In the News

Since our grand re-opening of Shangri-La Springs to the public in 2011 to the active vitality center we are today, Shangri-La Springs has been making headlines in the news.

The Latest

Harvest & Wisdom finishes its beet and carrot tartare ($12) with a sunny dollop of mango puree. The dish is a brilliant vegan riff on steak tartare. (Photo: Special to The News-Press)
Sep 5 2019

Restaurant review: Harvest & Wisdom in Bonita Springs is an investment that's paying off
At the new Harvest & Wisdom at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita, our critic found a powerhouse team of chefs with a 5-acre organic garden at their disposal.

I am an unabashed beet fan, a longtime lover of these colorful root vegetables. I like them in salads, purees and terrines. I like them roasted, juiced, fried, you name it.

But beet tartare was new to me.

Harvest & Wisdom offers the dish among its starters. It presents it as one would a classic beef tartare (minus the animals); as roughly chopped beets flecked with capers, herbs and grains of Dijon, the whole lot crowned by a sunny dollop of pureed mango in lieu of the usual egg yolk.

It's a vegan take on this meaty French classic.

And it is so wonderfully good.

Aug 4 2019

Enjoying the Harvest and Wisdom at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs
Shangri-La Springs is a historic property in Bonita Springs, FL. They have opened a new version of their restaurant space now called Harvest and Wisdom. I had written about this property three years ago. As for an intro, I don’t think I could write one any better.

The initial building on the property was built in 1921 as a small hotel to accommodate potential buyers for a local real estate development. The property changed hands many times over the years, expanding and it’s mineral springs becoming a health-related focus for osteopathic and homeopathic owners. The present owners acquired the property in 1998. Their focus was preservationist, but also to expand the holistic and naturalistic vision of some of the former owners of Shangri-La. This is done partially through visual and performance arts. In addition various Classes featuring modalities such as yoga, dance and meditation complement the artistic endeavors here.

Jul 2019

Tastes good AND It's good for you: healthy dining in Fort Myers
Specializing in fresh, local and organic ingredients, this farm to table restaurant is lead by Michelin-starred chef Allen Fisher. Located in the historic Shangdi-La Springs, a facility founded on the concept of wellness, the expansive property has an impressive no-till garden where most of the ingredients served in the restaurant come from. Other food products are carefully sourced from providers with similar philosophies of taking care of the environment and commitment to quality. Most of the proteins come from local farms specializing in raising grass fed animals. The result is food that is creative, well presented and full of flavor. The restaurant is spacious and bright, opening to a charming deck for outside dining.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Housed in the iconic Shangri-La Springs, most of the organic produce served in this farm to table restaurant is grown on site.

Gina's expert tip: The gardens here are lovely. Take some time to explore them before dinner.

Jul 25 2019

New organic lunch spot
Harvest & Wisdom organic restaurant opened for lunch July 3 at Shangri-La Springs historic hotel in Bonita Springs.

The restaurant's ever-changing seasonal menu features farm-to-table entrees such as bone-in ribeye and lamb sausage from Circle C Farm in Bonita. Executive Chef Allen Fisher and his culinary team also serve fresh salads and other ingredients from the property’s on-site no-till garden.

Harvest & Wisdom at Shangri-La Springs, 27750 Old 41 Road, is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Jul 19 2019

Harvest & Wisdom: Inside Shangri-La Springs' new farm-to-table restaurant
About 80 to 90 percent of the ingredients used in the kitchen are grown on site. BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - The chefs at Shangri-La Springs only have to take a few steps outside into their five-acre garden to gather ingredients for dishes. "That sets it apart from anywhere I've worked," Executive Chef Allen Fisher said. Fisher, who has been working in the restaurant business for 18 years, was named the head of the historic building's new restaurant, Harvest & Wisdom, shortly before it opened to the public on Tuesday, July 2.

Jul 18 2019

Shangri-la Springs hosts Naples Digital Photography Club exhibit
TALK ABOUT PURPLE MOUNTAIN’S MAJESTY. In Harold Kurzman’s photograph, “Half Dome Reflected,” a mountain towers over a golden-hued landscape so beautiful, so idyllic, you wonder if it’s real.

The amateur photographer from Naples shot it in Yosemite National Park in California.

“National parks are just one of our treasures, as far as I’m concerned,” he says.

The picture is one of 30 on exhibit through this month at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs, all taken by members of the Naples Digital Photography Club.

Mr. Kurzman (whose “Half Dome Reflected” was also juried into the “Camera USA” exhibit at the Naples Art Association) has another photograph on exhibit at Shangri-La Springs, this one shot at Yellowstone National Park. “Bull Elk and Harem” shows a bull elk and a group of female elk standing together.

The photographs can be seen in Shangri La’s Big House, in the front lobby and dining room.

Jul 17 2019

Shangri-la Springs opens gardening classes, farm-to-table restaurant
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.— Shangri-la Springs will offer organic summer gardening classes starting July 18 and July 25 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day. Classes will also be held on August 8 and August 15.

The one hour classes will be lead by Cecelia Morales, Organic Garden Manager, with topics on summer gardening including vegetables, leafy greens, fruits and herbs and how to propagate and care for them, how to take of your soil and watering practices. Participants will receive plant and seed takeaways.

The ingredients from the garden are also used on the property’s farm-to-table restaurant that is a short walk away. Harvest and Wisdom opened at the beginning of July. Their menu is organic, delicious, and always changing.

Circle C Farm bone-in ribeye garnished with shaved purple carrots, sautéed radishes and seared garlic kale is among the farm-to-table dishes to be found at Harvest & Wisdom. COURTESY PHOTOS
Jul 17 2019

Shangri-La Springs restaurant serving fresh, organic lunch
Seasonal ingredients just-picked from Shangri-La Springs’ organic, no-till garden and grass fed, pastured-raised protein delivered from nearby Circle C Farm will be on the menu when Harvest & Wisdom opens for lunch at the property later this summer. It’s serving fresh, organic cuisine for lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Heading up the kitchen is Executive Chef Allen Fisher, who was a competitor on Food Network’s “Chopped,” and brings 18 years of experience in both professional cooking and kitchen management to the job.

He is joined by the recently hired chef de cuisine, David Robbins, who has 15 years of experience, most recently working at Society in Fort Myers and previously at Crave Culinaire, Mereday’s Fine Dining, and Naples Grande Resort in Naples. He’s also spent time in the kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Farms, and Malabar in Lima, Peru.

“We are excited to add David to the team of Harvest & Wisdom,” said Mr. Fisher. “His passion for creating the freshest product for our guests fits well with our plans for the restaurant and Shangri-La Springs.”

Jul 3 2019

Coming soon: Harvest & Wisdom
Seasonal ingredients just-picked from Shangri-La Springs’ organic, no-till garden and grass fed, pastured-raised protein delivered from nearby Circle C Farm will be on the menu when Harvest & Wisdom opens for lunch at the property later this summer. Culinary creations for the farm-to-table organic restaurant will be led by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Allen Fisher, a competitor on Food Network’s “Chopped,” who has more than 18 years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience. Chef Fisher says that among the possibilities for the ever-changing menu are dishes like:

  • Organic caprese salad featuring heirloom tomatoes, creamy burrata cheese, small batch hand-crafted olive oil, flake sea salt, aged balsamic vinegars and just-picked baby opal basil.
  • Squash salad with shaved organic zucchini and yellow squash, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, flake sea salt, small batch hand-crafted olive oil, feta cheese and just-picked baby opal basil and mint.

Executive Chef Allen Fisher poses for a portrait in the Shangri-La Springs organic garden in Bonita Springs on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Photo: Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK - FLORIDA)
Jul 2 2019

Restaurant news: Harvest & Wisdom opens in Bonita Springs; 2 restaurants open Fort Myers
Shangri-La Springs, the historic property for which Bonita Springs was named, is growing. The resort's onsite restaurant, Harvest & Wisdom, will debut Wednesday serving lunch five days a week. But this isn't your typical lunch joint. "We’ve got an almost 5 acre fully certified organic garden on property," executive chef Allen Fisher said. "We grow probably 85 to 90% of what we use in the restaurant." Fisher, a classically trained chef who worked for the famed Daniel Boulud in his Michelin-rated restaurants in New York City, is leading a talented team at Harvest & Wisdom. His chef de cuisine, David Robbins, worked at the acclaimed farm-to-table concept Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York before taking jobs in Miami, Naples and most recently at Society in south Fort Myers.

Jun 13 2019

Where to Tie the Knot on The Paradise Coast
1. Shangri-La Springs, Vibe: Garden Grandeur Those searching for lush grounds and a dash of historic significance can look no further than Shangri-La Springs. This landmark property in Bonita Springs offers organic dining and will soon be able to host guests in its on-site hotel. Weddings can be held in light-filled indoor spaces or amid verdant outdoor areas comprising the namesake springs, a 95-year-old Mysore Fig tree, and Old Florida architecture. Your celebration will continue with customized meals featuring ingredients from the on-site garden, and conclude with dancing under a canopy of trees and stars.

Cecelia Morales, Class of 2017
Apr 9 2019

Education major finds most meaningful lessons take root in the garden
By Kathy Becker
Cecelia Morales’ career blooms from a seed planted freshman year. A trip to the campus Food Forest to cheer up her visiting brother has grown into her position as the new organic garden manager at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs, a 1921 hotel and spa being renovated as a destination for weddings, dining and fitness. The garden will support Harvest & Wisdom, a farm-to-table restaurant opening this year.

The Elementary Education major happened to visit the Food Forest, a student-run garden of edible plants available to all, during a meeting of the Food Foresters. “They gave us a tour and were so welcoming,” she said, noting many impressionable moments of that visit, including one with the late John Herman, assistant professor of biology. “He stuck his whole arm into a snake hole and pulled out an indigo snake. It was a wild, ‘wow’ kind of place.”

Morales found herself drawn back to the Food Forest to taste fruits and plants, attend meetings and try Meatless Mondays. Eventually, Jim Wohlpart, then dean of Undergraduate Studies and champion of the forest, asked Morales if she would like a job there as the service learning coordinator.

“It’s a passion that grew. From the Food Forest to my personal garden, I guess it was always there. I’ve always loved plants.“

Executive Chef Allen Fisher poses for a portrait in the Shangri-La Springs organic garden in Bonita Springs on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. Fisher grew up on a farm in Marshall, North Carolina, where his family grew almost everything they ate - an experience that taught him to respect the ingredients he cooks with. Fisher will appear on an upcoming episode of Food Network's "Chopped" that will air on March 26. (Photo: Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK - FLORIDA)
Mar 7 2019

Bonita Springs chef will tackle mystery ingredient baskets on Food Network's 'Chopped'

A Southwest Florida chef had the chance to test his skills on the hugely popular Food Network show "Chopped."

Chef Allen Fisher, who will lead dining operations at Shangri-La Springs' Harvest & Wisdom restaurant targeted to open later this year, was one of four chefs who competed in the episode, which will air at 9 p.m. March 26 on Food Network.

Fisher couldn't say much about his appearance before the air date, but he said the experience was "a lot of fun."

"You can expect to see my hands drain of blood when I'm standing there with the basket," Fisher said, laughing.

On "Chopped," professional chefs from across the country compete in a series of rounds — appetizer, main course and dessert — in front of a panel of esteemed judges. At the beginning of each round, contestants are given a basket of bizarre mystery ingredients, and judges taste-test the dishes, making eliminations until a winner is crowned and awarded the $10,000 prize.

Allen said the idea of tackling the show's mystery baskets was terrifying.

Deborah Leible
Jan 3 2019

Shangri-La Springs welcomes Dr. Deborah Leible as spa manager

(MENAFN - PRLog) Shangri-La Springs is pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah Leible has joined the team as spa manager. In this role, Leible is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the on-site organic spa, which includes providing personalized treatments, maintaining high-quality health and beauty services available to guests and offering exemplary customer service.

Leible brings more than 30 years of holistic health care experience to her new role. Prior to joining Shangri-La Springs, Leible owned and operated holistic health care practices in New York, Hawaii and most recently in Florida. As a holistic health practitioner, she offered a variety of services including chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and soft tissue therapy. Dedicated to advancing the field of holistic health care and massage therapy, Leible established Healthy Fit in 2016, offering a variety of online and live hands-on workshops for continuing massage education courses with a focus on soft tissue therapies.

Jan 1 2019

Art and Nature Night set at Shangri-La Springs
Experience “Branching Out” with Shangri-La Springs on Jan. 9. Set for 6-9 p.m. at 27750 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs, this free art and nature community night will feature a variety of activities, live performances and presentations from local artists and musicians.

The “Branching Out” event will include a live piano performance by Mickey Basil in the Great House, as well as a community drum circle in the courtyard and complimentary massage treatments in the spa. Featured artists include Andrew McClure, who uses air plants and juxtaposing outdoor and repurposed elements to showcase the beauty of nature, and Rosemary Allen, a painter recognized for her works of art highlighting the landscape and wildlife she encounters. FORT MYERS READERS: Sign up for Florida Weekly's Fort Myers email edition here.

The event also will include sidewalk chalk art by Jane Portaluppi Durand, hammered dulcimer performance by Debo and paper grotto theatre by Lily Hatchett with live music by Kat Epple, as well as visits from local circus performers including contortionists, human statues and stilt walkers.

In addition, guests can get an assortment of organic small plates for purchase in the courtyard, as well as organic beer and wine at the bar in the Great House.

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