STYLE BUZZ

Asian in­va­sion

Epicure - - CONTENTS -

Ev­ery af­ter­noon, an out­fit­ted mo­tor­bike ar­rives at the kitchen back­door of W Bali – Seminyak. It has one mis­sion: to pick up the re­mains of the day’s tasty food from the re­sort’s break­fast buf­fet. Af­ter care­fully stack­ing a few large con­tain­ers in­side the cooler box, the driver im­me­di­ately heads back to the Schol­ars of Sus­te­nance (SOS) head­quar­ters in Kuta. There, Yuni Der­lean, the foun­da­tion’s food hy­gien­ist checks, weighs and sep­a­rates the food. As more driv­ers ar­rive, the coun­ters are quickly filled with loaded con­tain­ers of sur­plus food, in­clud­ing muffins and fried noo­dles. They are do­nated by ho­tels, food sup­pli­ers, ca­ter­ing com­pa­nies, beach clubs, and a bak­ery who have pledged to as­sist SOS in their food res­cue ef­forts.

First founded by Bo Holm­green in Bangkok be­cause he no­ticed that a lot of good food goes to waste in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, SOS (www.schol­ar­sof­sus­te­nance.org) now op­er­ates in Thai­land and In­done­sia. “How is it pos­si­ble that one third of food pro­duced in the world gets thrown away while there are more than 800 mil­lion peo­ple who don’t get enough food to eat? It just doesn’t seem fair,” says Holm­green.

With a team of 17 peo­ple, SOS distribute­s food to 16 or­phan­ages and foun­da­tions as well as re­mote vil­lages in Karangasem. On av­er­age, SOS res­cues 300 kg of food and pro­vides nu­tri­tive meals to 250 chil­dren ev­ery day.

Other­wise, these foods prob­a­bly just end up in a land­fill, de­com­pos­ing and pro­duc­ing meth­ane, one of the green­house gases that con­trib­utes to cli­mate change. Ac­cord­ing to The In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change (IPCC) re­port, the im­pact of meth­ane gas is 34 times worse than carbon diox­ide over a 100-year pe­riod. Beryl Adler, di­rec­tor of culi­nary at W Bali – Seminyak, is sup­port­ive of this ef­fort. “In­ter­nally, we have al­ready min­imised left­overs from the buf­fet or events by pre­par­ing some of the food à la minute. How­ever, it is un­avoid­able that we would still have ex­tra food and it is won­der­ful to know that it goes to those who need it,” says Adler.

Since join­ing W Bali - Seminyak early this year, Adler has ex­panded the chef’s gar­den and in­cor­po­rated lo­cally sourced pro­duce on the menus. The 326 sq m gar­den is burst­ing with fresh veg­eta­bles, ed­i­ble flow­ers, herbs and sea­sonal fruits. “I use the chef’s gar­den as a tool to ed­u­cate our tal­ents about the ef­fort and the time it takes to grow pro­duce. That way, every­body can learn to re­spect what we have and don’t waste it eas­ily. For ex­am­ple, we grew toma­toes for our new menu three months ago and just one month into it, all the toma­toes sud­denly died. Now, when we get these beau­ti­ful heir­loom toma­toes from our sup­plier, every­body treats it with more re­spect be­cause they know it takes a lot of ef­fort to grow them,” ex­plains Adler, en­forc­ing the fact that ed­u­ca­tion is an in­te­gral part of re­duc­ing food waste.

BE­HIND THE BAR

It’s not just chefs who have heeded the call on sus­tain­abil­ity, the is­land’s top mixol­o­gists are also fol­low­ing their com­rades from the kitchen to cre­ate zero-waste cock­tails and em­brace lo­cally made spir­its.

Ayip Dzuhri is one of them. The head mixol­o­gist of Alila Seminyak, Bali has been reusing, fer­ment­ing, re­cy­cling, and up­cy­cling in­gre­di­ents that would other­wise be marked as waste. At Seasalt, the re­sort’s stylish beach­front din­ing venue, one can sit, en­joy the view and sip on the re­fresh­ing Stretched Pineap­ple. True to its name, the cock­tail uses ev­ery part of the pineap­ple. The meat is used for the juice, its husk for the gar­nish, while the peel is used to make fer­mented tepache, a liq­uid base for the cock­tail. “There are plenty of tri­als and er­rors in­volved in cre­at­ing a zero-waste cock­tail. It does re­quire go­ing the ex­tra mile, but it’s def­i­nitely worth the ef­fort when you know that you cre­ate a so­lu­tion in­stead of prob­lem,” says Dzuhri.

Mean­while, 30km away in Ubud, Spice by Chris Salans of­fers a mod­ern take on two of Bali’s lo­cal spir­its: Arak and Brem. Tra­di­tion­ally used as li­ba­tions on Ba­li­nese cer­e­monies, Arak is a clear spirit dis­tilled from rice con­tain­ing 40 per­cent al­co­hol. Brem is a fer­mented gluti­nous rice wine with five per­cent al­co­hol. Although widely con­sumed by the lo­cals, Arak and Brem were of­ten con­sid­ered nov­elty drinks, some­thing that needs to be tasted when one is hav­ing a hol­i­day in Bali. Arak At­tack, a clas­sic con­coc­tion of Arak and or­ange juice, was an in­sep­a­ra­ble part of vis­it­ing Bali in the 1980s. For­tu­nately, creative mixol­o­gists from Bali have come a long way since then. At Spice by Chris Salans, one can order a re­fresh­ingly sour Arak Tiki, a cock­tail made of Arak, Brem, kaf­fir, cala­mansi, car­damom syrup, clar­i­fied cit­rus, and An­gos­tura Bit­ters. The bar also of­fers fruit in­fused Arak, prov­ing that with cre­ativ­ity, lo­cal spir­its can cre­ate tan­ta­lis­ing cock­tails.

GO­ING FULL CIR­CLE

De­spite host­ing six mil­lion vis­i­tors an­nu­ally and hous­ing 4.5 mil­lion lo­cal res­i­dents, Bali still badly lacks the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture to man­age its waste. Most of it ends up in land­fills and it is left to each in­di­vid­ual busi­ness to sep­a­rate and man­age its own garbage. Water­bom Bali, a high-thrill wa­ter park, has suc­cess­fully re­cy­cled 80 per­cent of its waste through on-site com­post­ing, pig farm feed­ing and work­ing with a third party re­cy­cling com­pany. Only 19 per­cent of its waste goes to land­fill. It is no small feat con­sid­er­ing it serves up to 2,000 meals a day dur­ing the peak sea­son.

Fol­low­ing its mis­sion to re­duce their en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print, the leafy wa­ter park has in­vested in Cer­ti­fied Emis­sions Re­duc­tion Pro­ject ap­proved by the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC). From min­imis­ing wa­ter us­age to cre­at­ing a bet­ter waste man­age­ment, it mon­i­tors ev­ery en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact closely.

The same at­ten­tion also goes to its three F&B out­lets, food court, café, juice bar, and pool bar which are man­aged by an ex­pe­ri­enced caterer, M&M Food Cou­ture. In an ef­fort to sat­isfy all palates, one can find a flavour­ful serv­ing of Pad See Ew at Thaital­ian, savour Av­o­cado Cheese Melt Sand­wich at Bali Ba­nana, en­joy a spicy thigh of Ja­maican Jerk Chicken at The Shack, or sim­ply get­ting a bit of every­thing from the food court’s In­done­sian, Ja­panese and Mex­i­can of­fer­ings. “Most of our in­gre­di­ents are lo­cally sourced, or­ganic, non-gmo, and no MSG. We min­imise our food waste by turn­ing our cuts and peels into broth. We plan our menus care­fully, work­ing closely with our sup­pli­ers to dis­cour­age sin­gle-use plas­tic pack­ag­ing, and turn what­ever we have left to com­post,” ex­plains Michael Szarata, owner and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of M&M Food Cou­ture.

SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY ON ALL FRONTS

There is a wise Ba­li­nese phi­los­o­phy that has been put into prac­tice at both Four Sea­sons Re­sort Bali at Sayan and Four Sea­sons Re­sorts Bali at Jim­baran Bay. Over the years, the two re­sorts have im­ple­mented a strong pol­icy on sus­tain­able sourc­ing and waste man­age­ment based on the phi­los­o­phy called Tri Hita Karana. It trans­lates as the ‘three causes of well-be­ing and hap­pi­ness’ and guides many as­pects of Ba­li­nese life when it comes to keep­ing the bal­ance with God, peo­ple and na­ture. Only by hav­ing a har­mo­nious re­la­tion with all three causes will mankind achieve hap­pi­ness and well-be­ing.

Work­ing with lo­cal ar­ti­sans, farm­ers and food pro­duc­ers is a pri­or­ity of the two ho­tels’ pur­chas­ing depart­ment. An ap­pointed en­vi­ron­men­tal and sus­tain­abil­ity man­ager is hired to en­gage with all stake­hold­ers, au­dit the third par­ties and ven­dors, and make sure sus­tain­abil­ity is thor­oughly im­ple­mented in both re­sorts.

At the Jim­baran Bay prop­erty, for in­stance, the re­sort sources its cof­fee from a Fair Trade farmer’s co­op­er­a­tive named su-re.co in North Bali and fully sup­port su-re.co’s ef­forts in adopt­ing cli­mate smart agri­cul­tural prac­tices and as­sist­ing lo­cal farm­ers. The in­room cof­fee capsules are biodegrad­able and packed by a women’s co­op­er­a­tive in the ru­ral area of Bali and West Java by Java Moun­tain Cof­fee. Sin­gle-use plas­tic us­age is re­duced in the kitchens and din­ing ar­eas to an ex­tent that the re­sort is now bot­tling their own drink­ing wa­ter.

A visit to Jala Cook­ing Academy at Jim­baran takes one to ex­pe­ri­ence the rich­ness of In­done­sian culi­nary her­itage through dishes that use 100 per­cent lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents. Helmed by head chef Anak Agung Kristya Yudha, par­tic­i­pants of the cook­ing course tour the neigh­bour­ing fish mar­ket, pick some lemon­grass and chill­ies in the re­sort’s three hectares of per­ma­cul­ture gar­den and learn how to make Sun­danese Crispy Fried Fish with Pick­led Veg­eta­bles and Hot Sour Sauce, one of the recipes taught in the pro­fes­sional kitchen. The used cook­ing oil is sent to Lengis Hi­jau (www.lengishi­jau.or.id), a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that man­u­fac­tures bio­fuel as a sub­sti­tute of fos­sil fu­els. “Sourc­ing lo­cally and im­ple­ment­ing sus­tain­able prac­tices should al­ways come first. It should no longer be a mar­ket­ing gim­mick. Be­ing sus­tain­able at all fronts should be the new nor­mal,” states ex­ec­u­tive chef Philip Tay­lor.

Find out more about Schol­ars of Sus­te­nance (SOS) and how to sup­port their food res­cue foun­da­tion at www.schol­ar­sof­sus­te­nance.or.

Yayasan Lengis Hi­jau pro­vides a sus­tain­able cook­ing oil re­cy­cling so­lu­tion. Find out more about their pro­gramme at www.lengishi­jau.or.id

Food res­cue is un­der­way for Schol­ars of Sus­te­nance in the kitchen of W Bali - Seminyak

W Bali - Seminyak’s di­rec­tor of culi­nary, Beryl Adler in the chef’s gar­den

Ayip Dzuhri’s con­stant ex­per­i­men­ta­tion

Spice by Chris Salans’ Arak and Brem

The Stretched Pineap­ple at Seasalt, Alila Seminyak, Bali

Esarn Grill at Thaital­ian restau­rant is made of grilled fresh catch of the day and sticky rice.

The food served at Water­bom Bali is lo­cally and or­gan­i­cally sourced to en­sure its fresh­ness and qual­ity.

More than 50 per­cent of Water­bom Bali is made of green space with ex­ten­sive tree cov­er­age from in­dige­nous species.

Jala Cook­ing Academy

The per­ma­cul­ture gar­den sup­plies the re­sort’s cook­ing classes.

Made from lo­cal straw­berry and lime, the Straw­berry Makrut Lime is served at the Jim­baran Bay prop­erty.

Four Sea­sons Re­sort Bali at Jim­baran Bay’s ex­ec­u­tive chef Philip Tay­lor

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