Latest Stories

Old Manila’s new chef serves up surprises


Manila Peninsula has a new chef—Samuel Linder. Some of you may know him from Aubergine fame, and if you do, expect plenty of good things.

Linder, originally from the small village by the lake of Brienz in the center of Switzerland, is now Old Manila’s chef de cuisine.

For 10 years, he was head chef of the Swiss army, leading a team of 12. He has also worked at Conrad Hotel in London, Burj al Arab in Dubai, and Aubergine and ISCAHM (International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management).

So how does one revise a menu very familiar to its regular clients?

“There are some classics I kept such as the Rossini and Surf and Turf,” Linder said. “However, I changed or transformed most of the dishes based on the availability and quality of food products.”

Linder said he believes that the main ingredient, be it lobster or steak, should be the star. He explained he cooks his food accordingly, choosing the right cooking techniques to accentuate flavor, texture and color.

We were recently treated to a night of taste-testing his newest menu additions. We started with a small bite of Pounded Sako Tuna with Roasted Lemon Cream, accompanied by a tasting portion of Pan-seared Foie Gras, a combination Linder loves both in terms of taste and texture.

The second course was an Alaskan king crab served two ways. One was a hot, creamy cake and the other a cold dish topped with compressed fruit tartar, both served with Golden trout Caviar.

The third course was Espellette Chili-Jam Glazed Lobster and Seared Arctic Scallops, comprised of surprisingly small but no less tasty lobsters served with lemon beurre blanc and carrot mousseline.

Our main course was a Duo of Australian Lamb, cooked perfectly pink and juicy and accompanied by potato gratin, eggplant caviar and zucchini and chorizo ragout.

This was followed by Caramelized Goat Cheese with Truffle, scented honey, bourbon, vanilla crème fraiche and blueberry compote, or in other words, heaven on a plate.

Lastly, dessert was a wonderful surprise of Dark Swiss chocolate bar served with orange, sprinkled with Peruvian pink salt and rose peppercorn. It was a wonderful medley of unexpected flavors that was a perfect ending to an already satisfying meal.

For those planning to visit Old Manila, expect familiar tastes with unexpected twists and turns that will never leave your taste buds bored.

Linder is a fan of Filipino food, singling out adobo, sinigang, kaldereta and chicken tinola among his local favorites. “I love the tuna, lapu-lapu and prawns here,” he said. ” I realized if you source the products right, you will be satisfied with the quality and value for money.”

“The same goes for salad greens and veggies,” he continued. “I am constantly in touch with organic farms to find out what can be grown locally to lessen having to import products and also to help the local economy.”

“I often eat sandwiches, maybe because of the stressful job and not enough time to eat,” Linder said. “At home I love clear soups and pasta.”

Linder has always been fascinated with flavors and food and was motivated to cook at home at a very young age by his father, who was the main cook in their house. “The final decision to become a chef was more of a coincidence,” he said. “I needed to do something with my hands where I needed to be under pressure.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: chef de cuisine , chef Samuel Linder , lake Brienz , Manila Peninsula , Old Manila , Switzerland

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks