 hives for this year as they develop their strategy. They will look at expanding up to 4–6 hives for the following season.

The beehive’s core structure is a uniquely-packed group of hexagonal prismatic cells made of beeswax, also known as a honeycomb. The bees use the cells to store food: honey and pollen. This creative process means something awesome for the restaurant.

“Not only will this provide a potential of up to several hundred pounds of honey, this will also place a flow of pollinating bees in the downtown vicinity of the hotel. Thus creating a true Urban downtown honey.” Todd Ruiz
Unsplash Photo

The beehive is located on the top floor of the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale. To learn more about the other deliciously crafted eats on their menu, check out website: www.johndavenports.com

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