The highly talented chef first helmed the exquisitely famed Kubu restaurant at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve before tackling the post of executive sous chef for the whole resort. He sat down and talked to Exquisite Taste about his culinary background and goals.
E : When did you first discover you had a passion for cooking?
B: When I was a young boy, my father was in the Indonesian Military. He often had meetings away and my mom would go with him, leaving me and my brothers at home. My mom taught us how to prepare simple meals like nasi goreng, mie goreng, sautéed vegetables and even different varieties of sambal. That was when I discovered my love for cooking. Then I learned how to make more complex meals like rawon, soto ayam Lamongan and many more from my mother.
E: Who or what has been your biggest influence and inspiration?
B: I get inspired from trying new things or sampling unique cuisines, but my biggest inspiration comes from the people who are important in my life and I spend the most time with – my family and my colleagues. Andrea Ferrero – former chef de cuisine at Bvlgari Resort Bali and Maurizio Bombini – former executive chef at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve are also my former colleagues and the chefs that have shaped me into who I am today and who have given me a lot of empowerment in my culinary career.
E: What are the most important factors or philosophies in your career and in the kitchen?
B: “Good is not enough, everything must be excellent.” It’s important to be passionate in what you do, whatever your career is. Every time I create a new dish, a lot of experiments and trials are undertaken before it goes out of the kitchen. We set the standard high and I trust my team will ensure no details are overlooked. Always find ways to be creative and innovative, and I think one of the most important philosophies is to always keep learning.
E: What are some of your most memorable experiences as a chef?
B: After winning the Gold Medal Award in the 11th Indonesian Salon Culinaire last year in 2017, I was honoured to represent Indonesia to compete in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2018, the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world. After many months of preparation, the event took place in Guangzhou, China, in May 2018. Even though I did not win the award, I got to meet so many great chefs around Asia and see the huge development in the culinary world with mind-blowing ideas, and the experience of competing in a world-class competition was just priceless.
E: What are your goals for the property as executive sous chef?
B: To create memorable dining experiences for each of our guests. Be it an authentic Indonesian cuisine experience at Sawah Terrace, a gourmet Mediterranean-European cuisine experience at Kubu or a unique private-dining experience with our Dining Beyond programme.
E: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve come across so far during your time at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and how did you overcome it?
B: I am very blessed in having a solid team, state-of-the-art equipment and fresh ingredients to create exceptional dishes for our guests. Challenges are normal and healthy in keeping us motivated and innovative. One of the challenges perhaps is when you come up with a great idea but others try to copy it. It happens quite often, but I always seek the opportunity and think outside of the box to create something different and innovative.
E: You’ve been through quite a journey as a chef, what future goals do you have that you still want to achieve?
B: My journey still has a long way to go, I still want to grow and develop myself. I would love to compete in more cooking competitions because I love to challenge myself to do better and better. In the long term, my dream is to build my own restaurant and dedicate myself to helping and sharing my experience with the young generation, which is keen on the culinary business.
E: What tips do you have for anyone looking to break into the culinary business?
B: We need to love what we are doing, put our passion into it, always try our very best and push our limits. Failure in experimenting is normal, but getting back up until we succeed is something that we should be proud of – and not everyone is able to pass this process. If we never try we will never know the result. So for anyone that wants to pursue a career in the culinary business, never stop learning, play with the ingredients, experiment and taste – until you get the best result.
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Rack
- 1 slow cooked lamb rack
- 50g slow cooked lamb loin
- 10g yogurt gel
- 10g red capsicum coulis
- 10g pickled vegetable
- 1g black ink garlic
- 10ml Moroccan spice jus
Moroccan spiced marinade
- 1tbsp ground coriander
- 2tsp minced garlic
- 1tsp sweet paprika powder
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground black pepper
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- A pinch of salt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 8tbsp olive oil
- 5g mint
Spiced lamb jus
- 750g lamb jus
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 1tsp paprika powder
Moroccan spiced lamb rack
- In a small bowl, mix together mint, coriander, paprika, garlic, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Marinate the lamb rack with the mixture and cook in a circulator at 58C for 1.5 hours.
- Take lamb out of the circulator. Sear until golden brown, busting with butter, garlic and thyme. Rest it for five minutes before serving.
Spiced lamb jus
- In a small saucepan, boil the lamb jus until reduced from 1 litre to 0.5 litres.
- Heat a small sauté pan. Add the cumin seed and toast until fragrant. Remove and repeat with crushed coriander.
- In a small saucepan, heat the lamb fat. Remove from the heat and add cumin, coriander, paprika and reduced lamb jus. Steep for 20 minutes, strain and season with salt and sugar.
- Spread one tablespoon of red capsicum, eggplant puree and yogurt gel on to a plate and create a rectangular shape.
- Place the lamb rack in the centre of the puree.
- Arrange one piece of parisienne carrot, green and yellow zucchinis, shallot and shimeji mushroom around the lamb.
- Dot one teaspoon of black garlic around the pickle and garnish the plate with nasturtium leaf, red sorrel and begonia flower.
- Place the spiced lamb jus on the side.
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Jalan Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar
Bali 80571, Indonesia