White Christmas at Mandarin Oriental

Tis’ the season to be jolly, and Mandarin Oriental knows how to make it the jolliest with an outstanding Christmas spread, exclusively for the holiday season!

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Tis’ the season to be jolly, and Mandarin Oriental knows how to make it the jolliest with an outstanding Christmas spread, exclusively for the holiday season!

A ‘WHITE’ CHRISTMAS typically means snowy weather on Christmas Day, where you wake up on Christmas morning to find a blanket of bright, white snow outside your window. Although residing just below the equator doesn’t really allow us to associate a ‘white’ Christmas with snow, we can certainly enjoy everything else about the season in this tropical weather, especially the food!

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Showing how to celebrate the festivities with mouth-watering and popular Christmas-y food are the talented chefs of Mandarin Oriental, Executive Chef Cyril Calmet and Executive Pastry Chef Remi Martinazzo.

“Christmas is all about spending time with the family and eating together! I would go to the markets and cook all day with my mom to prepare for the feast,” said family man Chef Cyril, who was inspired to become a chef by his mother’s cooking.

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“We didn’t come from a wealthy family so for the holidays, I would remember having lots of tasty simple food, for example, foie gras and the leftovers with some bread the next day. But, when we get the opportunity, we love splurging on some seafood!” shared the chef who have spent Christmas away from his hometown in southern France for almost seven years.

Some of the popular Christmas dishes included in the spread, prepared by the masterful hands of  Cyril, are good ol’ turkey, tender beef tenderloin, delicate scallop with cauliflower and lemon, and a marvelous choice of fresh seafood like lobster, clams, crabs, prawns and so much more. Expect to be offered this wonderful array of dishes in the Christmas brunch menu too!

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“Since Christmas is one of the busiest time of the year, hoteliers like us often work during the holiday season,” said Marc Epper, F&B Director of Mandarin Oriental, who has been away from Christmas in Switzerland for more than a decade. He recollects celebrating Christmas in a winter chalet at Grindelwald with his family, where they would eat hearty meals, bake Christmas cookies together and keep warm. “Christmas is the only time our parents would allow us to overload on food, especially with my favorites like Nurnberger sausages and lembkuchen (baked German sweet treats).”

Speaking of sweet, it is impossible to celebrate Christmas without desserts, especially since gaining all that holiday weight is only worth it when a variety of scrumptious desserts are involved. Prepare your loosest pants to indulge in some of these traditional Christmas desserts in Mandarin Oriental, prepared by the talented Chef Remi, such as chocolate hazelnut or vanilla chestnut and redcurrant Yule log cakes, pink praline brioche, assorted macaroons, ginger bread cookies and chocolate spheres (inspired by Christmas ornaments!) stuffed with ginger bread cream, scented dark chocolate mousse and cherry gel.

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“Back home, Christmas is all about food with the family! We would prepare about 12 to 14 courses and mulled wine for the celebration,” said Remi, who was born in Paris, France. He adds that most of the dishes would depend on seasonal products like pears, apples and chestnuts. “I used to spend Christmas day waiting for Santa Claus to drop off my gifts, until I realized my mother was the Santa Claus, since then I started spending the day helping around in the kitchen,” said the jovial chef.

So this December, trade snowy Christmas for a bright and sunny one while enjoying some lip-smacking good food in Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta


Written by Divya Pridhnani Photographs by Dennie Ramon December 5, 2016.

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