UP CLOSE & PER­SONAL

Exquisite Taste - - Contents - By Amanda O’Connor

Meet the highly tal­ented chefs in the re­gion, from Chris Salans and Nic Philip in Bali to Che­ung Siu Kong in Sin­ga­pore.

Raised with a strong food cul­ture, Chris Salans trained at Le Cor­don Bleu in Paris, took in­tern­ships at Miche­lin-starred restau­rants in France and worked for renowned chefs in Amer­ica be­fore de­vel­op­ing a love of Asian cui­sine. Since mov­ing to Bali, he has never stopped ex­plor­ing the fas­ci­nat­ing aro­mas, flavours and lo­cal pro­duce found in In­done­sia, open­ing Mozaic in Ubud to bring his pas­sion for im­bu­ing haute cui­sine tech­niques and pre­sen­ta­tion with these dis­cov­er­ies. Chris’ drive for per­fect ex­e­cu­tion and his ta­lent for in­ge­nious cre­ations have seen Mozaic gain in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion, listed in the Miele Guides Top 10 in Asia, Les Gran­des Tables du Monde and named Best Restau­rant in the 2018 World Gourmet Sum­mit.

: You lead a very busy life. In ad­di­tion to Mozaic, over the years you've been in­volved in all kinds of other projects, in­clud­ing TV shows, writ­ing a cook book, culi­nary man­age­ment, as well as open­ing Mozaic Beach Club and Spice. What are you fo­cus­ing on now?

A: I've been con­cen­trat­ing on achiev­ing bal­ance! I've been work­ing since I was 18 and Mozaic has been open for 17 years, so I de­cided it was time to take bet­ter care of my­self and of my fam­ily. This meant clos­ing two of my Spice restau­rants. I'm keep­ing the con­cept alive and had re­ceived of­fers to take it to Prague and Am­s­ter­dam, but I needed to slow down. In fu­ture, I en­vis­age Spice do­ing well in New York, Paris, Am­s­ter­dam as it's a dis­cov­ery of In­done­sian flavours in fun com­fort food that suits Western­ers, but that's a fu­ture dream.

: Have you al­ways had a lot of dreams? A: Yes! I'd love to cre­ate a cook­ing school to teach In­done­sians to cook to the level

of Mozaic, I've al­ways had a pas­sion for teach­ing but it's a huge project and I can't do it alone. We've started farm­ing, imag­ine be­ing able to sup­ply pro­duce across In­done­sia – there's amaz­ing pro­duce in In­done­sia, from the ocean to the moun­tains. How­ever, al­though I have the means to put my dreams into ac­tion, I don't have the en­ergy to do them all. Maybe my son will be ready to help me some­day.

: So you're con­cen­trat­ing on Mozaic now?

A: I have a great team here so I'm try­ing to em­power them to run the show. It's a fine line to bal­ance at this level. Mozaic is the way it is be­cause of the metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail, be­cause of how I am, but at the same time you have to let your team have creative in­put other­wise they get bored.

: Why have you de­cided to open for lunch?

A: We've cre­ated a unique ex­pe­ri­ence with our chefs cook­ing live in the show kitchen. It pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity for din­ers to have an el­e­gant meal, dis­cover new in­gre­di­ents and watch the chefs putting their meal to­gether. We of­fer five- and seven-course tast­ing menus, which is a bit shorter than at din­ner, and means that lunch takes be­tween 90 min­utes and two hours; this makes a visit to Mozaic more ac­ces­si­ble to vis­i­tors tak­ing day trips around Bali.

: The menus at Mozaic are al­ways chang­ing, why is that?

A: Us­ing lo­cal, sea­sonal pro­duce was part of my train­ing. Since the begin­ning, I've ex­plored the farms and the mar­kets, and my staff keep on bring­ing me new things to try. I still love the creative chal­lenge of mar­ry­ing lo­cal spices and pro­duce with West­ern tech­niques and I'm still dis­cov­er­ing new things even af­ter all these years. I'm re­ally happy to be di­rectly in­flu­enc­ing what's hap­pen­ing in the kitchen again.

Mozaic (mozaic-bali.com)

38

CHRIS SALANS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.