IN THE dynamic and fascinating hospitality industry, nothing is as constant as change. And the movement of personalities can only leave lasting impressions and beautiful memories.
The benchmark of any successful hotel is the interesting and the characteristic change of guards unique to hotels, especially its general managers and chefs. This peculiar system actually allows the hotel executives to gain experience, interact with different cultures thereby polishing their leadership skills.
Barely a few months after meeting Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa’s General Manager Nicholas Smith in September last year, I was told that he has been moved to the newly opened Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong. Kerry is the new five-star brand in the Shangri-La family, which was launched in Shanghai and Beijing in 2011.
Communications Executive Monica Tan says Kerry is a hip and lifestyle hotel, defined by a spirited style with unique functional designs and enthusiastic intuitive service.
Over an exquisite dinner at the resort’s Cowrie Cove’s Captain’s Cabin tucked beside the blue waters of Mactan Bay, Sales & Marketing Director Albert Lafuente and Communications Director Cassandra Cuevas introduced the new German General Manager, Rene D. Egle. Friendly and witty, Rene as he prefers to be called, set the evening rolling with our lively repartees.
Rene hails from Loefinggen, Baden-Wurttenberg famous for its Black Forest mountain range. Baden is known for its thermal baths and resorts, as well as the Black Forest Gateau or cake and ham.
To amuse our anxious palates, Sauteed King Prawn with Orange Salad and Roasted Carrot was served with carefully selected white wines. The freshness of the prawn matched the fresh wave of ideas that Rene brings with him to the award-winning Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa.
His 20 years of experience as a hotelier has brought him all over the world, before and after joining the Shangri-La group in 2003. His Southeast Asian experiences with the Shangri-La properties have prepared him for his first post in the Philippines in Shangri-La’s Mactan property.
Pan Seared Scallop on Truffle Scented Polenta Soup with Parmesan Tips followed the appetizer. The scallops were plump, the polenta soup silky. The culinary creations fresh from the market of Italian Executive Sous Chef Paolo Pelosi were delightfully captivating our palates.
In between bites, Rene shared more of his joys as a hotelier in meeting people, interacting with new cultures and mentalities.
The main course was the classic Surf and Turf – Roasted Beef Tenderloin Rossini topped with Foie Gras and Rock Lobster with strawberries and balsamic vinegar.
Tenderloin or Tournedos Rossini is actually a French steak dish pan-fried in butter served on crouton, topped with sinfully delicious foie gras and finished with Madeira demi-glace sauce, which was created for composer Giaochino Rossini by French master chefs.
While enjoying the dessert of Oven Roasted Apple with raisin and Vanilla Ice Cream, Rene said that he is surprised to see the diverse culture in the Philippines and looks forward to showcasing the Filipi no talent, be it in culinary, design, fashion or entertainment.