With rising sea levels hanging over the resort islands of the Maldives, the country's hospitality industry has been actively seeking out ways to operate as sustainably as they can.

A key area under the spotlight is the cuisine. Resorts are trying to reduce their high energy and resource demands in a country where much of the food is imported, which means some restaurants are trying to step things up even more.

Leading the way is Roots, which is a new plant-based dining restaurant at Patina Maldives, an island resort in the Fari islands that opened in 2021 with the goal to wow their guests with delicious, modern, and vegetarian dishes.

"At Roots, we are advocates of a plant-based diet. We have a special menu that is coming from our very own organic garden. We grow everything in our organic garden," says Abdulla Rifzan, sous chef at Patina Maldives.

Abdulla Rifzan was born in Gemanafushi in the Huvadhoo atoll; he trained in French and Japanese cuisines before joining Roots. Working at Roots has given him a new and more sustainable outlook on cooking.

"It's really important in the Maldives, for our culture, to be more green. Maldives is made up of small islands. So by cooking plant-based dishes with homegrown ingredients, it helps the environment and the people." - Abdulla Rifzan