Dining at the newly-opened Hilton Manila promises to be a gastronomical journey. Behind the hotel’s innovative Food and Beverage outlets is Executive Chef Dennis Leslie.
“We are glad to have Chef Dennis Leslie in Hilton Manila. His culinary background is backed with a fine dining experience, having worked in five star and luxury branded hotels and restaurants around Europe and Australia. Leslie is an Australian with Filipino roots. This is his “homecoming” to the Philippines to introduce new and exciting flavors and cuisines”, said Simon McGrath, General Manager, Hilton Manila.
An experienced chef and hospitality professional, Leslie has over 21 years of global experience in the hospitality industry. He had worked in some of the elite and high-profile establishments in the world with the finest chefs and the most savvy business professionals. He mastered the precision of Michelin Star quality cooking and discipline in Ireland under the guidance of Chef Christophe Gravois. He had also worked for French-born British chef, Raymond Blanc, in England and in Edinburgh at a restaurant frequented by royalties and celebrities. Prior to joining Hilton Manila, Leslie was part of the pre-opening team in the position of Executive Chef and Manager at the Adelaide Oval, one of the largest Food and Beverage providers in South Australia. He also worked at luxury hotels and restaurants in Australia and Europe, namely the Four Seasons Hotel, Hilton Adelaide, Rydges Hotel, Blanco Group, Montpelliers and Le Cordon Bleu Australia.
The style and dishes on Chef Dennis’ menu incorporate a number of influences – from his strong Filipino heritage to international culinary exposure to various French cooking techniques. In the role of Executive Chef in Hilton Manila, Leslie will create a Food and Beverage experience that focuses on healthy and nutritious food, utilizing ingredients that are locally sourced, sustainable and organic where possible, cooking with a local flavor. He heads Hilton Manila’s F&B team in its various outlets: Kusina, an all-day dining restaurant with interactive kitchens; Hua Ting, a restaurant that specializes in authentic Shanghainese cuisine; and Madison, modern café lounge that captures the urban view of New York City. Hilton Manila also has Freestyle Pool Bar, a swim-up bar that serves snacks and Port Bar ideal for pre- and post-dinner cocktails.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Hilton Manila team. It’s my first time to work in the Philippines and I’m not only here to share my culinary expertise but also to go back to my roots. My team and I have introduced an exciting line-up of signature dishes and drinks in our food and beverage outlets. We’ve gone back to the basics by using traditional methods of cooking, no shortcuts. We’re making use of the freshest locally sourced ingredients to help local farmers and promote sustainability, as well as advocating healthier dining,” quipped Leslie.