dLeña by chef Richard Sandoval will launch its Viva Abejas campaign this spring. From Tuesday, March 22 through Sunday, April 24, guests are invited to indulge in the earth’s harvests at the Mount Vernon Triangle modern Mexican concept.
One in every three bites of food depends on bees for pollination. Chef Richard Sandoval aims to celebrate this integral part of our food cycle by taking a 360 approach with food, signature activations, retail elements, cultural education, and philanthropy. Richard Sandoval Hospitality (RSH) hopes to demonstrate the importance of bees by centering the campaign around Pachamama, the Incan goddess of Earth, planting, harvesting, and fertility.
dLeña has partnered with Mexico City–based illustrator and artist, Lourdes Villagómez, to create vibrant custom pieces that highlight the heart of the campaign, the Queen Bee. Villagómez says, “I wanted to share the vibrant color palette I use to represent my culture as well as some new colors like the dark greens that represent the freshness of nature with Pachamama. In my work, I love using symbolism inside the main subject to tell the story behind the piece, so I encourage you to try and find the symbols within my bee images that reference Pachamama.”
The Viva Abejas logo ties in several staples of the campaign. The brightly colored bee has leaves, embracing hands, and a globe to convey a sense of connectedness. Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, which RSH highlights throughout the artwork, food, drinks, and retail items.
This bold color palette also translates to the food and drink specials. Start with the bee pollen rainbow quinoa with avocado, green pea purée, lemongrass, Meyer lemon confit, organic garden flowers, and EVOO. Try flavorful dishes like the farro-coconut risotto with acacia honey, farro-coconut milk, roasted heirloom carrot, mascarpone cheese, roasted veggie jus, and green sprouts, the charred crispy tostada with smashed avocado, bee pollen, cilantro espuma, and EVOO, and the avocado panna cotta with lavender crumble, blood orange sauce, and honeycomb ice cream. All of the dishes are bee-centric and plant based.
The cocktail offerings include The Queen Bee with bourbon, sherry, thyme-honey syrup, lemon juice, and angostura bitters, a Honey Lavender Margarita with tequila, fresh lime juice, honey lavender simple syrup, violet syrup liqueur, and triple sec, the Pachamama with mezcal, lavender and citrus infused honey, and lemon juice, and the Bee-Cante with reposado, house-made ginger, red pepper-infused simple syrup, lemon, lime, and yellow chartreuse. The Bee-Cante also comes with a plantable cocktail hang tag made of wildflowers seeds for guests to take home. Mok Chi can be made into a mocktail with honey agave syrup, fresh lemon juice, spiced chamomile, ginger, reposado, and Drambuie, along with a non-alcoholic Honey Lavender Lemonade with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and lavender-infused honey simple syrup.
Guests can purchase house-made nutrient capsules, filled with superfoods. Wildflower seed packets will also be available so guests can bring the campaign home and plant their own flowers to directly help the bees. Other retail merchandise includes biodegradable tote bags and custom embroidered patches. All of the retail items offered boast vibrant colors with bees at the forefront. Richard Sandoval Hospitality will make a substantial donation to the Help Save the Bees Foundation and will host a contest for guests to participate in bee-saving initiatives.
Help Save the Bees Foundation president Laurie Yarborough says, “The Help Save the Bees Foundation enthusiastically partners with Richard Sandoval Hospitality and its beautiful ‘Viva Abejas’ campaign to raise awareness of the importance of bees in conjunction with Earth Day. We share Chef Sandoval’s passion for bees and the good work they do as a critical link in our food chain.”
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