WINTER 2006 ISSUE - THIS INTERNAL F and B, CULINARY ARTS,DIGITAL NEWS LETTER IS LAUNCHED IN ORDER TO COMMUNICATE A COMMON GLOBAL GOAL WHILE RECOGNIZING AND CELEBRATING INDIVIDUAL - PROPERTY SPECIFIC INNOVATIONS.
arts food & beverage lifestyle
Hotel Openings page1-2
MOHKG: The legend has reopened
MOPRG : MOnastery Chronicle
Bang - for your buck!
Just how much is your amenity worth?
Christoph Zbinden Group Director of Food & Beverage
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
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
Successful Design Definitely a Team Effort Food Trends page13-14
Patrick Lawrence Group Director of Design Spa cuisine: boring no more!
The fine art of bartending
Restaurant Review page17
A vegetarian in the land of carnivores
Gregoire Simonin Group Culinary Project Design Manager
LQE Story page18
Smooth functioning in London
About MOHG page19-20
“TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGHquot; Top Financials
MORRIS LAPIDUS - VISIONARY MID-CENTURY ICON OF ARCHITECTURE
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.
MONASTARY LOUNGE, this beautiful
Baroque colonnade is the place to
be for all-day dining.
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
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.
Bang for your buck!
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.
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.
Mix and Match
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 www.impulseenterprises.com and www.cocktailvibe.com
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
Junior can cook at
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.
Chef of the Pacifica
Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
(recently promoted to Executive Sous Chef
Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC)
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
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.
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
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.
The fine art of
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
INSPIRE chats with Winchester to get the lowdown on
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.
INSPIRE: Do you consider the demographics of the guest profile when you design
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
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.
Rosso vermouth 30ml
stirred in rock glass with cubed ice
Land of Carnivores
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
When Swarovski, one of the
world’s leading crystal empires,
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
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.
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
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.
Mandarin Oriental, Munich – Restaurant Mark’s
Restaurant Manager: Mirko De Giorgi
Executive Chef: Morio Corti
3 “ Gourmet Wooden Spoons” – Hotel guide Atral “Schlemmer Atlas”
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$13,274,340 Revenues (USD$)
Tatler Best Restaurant Guide, Hong Kong June 2006
Highest Profits - 2005 Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
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
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
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.
Group Director of Food & Beverage
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”
Food & Beverage Market & Concept Analyst
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