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  1. 1. Winter 2006 Inaugural Issue arts food & beverage lifestyle
  2. 2. contents Hotel Openings page1-2 MOHKG: The legend has reopened MOPRG : MOnastery Chronicle Amenties page3 Bang - for your buck! Just how much is your amenity worth? Christoph Zbinden Group Director of Food & Beverage Mandarin Oriental Product Innovation page4 Culinary Events page11-12 Mix and Match Indian time at - Creating a great mood for banquets Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, Geneva Contributing Calories page5-8 Grace Chan Food & Beverage Market Concept Analyst Heston Blumenthal Interview Mandarin Oriental Junior can cook at David Nicholls Executive Chef & Food & Beverage Director Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur Peter Davies Food & Beverage Manager Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur Design page9-10 Successful Design Definitely a Team Effort Food Trends page13-14 Patrick Lawrence Group Director of Design Spa cuisine: boring no more! Mandarin Oriental Beverages page15-16 The fine art of bartending Restaurant Review page17 A vegetarian in the land of carnivores Gregoire Simonin Group Culinary Project Design Manager Mandarin Oriental LQE Story page18 Smooth functioning in London About MOHG page19-20 “TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGHquot; Top Financials Awards MORRIS LAPIDUS - VISIONARY MID-CENTURY ICON OF ARCHITECTURE Focus Press Quote
  3. 3. Hotel Openings MOHKG The legend has reopened EAM Food & Beverage: Mr. Paul Jackson Executive Chef: Mr. Sean Oconnell Nine months to the day since it closed for a comprehensive US$140 million renovation program, the legendary Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong reopened its doors on September 28, 2006. Since its debut in 1963, the hotel has consistently set standards for service in Asia and Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is set to continue its position as one of the world’s legendary hotels. Nine highly individual restaurants and bars, each with their own characteristics and charm, have been opened. Offering the finest cuisines and the most innovative cocktails, they will impress even the most discerning guests. P1
  4. 4. MONASTARY LOUNGE, this beautiful Baroque colonnade is the place to be for all-day dining. Hotel Openings MOnastery Chronicle MOPRG Food & Beverage Director: Georg Dickenmann Executive Chef: Gregory McLean Mandarin Oriental, Prague opened in September in the central, but peaceful part of the historic Malá Strana district. Originally a 14th century Dominican monastery, the hotel offers 99 rooms including 22 suites. On the food and beverage front, innovative dining is key at the three special outlets in a charming old-world setting. ESSENSIA, an extremely atmospheric restaurant, is comprised of five individual Baroque rooms with vaulted ceilings where one can enjoy the best of contemporary European cuisine with Asian flavors. BAREGO, Diffused lighting and Asian accents in the bar make it a chic yet intimate rendezvous. P2
  5. 5. Bang for your buck! Amenities Just how much is your amenity worth? Christoph Zbinden Group Director of Food & Beverage Mandarin Oriental In the hospitality business, an amenity is an item of “value” for guests, but in order to maximize the comfort and satisfaction provided by it, one must maximize the perceived value of the amenity. The perception of value is highly judgmental to the guest. For example, the classic welcome fruit basket might be of no value to a guest who is staying for one to two days only. In this case, the hotel might be better off offering an amenity that would bring a higher level of satisfaction at the same cost. Today, the average room rate is forecast to increase to US$95.31 in 2006. quot;As hotel rates increase so do guest expectations for their hotel experiences,quot; says Bjorn Hanson, 1. Who created your guest amenity program? global industry leader and partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers 2. How often is it reviewed and updated? Hospitality & Leisure practice. quot;Hotels are responding with 3. What percentage of your amenities requires amenities that are generally better in quality and often offer food & beverage labour to produce? guests more than they might expect at a particular price level.quot; 4. Have all amenities been correctly costed-out Among 37 possible amenities and services, complimentary inclusive of labour? breakfast is the single most important amenity for hotel guests 5. Who selects the specific amenities for each guest? in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. In the United 6. What criteria are used to specify the selection? Kingdom, a coffee/tea maker is the most important amenity. 7. When, if ever, is the guest asked what he/she High-speed Internet access is also considered a quot;must-havequot; for would most like if offered an amenity? European hotel guests, but the demand for wireless Internet 8. What consideration is given to the packaging access is increasing. A smoke-free environment is also an and ability to transport the amenity back to the overwhelming preference for European hotel guests. guest’s home? In order to create value and to differentiate ourselves, we should use the following questions as the guiding principles to create an amenity program that would offer the most value. P3
  6. 6. Mix and Match Product Innovation to create great moods for banquets An emerging trend in the food and beverage industry is the focus on giving a “total banquet” experience. This concept involves not only the use of innovative materials, textures and elements in the aesthetic banquet setup, but includes the functional element of compact storage for all items used. This aspect helps to prolong the life of the products purchased by an outlet, and facilitates the efficient use of labour to sell and set up an event. Creative elevation is perhaps the most crucial element of banquet preparation and sales. The use of materials such as spun bamboo, leather, acrylic and resin have replaced traditional items such as glass blocks, metal stands and ceramic tiles in the banquet setting. Not only are they functional, but also these new materials help to create great moods for banquets. Impulse! has developed a unique line of banquet risers using various innovative materials and shapes. The effect is incredible and all pieces in this collection can be illuminated to provide an amazing effect. Impulse! designs, manufactures and supplies a wide range of Food and Beverage items worldwide. CocktailVibe, a retail division of Impulse!, specializes in barware and accessories. It also provides innovative suggestions on cocktail presentations, recipes and the overall art of mixology. Impulse! Is based in Miami with offices in London and Toronto. View the Impulse! websites at and P4
  7. 7. HESTON BLUMENTHAL Contributing Calories David Nicholls Executive Chef & Food & Beverage Director Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London There's a lot about Blumenthal and the What made you start cooking? in their own world. I respect people who get up Fat Duck, the winner of no 1 best When I was a teenager my parents took me to the and do something. restaurant in the world award, 2005 south of France and we visited the three star and runner up 2006 which is L’oustau De Baumaniere which was the restaurant unexpected. of Raymond Thiellier, which of course is now run by Why did you follow this style of food? his grandson, Jean Andre Charial. We had never My style has evolved naturally and continues to. The Fat Duck, in the Berkshire village eaten in anything like this type of restaurant The opportunities for exploration and creativity are of Bray, has achieved the fastest before, never even eaten in a Michelin one star, endless. I was originally influenced by classical accreditation in British Michelin never mind a three star. The whole experience French cookery, however over the years through history, one to three stars in a space of was unforgettable; it was a defining moment, life research and countless influences from food 5 years. It puts him on a par with the changing. I can clearly remember the theatre, physiologists, designers, scent and taste experts Waterside Inn, also in Bray, and the carving of the lamb on the trolley, the wine list and a whole host of others I continue to develop a Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, that went on for ever, the ambience, the fantastic greater understanding of food and the various the only other three stars in Britain. Not cheese trolley, the smells and even the sound of influences on our enjoyment and emotional bad for a self-taught chef who only the waiters walking over the gravel that made me connotations when dining. Indeed the equipment started cooking professionally realise I wanted to cook! and tools available to us today also open ten-and-a-half years ago. possibilities and I hope one day that they will be available to the home cook. For example an Who were your influencers? analogy would be the Motor Car. Twenty years ago After the experience of L’Oustau De Baumaniere, they were well built with care, skill and craftsmanship, I really started to look for the two and three star today however, we have the tools and know-how restaurants and the chefs that run them. to build cars offering Satellite Navigation, Cruise I remember buying the book “The Great Chefs of Control, ABS, etc. They are both cars but today’s France” and I would read anything on the chefs, car has evolved from the original design. It is the their food, their restaurants. It was possibly Alain same for me with food, I am a chef and I cook for Chapel that had the greatest influence on me at my guests however like every chef I use my influences, that time. I also remember reading in 1985 Harold knowledge and new tools that become available Mc Gee’s book on food and cooking. Basically I to me. I don’t even know what to call the food I would read anything to do with food. More cook, I don’t think it is about names; it is about recently the books I read are academically flavour, style, technique etc. related to food. Also at the Hind’s Head, the pub that I own next to the Fat Duck. We are researching old English Who do you respect most in your industry and why? recipes, food from generations past. The recipes Actually, and I don’t want to blow smoke at you, and food from the past bring other exciting but it is you and people like Peter Kay who runs elements to the table and I am sure at some point Sporting Chance, and the Ark Foundation. I know they will influence the menu at the Fat Duck. Dishes you run your Charity The Nicholls Spinal Injury like Chocolate wine and Whipped Syllabub are Foundation following Dan, your son’s accident, incredible and I find them really exciting. The food I and both of you work so hard to do something to cook is really about understanding food and the change people’s lives. Our industry is very senses; it opens new roads and more questions consuming, and sometimes people become lost every day. P5
  8. 8. Where do you see the future of food? What is you favourite restaurant? How do you feel about awards and stars? Again to stay with evolution, we will evolve into a I don’t have a favourite restaurant, there are I think underneath, every chef on the planet new style of food in the way we all develop. What I really good restaurants at every level, I eat is bothered about awards and opinion to do with food is not unique, it is more about the where my mood dictates. one level or another. I always dreamed of techniques and flavours as I have mentioned. getting one star, I cannot say I had an Many chefs readily adopt new methods, providing ambition to get three stars. If I had, I don’t it delivers the best flavour and product for the believe I would have cooked and served guest. What is also important is the environment. the type of food I cook and serve today. If As I describe my experience at the L’oustau De my ambition had been three stars perhaps I Baumaniere it is every detail that was important, would have followed a more traditional the burning smell of herbs with the lamb, the route. The awards are important to me and cheese trolley, the food, the sounds and obviously I have to say that receiving my third star is to tastes, they all have different appeals to the this date one of the proudest moments of senses, which in turn influences our relation to the my life but I never set out for it. My journey food we are eating. It is important to understand was quite organic really - one step just lead these components as we develop in the future. to another. The Fat Duck has developed over time including lots of mistakes and lots of learning. This journey is still going and What are your pet hates? who knows what the future will bring the opportunities and the journey is endless. There is nothing in particular that I hate I don’t think, I have to say that sometimes I do get concerned that maybe people or other chefs perhaps look at what I do and may not How do you view food critics? understand the point of some of the things I do, When they say good stuff I love them and for example take the Green tea and lime Mousse. What does it mean to your village to have two three star chefs within 150 meters of each other? when they don’t I don’t love them as much… This is cooked for 15 seconds in front of the guest I’m human! in liquid nitrogen at -197degrees. It is cooked in The Fat Duck and the Waterside Inn. It is amazing The food critics are very powerful and in the liquid nitrogen, as it is the only liquid that can really and I think we are the only two, three star London more so. They can have a huge reach the required temperature to “cook” the restaurants in the world in the same village and influence on you and your business particularly mousse, however it is not about the Liquid only 100 meters apart. It is more by coincidence. when you first open. Generally they have Nitrogen. It is completely about the green tea I know Michel very well and he is a great friend been very good for the industry overall. I think and lime mousse and eating it within seconds of and neighbour. If I had ever considered that we it is important that each journalist writes for being cooked it bursts on your tongue and would eventually get three stars I would not have their particular readers so they all have very prepares your pallet, the lime stimulates the saliva had the audacity to pitch up along side the different styles and you must respect that. in the mouth and the green tea works as a Waterside and go from there. You need to natural cleanser as the tannins in the tea dry the remember the Fat Duck was a pub when I palate and prepare for the dishes that follow. I bought it. It had the toilets out side at the end suppose I worry perhaps the dish gets lost in the of the garden, and we had no tablecloths. If I Where do you see your future? More little ducks? theatre of the liquid nitrogen however ultimately thought about three stars from the out set it I guess “never say never” applies here. Who as long as people are enjoying themselves…. It is would have been a non-starter. We evolved, knows? I have no plans for more at this level at after all about having fun. and so did the food, and with it the restaurant. the moment. P6
  9. 9. What is your opinion on hotels and their F&B What do you look for in great chefs? concept? Energy, attitude and enthusiasm. If they have I am the worst traveller; I am usually never too these qualities you are already half way there. impressed, but that is because I am thinking of Too often we get guys and girls with good work and that is influencing my enjoyment of training and who have worked in some good my time in the hotel, for most people I think it is places, but they just don’t have the attitude or more an aspect of service rather than facilities willingness to develop. We need people to be that impress people and with that you have to open minded. Equally, I too learn from everyone consider the cultural implications when you all the time. travel. When I travel on holiday however my opinion is always more relaxed. There are of What do you feel the industry will look like in the course some exceptions. Regarding concepts, next ten years? many seem to run restaurants as a facility for I hate this question, because it makes me sound the hotel, rather than create a destination for like I am 100. It is a fairly conservative view but I the hotel; I know and stay at your hotel in worry about the growth of restaurants in the UK London when I am in town, which is always a and indeed the world. Where will the staff come good experience. Within Mandarin Oriental from? There are so many openings all the time; there are a couple of hotels which set the you have to be good to attract the right people. barometer for others to follow. However some chefs today do not have the knowledge that a Chef de Partie had ten years ago. The dynamics have changed. People want to be promoted quicker, opportunities are What is the thing about restaurants vs. hotels greater, and most importantly demand is Well when people go out to a restaurant they greater. It will be interesting to see where this are going out for a specific reason to a specific levels out in the future. destination. They have an expectation and the restaurant chef just has to strive to ensure that Are you passionate about training? that expectation is exceeded. The customer I strongly believe in training. I have currently needs to leave a restaurant with their eight stagieres in the Fat Duck where we used to expectations exceeded and with all the have two. It is difficult for them to be involved positive memories you would hope them to (mostly because of space) so they tend to be on have. In hotels this is much more difficult to the boundary of what we are doing but once a achieve as the customer may be at the hotel week I rotate them on to a section to work as a on a business trip and have specific business full team member to ensure they get a feeling of requirements but go to the restaurant with a what we are doing. We try to arrange as many different agenda. It is hard to meet such diverse visits to our suppliers and to places/ events expectations and needs, A hotel needs to meet related to our business as possible to encourage many different needs for different occasions, as complete a knowledge of our product as and for people too often, the focus is not on possible. In addition I invite everyone to eat here the restaurant, dining is only one component of at least once a year in the Fat Duck and the the guests stay, so the restaurant experience Hinds Head. It is important to me they see this can become diluted. side of the restaurant as well. P7
  10. 10. Can your style of food be successful in every town? I believe that there is increasingly more information easily accessible and new tools constantly becoming available to both the restaurant chef and home cook. So yes, in the same way my cooking has evolved, and continues to do so, so will other peoples. Is there a danger of a little knowledge when people try to copy you without the knowledge? I don’t know the answer to this really, but I do remember Fay Maschler reviewing someone who had used very bizarre combinations and at the end of her review she wrote, “Oh Heston what have you done?” But at The Fat Duck, a dish can take 18 months in development to reach the menu, and even then as we discover new ideas we are constantly tweaking the dish. It’s not about combining unusual ingredients. It is always about the taste and experience the dish can give. However the wonderful thing about this industry is sharing your discovery and knowledge. Are you now breaking into other areas, writing, TV, hotels? Writing I have always loved, and have two columns at the moment; one weekly for Style magazine with the Sunday Times, and one monthly with GQ. I also have a new BBC TV Programme called Heston Blumenthal – in Search of Perfection, and an accompanying book that will be released in two weeks time. Regarding hotels nothing in the pipeline yet but never say never. P8
  11. 11. Successful Design Design Definitely a Team Effort Patrick Lawrence Group Director of Design Mandarin Oriental About a million years ago, when I first started as an architect, hotels and restaurants were a buffet line of cattle halls, and display kitchens were the service window at the truck stop. Lighting was a tug of war between the electrician and interior designer over bulb wattage dimmer switches. Today, great restaurant designers like Adam Tihany, Tony Chi, Ryu Kosaka, Jeffrey Wilkes, and Spin, to name a few, work in concert with chefs and general managers, and kitchen designers like CKP, Cini-Little, Peter Cheung, Derek Horn, to create magnificent spaces for our guests. This is never more evident than in the magnificent Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) spaces of Amber & Foliage, Asiate & Azul, Sense, Pierre, and Paseo Uno. Delight and Satisfy The demand for ever greater-looking spaces comes from the simple truth that hotel guests today are more widely travelled and more sophisticated in their expectations. They are able to have breakfast at a Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jakarta, lunch in Singapore, dinner in Tokyo, and enjoy room service breakfast the next morning in London or New York. Likewise, MOHG’s expectations have become more demanding. The stakes are high, as the success of a hotel restaurant also influences the image of the brand. P9
  12. 12. The challenge for the designer • To establish first impressions of luxury, setting the scene for excellence in service and cuisine. • To create a holding space for guests, arriving and waiting for tables, or for after dinner gatherings. • To ensure guests can move safely through the restaurant, whether they wish to be seen or to remain incognito. • To allow service staff to fade gracefully into the background. • To provide an island of quiet interest within a sea of activity. • To create private dining venues– virtual restaurants within the restaurant. • To ensure Back of the House never intrudes into Front of the House (guests can’t see, hear, or smell the kitchen unless we want them to). • To provide access for persons with disabilities. • To meet all health and safety requirements. • Be cost-effective. All these require a strong team of professionals, including architects, interior and lighting designers, various engineers, audio visual systems designers, graphic designers and other professionals, including contractors and sub-contractors. This team must interact with experts within MOHG from Operations (F&B), Technical Services, Engineering and IT as they set the direction and describe the brief. The personalities of the Chef and the General Manager play their part in the final result, as well. As these images prove we have been successful and will continually be raising the bar. Teamwork and collaboration are the key to making this possible. P10
  13. 13. Indian Time Culinary Events at Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, Geneva Grace Chan Food & Beverage Market Concept Analyst Mandarin Oriental For the past 15 years, Café Rafael at Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, Geneva has transformed itself into a “Little India” for two weeks in September. The annual cultural exchange comes in the form of an extraordinary Indian culinary experience fit for a Maharajah, giving Geneva’s gourmands an immersion into the flavors and colours of India. With the international clientele of the hotel on the lookout for new and authentic flavors, Café Rafael tantalizes their taste buds with an a la carte menu featuring unique specialties at lunchtime and a magnificent buffet at dinner that is laden with exotic cuisines from the different regions of India, such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. To give an authentic experience, four guest chefs from the legendary Mumbai Taj Mahal Palace preside over the kitchen. The décor of Café Rafael is transformed into an exotic display of Indian saris and spices, complete with photos and videos of New Delhi and the Mumbai Taj Mahal Palace. As a final touch, a beautiful sari-clad young hostess from the Mumbai Taj Mahal Palace welcome guests. F&B Director Guillaume Flament and Executive Chef Franck Ferigutti work together to make the Indian culinary experience a resounding success. “Thanks to the different chefs presenting at the hotel, we are able to exchange ideas and open our minds to new flavours and products. Some of the dishes will be added to our menus and become part of our banquet selection - “Buffet of the World”. However, it is Executive Chef Rajeev Janjeva of the Mumbai Taj Mahal Palace who has the last word on the culinary experience. “Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, Geneva shows a huge curiosity and has an open mind to cuisines from different cultures.” P11
  14. 14. Junior can cook at Culinary Events Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur Peter Davies Food & Beverage Manager Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur Why should adults have all the fun? That was the question from Matthias Kindl, Chef of Pacifica at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur. In his aim to delight and satisfy even the youngest guests, Chef Matthias came up with a fun and fantastic monthly cooking class for kids. The junior cooking class is held on the last Saturday of every month for a group of eager and enthusiastic future gastronomes. These pint-sized foodies get kitted out in a personalized chef’s jacket, apron and hat before getting their hands messy preparing a feast from start to finish. After hours of laughter and giggles, it is time to wash off the chocolate sauce and receive the trophies for the best starter, main course, and yummy dessert. The best reward comes at the end when they all get to tuck in. It is hard to tell who likes the cooking class more, the kids or the parents. While the children are cooking up a storm under the watchful eye of Chef Matthias and the kitchen staff, the parents nip off for some valuable free time to see the local sights or catch up on some important shopping. Matthias Kindl Chef of the Pacifica Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur (recently promoted to Executive Sous Chef Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC) P12
  15. 15. Food Trends Spa cuisine: boring no more! The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York, has introduced an entirely new level of hospitality with the launch of its Spa Attaché service and a delicious new approach to healthy eating with its new Spa Cuisine. The deliciously healthy cuisine is the brainchild of Toni Robertson, Mandarin Oriental, New York’s Executive Chef, who developed her expertise during her tenure at the Sonoma Mission Inn in California, setting new standards for healthy dining, long before Spa Cuisine became mainstream. Chef Robertson explains the Spa Cuisine concept to INSPIRE. INSPIRE: What are the essential elements of Spa Cuisine? Robertson: Spa Cuisine, by today’s definition, is really just a label for healthy cuisine – food that is not only healthy and nutritious, but also tastes good and is exciting to the palate. Over the years, it has evolved and changed, driven as much by public opinion as by the science of what is “healthy” and what is “harmful.” Today, given that we can create wonderfully healthy dishes without resorting to two lettuce leaves and a couple of carrot sticks, the most important consideration is taste. The public will no longer accept food that tastes like cardboard as a substitute for quality cuisine. When we say Spa Cuisine, we are talking about food that not only incorporates fresh, natural, unprocessed ingredients, and utilizes natural methods of preparation, but also food that depends more on the use and combination of textures and subtle flavours to produce the high quality and taste of other cuisines which may be less nutritious. Ultimately, Spa Cuisine must be the “whole package” – a cuisine that finds a balance between nutrition and taste without sacrificing either of these. INSPIRE: Other than at the Spa, is quot;spa foodquot; available at other F&B outlets or room service? Robertson: Absolutely! Throughout all our outlets, many of our dishes are wonderfully healthy and were developed with nutrition and healthy eating in mind. We owe much of this to our global approach, which incorporates essential elements of healthy cooking with fresh ingredients, and natural methods of preparation. An excellent example are our exquisite Bento Box lunch and Sashimi in Asiate, our brick flat chicken with seven grain rice, and caramelized scallop with cauliflower puree. Our In-Room Dining menu offers Thai style grilled beef salad, and for dessert, yogurt panna cotta with mixed berries, which would fit in nicely with any spa menu. P13
  16. 16. INSPIRE: Do you see quot;spa foodquot; being infused into our outlets and everyday room Food Trends service menus? Do you see a demand in this type of cuisine? Robertson: As our eating habits evolve toward more healthy consumption, and people seek out dining options that allow them to maintain their nutritional balance, we in the hospitality industry must respond to that demand. We will in fact, be expected to provide more healthy choices throughout all our menus as an integral component of all our culinary operations. INSPIRE: People often think healthy food is “boring.” Do you agree? Robertson: Spa Cuisine in the early days was boring! It lacked imagination and more importantly, chefs lacked basic knowledge and an understanding of what fundamentally was meant by “healthy” food. “Nutrition” was the purview of the medical establishment – not the culinary arts! But that changed in the early 1990’s. I was part of that original and very small group of chefs in California who simply refused to accept the status quo. We brought a global style to healthy eating. We introduced not only new methods of preparation, such as the use of tandoori ovens and infused flavour by marinating and grilling. We also incorporated new flavours, using spices and products that we found in our world travels. We worked with local produce growers and artisans to create the organic, free-range, and natural products. We grew herb gardens in our backyards, and began looking for healthy alternatives and substitutes, including replacing refined sugar with apple juice and honey, and using buttermilk or low fat yogurt in place of heavy cream or butter. Today, chefs regularly consult with nutritionists, but it was unheard of just 15 years ago. Healthy cuisine is part science and part culinary artistry. It is about understanding the nutritional components of food, the relationship between proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and how these elements work together. It is finding the right combination of ingredients that not only affect the quality and healthfulness of the cuisine, but also create the desired flavours and textures. It has taken me years to develop these skills and in my opinion, every chef will one day have to learn the art of cooking healthy and incorporate it into every new dish they develop. There is no reason that quality and taste must be sacrificed for health and nutrition if you know how to do it. INSPIRE: Should we have a global strategy and introduce spa food in all our properties? Robertson: I am a very strong proponent of healthy cuisine in all our outlets throughout our properties. Healthy eating is the single biggest, and most important global trend in the history of culinary arts, and the pendulum is swinging quickly. To be on the cutting edge of this trend, we need to develop, not only a concept, but also a corporate culture that will incorporate healthy or spa cuisine into our culinary programs. We have the tools, and we have the knowledge – we just need the implementation. P14
  17. 17. The fine art of Beverages bartending Bartender extraordinaire Angus Winchester put together the impressive cocktail list at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Founder of Alconomics, Winchester lives the quot;Cocktail Culturequot; and is a walking encyclopedia of the stories and myths that surround every drink. He is also a Bartending Ambassador, travelling the world hosting training sessions and tastings. INSPIRE chats with Winchester to get the lowdown on bartending. INSPIRE: Is this your first collaboration with a Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and how did the opportunity come about? Winchester: I have been coming to Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong since 1988 when my father (Simon Winchester) took me there, and was always a fan. I was lucky enough to renew my association with the hotel in my own right when I helped launch the inaugural Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong Show on the roof of the hotel. INSPIRE: You have recreated 120 special cocktails for Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s reopening. How did you do this? Winchester: I did not create most of the cocktails, but used my experience traveling around the globe to choose the best cocktails from the greatest bars in the world. INSPIRE: Did you start with a theme? Winchester: The idea was not to reinvent the wheel, but to make that wheel run more smoothly and quietly, and incorporate the best of the past with the cutting edge of the future. P15
  18. 18. Beverages INSPIRE: Do you consider the demographics of the guest profile when you design cocktails? Winchester: We always try to make cocktail lists that have something for everybody, from the millionaire CEO to the splurging backpacker, the hardened drinker and teetotaler, to Mandarin Oriental newbie and lifelong fan. INSPIRE: Out of the whole list, which do you consider to be your favourites? Why? Winchester: My own personal favorite is the Negroni. But the Sweetheat, the Earl Grey Mar-Tea-Ni and the Kenilworth are inventions of some awesome bartenders. The foamed Cosmopolitan and Peanut Malt Flip make me proud, being at the cutting edge of molecular mixology. In Hong Kong, the Captain’s Passion and the Mandarin Spring Punch should become mainstays. We are also very proud of some of the spirits we brought over for the various back bars. INSPIRE: What's the most important part of the creation process? Is it innovation, guests’ needs and preferences? Winchester: The trick to bartending is not to create “great drinks” but to make the drinkers feel great about their drinks. Don’t impose your will upon the guest; rather, cater to their own whims. ingredients Cocktail Negroni gin 30ml Campari 30ml Rosso vermouth 30ml garnish orange twist lemon twist stirred in rock glass with cubed ice P16
  19. 19. Land of Carnivores Restaurant Review a vegetarian in the Gregoire Simonin Group Culinary Project Design Manager Mandarin Oriental Chef and proprietor of JOIA Restaurant, a hint of Oriental influence. His Pietro Leemann, learned his culinary ABCs degustation menu, featuring dozens of at traditional Italian and French restaurants, small courses, are so refreshing and tasty, where he quickly picked up more than just it left us wanting more. the basics of food preparation and cooking. One might even say this was inevitable, The food appears in many different given the fact that he worked under such cooking preparations, from traditional culinary masters as Gualtiero Marchesi and Italian styles, like a rich creamy risotto, to Fredy Girardet. pasta raviolis filled with beetroot, parmesan, eggplant and tomato. His Born in Switzerland in the 1960’s, Chef Pietro virtual egg, made with zucchini and spent most of his early twenties perfecting mushroom agar-agar with rhubarb coulis, the art of fine classic Italian and French is a delight, as is his fried celery sherbet cuisine. Then, inspired by two years of travel with chilled red pepper dressing. in Japan and China in the late 80s, he decided with some friends, to open Joia, a Like Chef Pietro himself, the names of the vegetarian restaurant in Milan, Italy, whose dishes are unconventional and unique: name means ‘Joy’. The specialty is premised Stone’s Roll, Basic Melody and Travel on the fact that vegetarian cuisine does not Notes, among others. The latter is a necessarily mean forsaking the pleasures of signature dish, which involves all of your the table, nor the delights of good food. taste buds in the one dish. The wine list And the Milanese, carnivores like most speaks for itself and is introduced by a Europeans, have come to embrace this knowledgeable Sommelier to help refined vegetarian restaurant with great achieve a perfect Italian wine pairing enthusiasm. with dinner. Joia is probably the only Michelin Star Chef Pietro was awarded his first Star by Vegetarian restaurant in the world. And the Michelin Guide in 1996 and is now Chef Pietro, who believes in a hands-on looking forward to his second within the approach, often takes food orders at the next year or two. A visit to Joia is a must tables himself, introducing his guests to when traveling to Milan, as is advance innovative vegetarian creations made from reservation, as the restaurant is always the freshest Mediterranean seasonal packed full. vegetables and herbs, and incorporating P17
  20. 20. Smooth functioning LQE Story When Swarovski, one of the world’s leading crystal empires, in London held a three day function at INSPIRE talked with Miroslav Nosek about his Legendary Quality Experience. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, the hotel INSPIRE: How did you start in the field of F&B? appointed Miroslav Nosek, Nosek: Upon completing my technical and practical studies to become an F&B service one of their experienced professional I began my career working for nearly 6 years as a server in the famed function hosts to look after Parliament Restaurant located directly within the government offices of the Czech the guests. Republic. It was then that I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to join The hotel learned of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London some two years ago. group organizers sincere appreciationof Miroslaw’s INSPIRE: What is the role of a Function Host? What is your greatest challenge and how do stewardship through a you overcome it? correspondence detailing Nosek: The role of a function host can really be considered in two parts - the practical and his effort throughout the the emotional. First we must ensure that we completely understand both the organizers guest’s stay. They noted specific needs and their often unexpressed intent as well. Understanding our clients that he approached the motivation allows us to go well beyond the mere execution of the service contract (BEO) program requirements with and truly allows me to foresee needs well in advance of the quests requirements resulting exemplary professionalism in their sincere delight and wonder. However, it is critical to remember that everything by personally liaising with must be based on the precise execution of the contracted function as the bare minimum. the organizer to first establish and then fulfil their INSPIRE: How do you go beyond simply understanding the contract (BEO) and actually exacting requirements - predicting the guests intent? often delighting the guests Nosek: First you must fully understand what the guest expects. This requires very careful with his attentive and and focused listening while at the same time looking for both verbal and non verbal clues proactive approach. which the client might be unconsciously or subtly expressing. Over the course of several Swarovski did not have to days of interaction and observation I soon have a very good idea about the guests’ initiate a single request while character, mood, and style. The secret to a great seamless program is not simply the under Miroslav’s watchful care. result of the work I do but rather it’s the collective effort of every staff member who comes in contact with the guest – always looking and listening for anything which might delight the guests. Lastly, for any of this information to be useful into the future (21% of MOLON guests are repeat guests) we are all committed to diligently collecting and logging each guest preference creating an ever richer and more accurate profile of each guest every time they return to us. P18
  21. 21. Focus 2007 About MOHG Building on a Foundation of Collaboration & Empowerment in 2007 we are in the process of selecting key leaders from across the group to participate in five cross functional global teams known as our “Focus Groups.” Each team will study our current mode of operation as it pertains to their specific area with the food & beverage / culinary arts division and make recommendations to the group both in terms of possible innovation and standardization based on economies of scale. Employee Dining Concept – Jorg Behrend - The Oriental, Singapore Applying the same energy and expertise to the creation of Group-wide food & beverage concept; inclusive of interior design, facilities guide, FF&E, OS&E, uniforms, and service sequence are applied to our world class guest focus facilities. Mandarin Epicure (Pastry, Packaging & Food & Beverage Retail) – Patrick Coston - Mandarin Oriental, New York Further defining the brand through the creation of the next generation of cake shops by launching a new concept Mandarin Epicure – well defined food and beverage retail venues. Packaging, product selection, merchandizing touching everything from in room amenities – honour bar products – repeat guest amenities – sales gifts to holiday merchandising. Project Phoenix- Global Training & Certification – George Slover - The Oriental, Singapore Creation of a global, intranet accessible, position specific, operationally sound, completely customizable, set of training materials and certification processes. MO “U” – Continued Education & Management Training – David Nicholls - Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London Building on the strength and success of the existing program MOLON we plan on working closely with educators from around the world to establish accreditation through an even richer curriculum and then in future years to open similar programs in the Americas and Asia. Global Beverage Program – TBD First to assess the current global beverage situation and begin a process of education and incentive for our existing properties to focus on core similarities in each of their programs. At the same time, actively engaging industry recognized innovators and futurists to participate in design and product “think tanks” to foster innovation in bar design moving forward. While, driving the resulting suggestions into functional designs for the next generation of beverage venue. P19
  22. 22. Awards About MOHG Mandarin Oriental, Munich – Restaurant Mark’s Restaurant Manager: Mirko De Giorgi Executive Chef: Morio Corti 3 “ Gourmet Wooden Spoons” – Hotel guide Atral “Schlemmer Atlas” Top Financials 1 Michelin Star – Michelin Hotel & Restaurant Guide 2006 Best restaurant – Diners Club Magazine Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC – Restaurant CityZen Restaurant Manager: Mark Politzer Chef De Cuisine: Eric Ziebold Highest Revenues Per Seat - based on results from 2005 5 Diamond, AAA, 2006 City Zen Named one of the Hottest Restaurant in the world”, Food & Wine May 2006 Asiate, MONYC . Signature USD$ 214.16 Daily Revenues per Seat Three and Half Stars out of Four, Washingtonian, January 2006 The Oriental Singapore – Restaurant Melt The Café, MOHKG . Café USD$ 119.63 Daily Revenues per Seat Restaurant Manager: Alexandre Peghoux Executive Chef: Jorg Behrend MOBar, MONYC . Bar USD$ 168.73 Daily Revenues per Seat Melt – The world Café was recently selected into Singapore Tatler’s culinary hall of fame as Singapore’s Best New Restaurant 2006, and Singapore’s Best Restaurant 2006 Highest Banquet Revenues - 2005 MO, Washington . USD$13,274,340 Revenues (USD$) Press Quotes Tatler Best Restaurant Guide, Hong Kong June 2006 Highest Profits - 2005 Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Signature Amber - One of Hong Kong most glamorous contemporary Vong, MOHKG . MOHKG dining experiences Verandah, ORBKK . ORBKK All-Day San Francisco Chronicle, US, June 2006 Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco Sometimes from the first bite you know a dining experience will be Clipper Lounge, MOHKG . MOHKG Bar memorable, and that’s the case at Silks at the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco…. It’s a wonderful experience. Zagat Survey-New York City Restaurant 2006 Mandarin Oriental, New York Mandarin Oriental, New York – Reaching “dazzling heights”, the Mandarin Oriental’s “luxe” Japanese-French “perch” with “ million-dollar views” of the central park showcases chef Nori Ugie’s “inspired”, “exotic” “artistry” in an “ethereal” window-lined space; service disputes aside(“superb” vs. ”uneven”), it’s “worth every dime” of the “trust-fund” tabs. P20
  23. 23. A person is often measured by the company which he keeps and if so I am continually humbled by the committed, innovative, and deeply caring colleagues I am so fortunate to meet and work with every day. INSPIRE was conceived out of a desire to recognize and reflect back to each of you the tremendous passion and talent you freely express in your daily interactions with your guests and each other. We intend INSPIRE to go further then simply communicate and educate its readers but also to demonstrate through the quality of its design, contributors, and focus to properly express our pride and fortune to be members of Mandarin Oriental. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that our success often relies also on the contributions and like minded effort of countless outside vendors and partners who share with us a common vision. Many people have worked on INSPIRE, and I would particularly like to thank Douglas White founder of Prosperity Research and his innovative staff. Who are responsible for the well - crafted look and feel of this, our inaugural issue. Christoph Zbinden Group Director of Food & Beverage Mandarin Oriental quot;It’s a great pleasure to be part of the team to develop and launch INSPIRE, our first-ever Food & Beverage Lifestyle Magazine. Bringing together culinary news and trends, stories from industry leaders and from our internal talents, INSPIRE aims to be a platform for inspiration - a platform that cultivates innovation and team spirit for the global F&B team. “ I’m thankful for all of your support in making this launch possible and successful. Enjoy” Grace Chan Food & Beverage Market & Concept Analyst Mandarin Oriental quot;THE DIFFICULT I’LL DO RIGHT NOW, AND THE IMPOSSIBLE WILL JUST TAKE A LITTLE WHILE.quot; from LEGENDARY SONGSTRESS BILLIE HOLLIDAY’S CRAZY HE CALLS ME