“I’m always feeling inspired, developing new desserts and trying new recipes" Francesco Mannino

The Staff Canteen

Uniting unique global flavour combinations with beautifully crafted patisserie feeds the passion and dedication of Francesco Mannino, Executive Pastry Chef at Pan Pacific London.

Written by: 
Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe

Mention early childhood memories of cooking to Francesco, and it’s his grandmother who first comes to mind, sparking joyful moments of nostalgia and aspiration in the kitchen. “She taught me lots of tricks and tips which inspired me to become a chef,” Francesco says.

Pursuing his passion has given him the opportunity to travel the world. “It has been really exciting, taught me a lot and continues to inspire me,” Francesco shares. Spending time in Asia later in life also influenced Francesco’s fine patisserie recipes.

“I would describe my culinary style as clean, sober, minimalist and flavourful,” Francesco notes. These attributes also translate into what a good service looks and feels like for Francesco. A good service is fast, clean and efficient, he relays, with the team working quickly and collaboratively together to deliver exquisite patisserie and desserts that consistently meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

Many memorable moments

From pursuing creations in his grandmother’s kitchen to scaling the culinary heights of fine dining to becoming the Executive Pastry Chef at Pan Pacific London, Francesco has gathered many pinch-me moments during the various evolutions of his culinary chapters, thus far.

Francesco Mannino Pan Pacific

Opening his own bakery in Seoul with his wife has been one of those career defining highs. “Living and working as a pastry chef in Asia has greatly influenced my own technique; I love the refined yet minimalist style of Asian patisserie,” says Francesco.

With such a long and varied career so far, landing on one stand-out career high was always going to be hard. Writing his cookbook, Modern Italian Desserts and winning ‘Dessert Of The Year’ in the UK in 2005 stand out too. “This was a fantastic experience; I loved the thrill of the competition,” says Francesco.

His latest culinary chapter has seen Francesco head up the renowned patisserie venues at luxury 5* hotel, Pan Pacific London. “Of course, most recently joining Pan Pacific London as Executive Pastry Chef is a great honour and achievement,” he emphasises.

Luxurious Singaporean-London fusion recipes

Standing out from its luxuriant London neighbours, guests can expect unique flavour combinations and beautifully crafted patisserie at Pan Pacific London. Their exquisite creations are always served with special Asian twists and touches in homage to Pan Pacific London’s Singaporean roots.

Described as a luxuriant haven in the heart of the capital, Pan Pacific London is home to signature restaurant Straits Kitchen, showcasing Southeast Asian dining, Ginger Lily, a lively cocktail bar and The Orchid Lounge, a timeless, elegant living room serving Kopi Tiam, its bespoke Singaporean-inspired afternoon tea alongside seasonal, themed and elegant patisseries.

“I’m always feeling inspired, developing new desserts and trying new recipes,” says Francesco. Guests can therefore expect creative and elegant treats at SHIOK!, a stunning seasonal afternoon tea experience at The Orchid Lounge, and refined desserts at Straits Kitchen. “We have an extremely versatile and varied offering which caters to diverse audiences and visitors,” says Francesco.

Francesco Mannino Pan Pacific

Celebrating its third year of luxurious culinary experiences

Open for a little over two years, the luxury Forbes five-starred rated property, Pan Pacific London, opened in September 2021. “The offerings across all outlets are refined, considered, seasonal and beautifully presented,” Francesco celebrates.

Pan Pacific London has three pastry kitchens, and at the helm of its bakery are two chefs, Nicola and Meng, who work three days a week from 4 am until 12.30 pm to oversee breakfast for Straits Kitchen, The Orchid Lounge, and SHIOK!.

SHIOK!, the property’s elegant patisserie, brings Western flavours with an Asian twist to the capital, offering a range of breakfast pastries and choices which can be enjoyed alongside coffee or aromatic loose-leaf tea blends, more suitable for guests on the go and ideal for morning meetings.

In the afternoon, a varied selection of patisserie, sweet treats and impressive, handmade celebration cakes in various flavours can be enjoyed in-store, collected to take away or delivered straight to your door.

Francesco Mannino Pan Pacific

For a relaxed evening experience, guests can visit Ginger Lily Bar, which is open Monday to Friday from 3 pm to to 2 am and Saturday from 1 pm to to 2 am, along with its Silverleaf Bar, available Sunday to Monday from 5 pm to midnight and Tuesday to Saturday from 5 pm – 2 am.

Guests at Pan Pacific London can also enjoy in-room dining, available 24 hours a day, and immerse themselves in true escapism at the luxury venue’s Sensory Wellbeing Floor from 6:30 am to 9 pm.

Quality, with every creation, for every customer

Pan Pacific London operates with an extensive food and beverage team, with 85 employees in its front-of-house operations, 43 in its back-of-house team, and 31 in its event operations and banqueting.

“At Pan Pacific London, we are meticulous when it comes to training the team, prepping and ensuring everyone is briefed and well-versed with the right tools, techniques and equipment,” says Francesco. “I ensure that the team is clear on roles and responsibilities, designated duties and specific jobs, which means that the kitchen can run a streamlined service and efficient production line and deliver consistent, high-quality product across the board,” Francesco adds.

The 5* venue’s team members unite to serve Pan Pacific London’s various outlet capacities across its pastry kitchen, restaurants and bars. Straits Kitchen provides high-end food and beverages all day and has the potential to a total of 122 seated and 180 standing guests.

Its team serves breakfast Monday to Friday from 6.30 am to 10.30 am and Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 11 am, lunch on Monday through to Saturday from 12 pm to 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 3.30 pm. Guests can enjoy dinner from Monday to Saturday at 5.30 pm to 10 pm, and Sunday 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm. The venue’s accompanying Straits Bar can serve 30 seated and 50 standing guests.

In Straits Kitchen and banqueting work in the central pastry kitchen, Beth Dove overlooks the section with five chefs. The shifts are 8 am to 4.30 pm for Straits lunch and breakfast functions, 10 am to 6.30 pm for banquet and 2.30 pm to 11.30 pm for the late shift for dinner desserts in Straits.

Afternoon tea is served in The Orchid Lounge and SHIOK!, with Lucy Cloves heading up the kitchen and four chefs working on rotation. They have two shift types that run from 8 am to 4.30 pm and 9.30 am to 6 pm.

Francesco Mannino Pan Pacific

The Orchid Lounge, known for its seasonally changing afternoon tea collections, serves the British favourite from Thursday to Monday from 12 pm to 5 pm and Twilight Tea on Mondays from 6 pm to 8 pm. The venue is open from Monday to Sunday, 7 am to 10 pm, with the capacity to serve 48 seated and 70 standing customers.

At SHIOK!, the most popular items on its menu are its macaroons, which sell well, while the cube croissant is particularly popular in the morning. SHIOK! seats 25 guests and allows for 40 standing. It is open from Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm and Saturday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Collaboration, commitment and communication

Pursuing and attaining balance in their creations is a core challenge in the pastry sector. “We always strive for consistency, this is so important for pastry chefs, especially when working on delicate patisserie,” says Francesco. So is communication. “Effective communication is vital when working in a kitchen, as this can prevent challenges from cropping up day-to-day,” adds Francesco.

Francesco Mannino Pan Pacific

Pan Pacific London strives to create a personalised experience and tailored services daily across all its food and beverage outlets and the hotel itself. “We want to ensure that all guests leave Pan Pacific London with a memorable experience that is unapparelled when it comes to luxury service,” says Francesco.

“Work hard and be open to learning always,” are Francesco’s words of advice for aspiring pastry chefs wanting to traverse the path towards luxury patisserie. “It’s a very rewarding industry, but you have to be prepared to put in the time to learn from others, listen to feedback and keep learning and refining your skills,” he adds.

Francesco Mannino Pan Pacific


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th February 2024

“I’m always feeling inspired, developing new desserts and trying new recipes" Francesco Mannino