Executive Sous Chef: Jerome Rezel

Executive Sous Chef: Jerome Rezel

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Singaporean Jerome Rezel found his passion for cooking at college and his enthusiasm and drive has seen him rapidly move from peeling vegetables to working in notable restaurants alongside a Michelin-starred chef and a celebrity chef. Now executive chef at Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu, Exquisite Taste talked to Jerome about his career.


E: How did you get into cooking?  Has it been a life-long passion?
Jerome Rezel: No, not at all! During my national service in Singapore I was friends with a chef who encouraged me to study culinary arts at SHATEC, which is what started me on this path.

E: So there was no family background of cooking?
J: My grandma is a really good cook, she’s Eurasian with Dutch and Portuguese blood and her cooking is similar to peranakan style with lots of spices and coconut. I learned a lot from her and treat her recipes like gold; they still inspire me today.

E: Italian cuisine seems to be one of your passions; did you start out with Western cooking?
J: My first job was in a Chinese kitchen and all I did was peel and chop vegetables! None of the chefs spoke to me at all until they eventually realized that I really did want to learn and started sharing their knowledge.

After that, I moved to Garibaldi, an Italian fine-dining restaurant that won a Michelin star this year. Then I went to Etna, another Italian restaurant, where I also learned a lot. I’ve worked on several pre-opening and opening teams and had a lot of fun.

E: So how did you end up in Bali?
J: I really admire Jamie Oliver and when I heard Jamie’s Italian was opening in Singapore I went straight there to apply. I just knocked on the door and asked to see the head chef. It turned out that recruitment had ended, but I kept waiting to see him. It was worth it though as I ended up being the final recruit. When Jamie’s Italian was slated to open in Bali, I was asked to join the opening team and jumped at the chance.

E: You’re at Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu overseeing Filini and Artichoke, as well as banqueting and events; it’s pretty different from being a restaurant chef in Kuta.
J: Yes, it is! In Uluwatu, guests are looking for more luxury, a quiet escape from everything and we’re cooking for a lot more people. I like it. I have a wonderful team in the kitchen who are very passionate about what they’re doing and always looking to improve. I also have quite a lot of freedom to create menus and bring my own style to the food.

E: What is your cooking style?
J: It’s very mixed. My mum is Chinese and my dad Eurasian, I refer to myself as rujak – a mix of everything, which is reflected in the flavours of food that I present. I love comfort foods that make people happy. Food is meant to be enjoyed, it should taste so good that you want to pick up the plate and lick it clean.

E: Would you share the food concepts at Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu?
J: Artichoke is our Indonesian and international all-day dining venue, while Filini is our signature Italian restaurant. We’re serving rustic, family food that is all about flavour and get a lot of walk-in guests, as well as hotel guests. I really like our working lunch here, too. We fill the whole centre table with wraps, salads in a jar, sandwiches, chips in a bag, so you can just grab and go. We also have some cool themes for events – like the blue theme where everything is blue.

E: So, what do you like to eat?
J: You’ll laugh – I love nasi jinggo! You just grab a packet when you’re driving home, it’s just so good.


Lamb Pappardelle

INGREDIENTS:

Lamb Ragu

  • 10g garlic
  • 5ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1kg lamb shank
  • 1kg lamb, minced
  • 300g orange
  • 5g thyme leaf
  • 5g rosemary leaf
  • 20ml red wine
  • 300g carrots
  • 300g leek
  • 300g onion
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 300g tomato paste
  • 2l tomato, peeled

METHOD:

  1. Pan sear the lamb shank and cook the minced lamb.
  2. Add herbs, carrots, leek and onions, then sauté until nicely sweated.
  3. Add red wine and reduce sauce.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook on low heat until slightly darkened.
  5. Add peeled tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  6. Transfer to a 1/1 Gastro / pot and make sure the lamb shanks are fully submerged.
  7. Cover with aluminium foil, slow cook at 140C for 4 hours, checking every hour to ensure there is still stock.
  8. Once ready, cool and shred the lamb shank.
  9. Strain herbs and mirepoix. Reduce until sauce thickens.

INGREDIENTS:

Lamb Pappardelle

  • 5g garlic
  • 100g lamb ragu base
  • 10g butter
  • 2g chopped parsley
  • 5ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30ml vegetable stock
  • 10ml red wine
  • 10g parmesan cheese
  • 2g salt
  • 2g pepper
  • 5g herby gremolata
  • 150g pasta of your choice

METHOD:

  1. Heat pan, add butter, garlic and red wine and reduce.
  2. Add lamb ragu and vegetable stock, season well.
  3. Cook pasta then add to sauce.
  4. Toss well and plate.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil, aged parmesan and herby gremolata.

Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu
Jalan Pemutih, Labuan Sait, Uluwatu
Bali 80364, Indonesia
T: (+62)3613008888
E: rhi_rdbu@radisson.com
radissonblu.com


Exquisite Taste March – May 2019

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