The Peninsula Manila, an esteemed five star hotel in Manila, joins the Embassy of Switzerland in “Swissness: More Fun in the Philippines."

Online PR News – 22-August-2012 – Manila, Phillipines – Continuing its long-standing tradition of celebrating exemplary culinary traditions from all over the world, The Peninsula Manila, an esteemed five star hotel in Manila (http://www.peninsula.com/Manila/en/Accommodation/Deluxe_Room/default.aspx), joins the Embassy of Switzerland in “Swissness: More Fun in the Philippines,” a 10-day festival where The Peninsula Manila’s very own Swiss Chef Samuel Linder of Old Manila takes over all the hotel’s kitchens and showcases the very best in Swiss food and wine from August 2 – 11, 2012.

This food festival is doubly meaningful because the year 2012 also marks the 150th anniversary of friendship between the Philippines and Switzerland. The Swiss Embassy in Manila opened in 1862, the first time that the Federal Republic, consisting of 26 cantons, was represented in any Asian country. Under the direction of Peter Jenny, Switzerland’s first consul in the Philippines, official relations between the two countries was launched. Today, the Swiss community in the Philippines is the second largest in Asia, and Switzerland is one of the Philippines’ top 10 investors.

Chef Linder explains that because of its location on the European continent, the official languages spoken in Switzerland are French, Italian, German and Romansch. This confluence of cultures has also found its way into the local palate, where the cuisine is a savory mix of Italian, French, and German influences.

The most famous of Swiss dishes – the fondue – where cheese is melted in a pot and enjoyed by dipping small pieces of bread or potatoes in it, is French in origin. Papet vaudois is another Swiss dish made from leeks and potatoes, usually served with saucisse aux choux.

The German touch is most apparent in the Älplermagronen, which is a unique all-in-one dish using ingredients that herdsmen had at their disposal in their alpine cottages. Also known as the Alpine herdsman’s macaroni, it is made up of macaroni, potatoes, onions, pieces of bacon and melted cheese.

Rösti is another simple dish, similar to hash browns, traditional to the Swiss-German region, and also eaten by the French-speaking Swiss.

Italy contributed the pizzoccheri, an interesting variation of the tagliatelle, only shorter and made of buckwheat flour, cooked with greens and cubed potatoes.

Polenta, regarded as a meal for the poor for hundreds of years, is nowadays a staple dish in Switzerland.

Chef Linder likes to point out, however, that his generation’s chefs are more experimental in their approach to cooking, shying away from the rustic and traditional, they prefer more natural and lighter ingredients.

“Swissness: More Fun in the Philippines” is the perfect opportunity for food lovers to enjoy the best that Switzerland has to offer in produce and wine, and prove to the world that there is more to my country than just luxury watches and private banking,” Chef Linder says.

The special tasting menu that Chef Linder is creating in Old Manila from August 2 – 11, 2012 will reflect much of what “new” Swiss cuisine is all about – relaxed, colorful and diverse. Guests may start with an appetizer of Smoked Trout Tartare on Rye Bread, Chervil-radish Salad and Verjus Vinaigrette. They may complement this with a main course of Muesli-crusted Lamb Loin with Goat’s Cheese Gnudi, Wilted Swiss Chard and Ricola Jus. For fish lovers, there’s a “Forelle, Egli, Zander and Felchen Fillet” with asparagus-potato-tomato Ragout and Absinthe Froth. Dessert promises to be sinfully rich with a “Toblepen” of Nougat Ice-cream, Swiss Alpine Honey and Peppered Rhubarb. Three-course menu is priced at P 2,100 with the degustation menu at P 3,000.

Not to be outdone, Escolta will also go the Swiss route with lunch and dinner buffet selections on Monday to Saturday, and a magnificent Sunday brunch on August 5, 2012 with a “Schüblig Eating Contest” as one of the festival highlights. During the contest, 10 contestants will stand on a raised platform behind a long table laden with drinks and eat The Lobby’s famous schübligs, which are traditional Swiss sausages made with select cuts of beef and pork. Whoever eats the most schübligs in five minutes will be declared the winner. The prize will be one overnight stay at this luxurious Manila hotel (http://www.peninsula.com/Manila/en/Accommodation/default.aspx) in a Superior Room for two with buffet breakfast in Escolta plus the winner’s bodyweight in schübligs that will be donated to a charity of their choice. Lunch buffet is priced at P 810 (children under 12) and P 1,350 (adult), dinner buffet at P 870 (children under 12) and P 1,450 (adult) with Sunday brunch buffet at P 1,000 (children under 12), P 1,700 (adult) and P 2,400 (with unlimited Champagne).

Experience a rich and indulgent treat at The Lobby with a rapturous array of sublime creations, all inspired by a widely popular ingredient – chocolate. The Chocolate Bar, which opens at The Lobby from 8:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays), will offer different chocolate-themed desserts, crafted by hand with premium Swiss Felchlin chocolate and created by Executive Pastry Chef Sebastien Cocquery of The Peninsula Manila and Felchlin’s Chocolate Master Chef Anil Rohira. The Chocolate Bar is priced at P 390 (children under 12) and P
680 (adult).

On August 9, 2012, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Swiss-born Hotel Manager Oliver Dudler of The Peninsula Manila and Old Manila Chef de Cuisine Samuel Linder will be hosting an interactive kitchen party. Here, several active stations will be set up where participants can enjoy such offerings as fondue, raclette, rösti, schüblig and other traditional dishes, premium Swiss chocolates and wines, while cooking and mingling with Chef Linder and his team. Price per guest is P 2,500.

Prices are subject to 10% service charge and applicable government taxes.

Guests who dine in Old Manila and Escolta during the “Swissness: More Fun in the Philippines” festival may win the grand prize of a round-trip ticket for two to Zurich via Hong Kong or Bangkok courtesy of Swiss International Airlines. It includes a two-night stay at the Baur Au Lac Hotel in Zurich and the Lausanne Palace and Spa in Lausanne. Other prizes at stake are Victorinox Swiss Army watches and a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, choice wines from Werdenberg International Corporation, and jewelry from Hans Brumann.

On exhibit throughout the festival at the third floor gallery are Filipino artist Manuel Baldemor’s views of Switzerland, “Timeless: Swiss Landscapes.” This collection was the result of his residency in Basel in 1994.

For inquiries or restaurant reservations, please call The Peninsula Manila at (632) 887-2888, e-mail diningpmn@peninsula.com or visit peninsula.com.

Incorporated in 1866 and listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (00045), HSH is the holding company of a Group which is engaged in the ownership, development and management of prestigious hotel, commercial and residential properties in key locations in Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as the provision of transport, club management and other services. The hotel portfolio of the Group comprises The Peninsula Hotels in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Tokyo, Bangkok, Manila and Paris (opening in 2013). The property portfolio of the Group includes The Repulse Bay Complex, The Peak Tower and The Peak Tramways, St. John’s Building, The Landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and the Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Thailand.