Sands ECO360 Green Ambassadors: Christine Kaelbel-Sheares, VP of Food & Beverage at Marina Bay Sands
As leaders in sustainability within the hospitality industry, Las Vegas Sands is committed to taking care of the planet to promote health and wellness through Sands ECO360, its global sustainability strategy. Marina Bay Sands has taken on an educational and transformational food journey focusing on responsibly sourcing food to serve. Christine Kaelbel-Sheares, vice president of Food and Beverage at Marina Bay Sands, has been leading her team to help deliver an unforgettable dining experience to guests that is both tasty and healthy.
“People have become more and more conscious about their health and care about what they put into their bodies. Preventative healthcare is a reality and no longer just a whim of the affluent,” Kaelbel-Sheares said. “Our diners are among some of the savviest guests in the world and quality and provenance are now key factors in the conscious food and beverage decisions that they make.”
With a team of over 2,000 members, Kaelbel-Sheares manages the food and beverage operations for the hotel, casino, Sands Expo and Convention Center, all signature and celebrity chef restaurants, and Team Member dining rooms, the largest dining rooms serving close to 7,000 Team Members a day.
She and her team launched a healthier menu for the Team Member dining room with signage that reflects what would be a healthier option. More vegetarian options were added, along with the expansion of the salad bar to include many heart-healthy, antioxidant rich foods like kale, quinoa, whole grains, beans and pulses, and replaced many of the oil-based dressings. Hot desserts no longer have sugar added to them, but offer sugar syrup to have on the side. Some of the cakes and desserts were also replaced with more fruit selections. Some of the soft drinks at the beverage stations will also be replaced with herbal and low-sugar drinks.
“Our Team Members are just as important to us as our guests,” Kaelbel-Sheares said. “We have a responsibility to ourselves and our guests to offer great wholesome meals that are both good for you and tasty!”
RISE Restaurant went under an extensive relaunch and remodel that was based around sustainability and wellness. The executive chef at RISE makes it a priority to source sustainable seafood to serve and works with as many local and regional ingredients and flavors as possible. All table placemats are made from recyclable Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper and floral arrangements are from plant trimmings from their own herb garden, grown right next to the restaurant. The restaurant’s chefs and bartenders also cut fresh herbs from the garden to use in their kitchen, cocktails, herbal infusions and teas. A “soda” station is available for guests to create their own drinks, where they start with a glass of pure soda water and can then add fresh fruit and herbs from the herb garden or add house-made fruit syrups and local and natural –herb based flavors.
“Many guests make specific reference to the fact that they are trying to eat well but don’t always consciously make the right choices. But when options are highlighted to them, they then seize the opportunity to eat right,” she said. “Our sustainable practices help to preserve what we have for our future generations.”
Kaelbel-Sheares also noted Singapore’s government Health Promotion Board is a strong proponent of healthy living and healthier dining options. The food and beverage team took on the services of a Board Certified Senior Principal Dietitian specializing in nutrition and dietetics who provided engaging and informative sessions with the chefs. The dietitian shared specific suggestions on creating a healthier menu while also emphasizing the importance of guests and Team Members eating right.
Kaelbel-Sheares credited chefs as one of the most creative people in the world, and said her own jumped onboard with their shift in focus and became very creative with their recipes and menu planning, eating better themselves as well.
“A sustainable lifestyle is the new reality,” she said.