Javits Center, Centerplate Serve Up New Salad Dressing Made from Harvested Rooftop Bee Hive Honey

October 17, 2017

A new salad dressing featuring honey harvested from the bee hives housed on the Javits Center’s green roof now is on the menu at the convention center’s Taste NY Bistro.

The honey-infused vinaigrette, along with other New York homegrown ingredients, is featured in a new salad offered at the facility’s cafe-style restaurant location.

Aptly named Jacob’s Honey, the homegrown honey was extracted last month by a team of Javits Center engineers in partnership with local beekeeping organization, New York City Beekeeping.

This first batch of golden goodness was harvested from three wooden hives that were installed on Javits’ 6.75-acre green roof earlier this year, hives that are part of the facility’s robust sustainability program that has reduced energy consumption throughout the building while transforming the roof into a wildlife sanctuary.

“The success of our sustainability program epitomizes our rebirth as an organization, and this first batch of honey illustrates how far we have come in our efforts to reduce energy, create a wildlife haven and improve the quality of life in our neighborhood,” said Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC), which runs the Javits Center.

He continued, “The Javits Center has always been a hub of activity, and thanks to the work of our staff and our business partners, we are busier than ever before. Today, we are supporting New York’s economy and its environment and we are proud to offer this new salad dressing at our Taste NY Bistro location so everyone can now enjoy the sweetest part about us.”

In April, Javits Center Chief Engineer Rick Brown and a team of carpenters and engineers worked with local bee expert Liane Newton of nycbeekeeping.org to install three bee hives on the south side of the green roof. Since then, employees have received training on how to care for the hives and ensure their growth.

During the past several weeks, more than 10 frames have been removed from the hives and honey was extracted in the convention center’s main kitchen. More than 250 ounces of honey was produced and bottled, and with it, Centerplate Executive Chef Bill Miller created Jacob’s Honey Vinaigrette.

“We are committed to delivering one-of-a-kind, locally relevant hospitality programs for each community we serve, and we’ve taken our commitment for sourcing to a whole new level with the Javits Center’s rooftop apiaries,” said Chris Verros, president and CEO of Centerplate, the convention center’s exclusive caterer and hospitality partner.

He continued, “The Javits Center has become a model of sustainability for event facilities nationwide, and we are proud to partner with them as we offer an assortment of food and beverages from a variety of New York producers – including this New York icon.”

The production of natural honey is the latest development in the Javits Center’s sustainability program, which was created as the building underwent a major renovation from 2009-2014 that included several sustainable upgrades and LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Led by the New York Convention Center Development Corporation and Empire State Development, the $463 million renovation included the installation of more than 6,000 bird-friendly, translucent glass panels; more than 100 energy-efficient HVAC units and the massive green roof, which is comprised of sedum plants and serves as a home to 26 bird species and five bat species.

In order to study the green roof’s environmental impact, the Javits Center has since partnered with the New York City Audubon, The Cooper Union, Drexel University and Fordham University.

Currently known as the second largest of its kind in the U.S., the green roof will increase in size in the coming years as a major expansion of the Javits Center moves forward.

Announced by Governor Cuomo in 2016, this expansion project will create 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and five times more meeting room space, including a state-of-the-art ballroom and a rooftop terrace overlooking the Hudson River.

An on-site truck garage designed to house all event-related trucks, increase operational efficiency and improve area traffic flow and pedestrian safety will also be constructed.

Meanwhile, convention goers can enjoy the sweet taste of homegrown honey in a Taste NY salad, compliments of the hard-working pollinators that call the facility’s green roof home.

“Taste NY is proud to provide an outlet to not just feed consumers delicious agricultural products, but to also help educate them about the incredible work that the Javits Center is doing to promote pollinator health and awareness and expand wildlife habitats in the City,” said Richard A. Ball, commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture.

He added, “This is such an exciting project that exemplifies the smart, sustainable upgrades to the Javits Center over the years and showcases the many possibilities of urban agriculture.”

Launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2013, Taste NY is a statewide initiative designed to promote New York’s food and beverage industries at major tourist destinations and routes.


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