Swiss for My Sweets: Indulging in the Best Switzerland has to Offer

Marco Polo  Ortigas  Manila’s “All Things Swiss” was an afternoon delight replete with Swiss cheeses, Swiss cuisine, wine, and music, in celebration of its 725th National Swiss Day and presented in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland. Swiss partners, media, and society gathered at the Marco Polo Ballroom for the event, as master of ceremonies Rapha Kiefer, a Swiss himself, and the hotel’s Swiss general manager Frank Reichenbach welcomed Embassy of Switzerland’s deputy head of Mission, Raoul Imbach. For the traditional cutting of the Swiss cheese, they were joined by Samuel Po, Lt. Col. Patrick Boratel, Xin Tian, and celebrity guest Sarah Lahbati.

In his welcome speech, GM Frank Reichenbach said: “I am a Swiss national, (I was) raised and grew up in Switzerland. It is a country that is known for its stunning mountains and majestic views. Through its towns lies and lives the culture of Switzerland, something that is simple, but rich. For us to celebrate this special day for Switzerland, we are very happy to share the culture that I have always loved.”

Switzerland’s culture has influenced the world, one of which is folk arts; and the Swiss nationals keep these alive through poetry, visual arts, and music. The country is multicultural and, with its cultural diversity, various cultures, and different dialects, it is much like the Philippines. This noontime feast was one of the more enjoyable ways of indulging one’s self in a foreign culture.

The Swiss Army Band performed center stage with its opening number of both the Philippine and Swiss national anthems and their repertoire ranged from Swiss tunes to classics and Broadway. The band consisted of 14 talented musicians arranged by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the chief of the Armed Forces, Lt. General Andre Blattman headed by Lt. Col Patrick Robatel. It was their third leg of its Asian tour having come from Beijing, Seoul, and Singapore.

Executed by Marco Polo’s chefs, the menu of Swiss specialties included beef carpaccio with beef tartar, quail egg, mache leaves, veal zurichoise with roesti, plum tart with vanilla schnapps, and whipped cream. The festival lasted two weeks with guest Swiss chef Rolf Jaeggi from Marco Polo Hong Kong, who held a cooking class of Swiss favorites. A wine dinner with a special four-course set menu was offered at Cucina. Also featured at the food festival was a lunch and dinner buffet with a splendid selection of Swiss dishes, Swiss cheeses, and wine, all these while soaking in the scenic view.



Lt. Col. Patrick Robatel; Samuel Po; Deputy Head of Mission, Raoul Imbach; Marco Polo Ortigas Manila General Manager Frank Reichenbach with the Swiss Army Band
Connie Haw, Mia Borromeo, Sheree Chua and the author
Tessie Tan, Arlene Chan, Josie Go, Sarah Lahbati, Elsa Ang and Annabelle Rama
Pitang Tiongson, Baby Antonio, Roselle Rebaño and Judith Los Baños
Swiss Embassy Diana Chua, The Manila Times Blanca Mercado and Carlo Orosa
Raymond Villanueva and Ayna Ong
Asian Development Bank’s Peter Marro. Sarah Marro, and Johaness Schneider
Erhan Balaban, Asian Development Bank’s Daniel Hueberger and Swiss Embassy Luis Mendez
Turkish Airlines Shiela Dato, Pinky Umarga, Samuel Po and Elaine Po
Cutting of cheese to mark the launch of “All Things Swiss” with Swiss Army Band’s Lt. Col. Patrick Robatel, Samuel Po, Sarah Lahbati, Raoul Imbach and Frank Reichenbach
Master of Ceremony Rapha Keifer, right with Renee Salud
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s chefs and banquets team
A group picture with some of the guests
The Swiss Army Band
Rupert Jacinto with the Swiss Cheeses
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Director of Restaurants, Bars and Events Mirko De Giorgi, Director of Rooms Marlon Guevarra, Frontier Ortigas Hotel and Resort Corp. President Lily Pedrosa, Stephanie Po, Karl Po and Resident Manager Mike Yutuc
Johnny Litton
The Manila Times Blanca Mercado
Swiss cuisine: Swiss Barley Soup with Herbs and Air Dried Beef, Beef Carpaccio with Beef Tartar, Quail Egg, Mache Leaves, Veal Zurichoise with Roesti potatoes
Humagne Rouge, Grand Metral
The Dessert with the flag of Switzerland.