A respected and much-loved figure in the culinary world, Agung Gede barely needs further introduction. As the executive chef of The St. Regis Bali Resort for many years, he has won the hearts of many discerning diners and, yes, awards and accolades too. Now that he is spending more time at home, he shared his favourite activities, as well as a recipe too!
Q: How has the stay-at-home situation changed your daily activities?
A: There have been quite some changes, obviously I spend more time at home now, although the hotel is still open. The positive outcome of this situation is that I get to spend more time with my children, as opposed to when I spent more time at work.
Q: What kind of activities do you do now that you spend more time at home?
A: I like being busy, that’s what keeps me motivated. I like to keep in touch with my team and to motivate them, it’s really important for me to strengthen their mentality. I also like to share some food pictures on my social media to fill my time. Cooking is not only my profession but also my hobby, so that’s what I do at home, and I get the chance to teach my kids to cook something simple and basic, and more importantly, to have fun doing it too.
Q: What kind of dishes are you teaching your kids to make?
A: Basic breakfast eggs any style, pasta dishes, and simple baking that we do together. My second son is really into it, while my oldest kid prefers to eat and give his critique. My youngest one is just hungry and asks what we’re cooking all the time. It’s never boring at home.
Q: In a time when it’s important to maintain your health more than ever, how do you stay healthy and stress-free?
A: I believe we have to be able to control our stress level, because otherwise it can negatively affect our immune system. I exercise in the morning by walking around my housing estate for 45 minutes. With the extreme weather we have been having lately, we must remember to drink a lot of water. Eat well, have enough rest, and don’t give in to laziness! Consuming balanced nutrition can help you be fit. Most importantly, don’t forget to maintain personal hygiene.
Q: Is there a simple recipe that you can share with our readers to try at home?
A: I’m currently in the process of making a video series for the St. Regis, Refined Home Cooking by Chef AG, that will be available on the hotel’s Instagram account and YouTube channel. Here, I am going to share a recipe for pan-seared red mullet fillet that you can try at home.
PAN-SEARED RED MULLET FILLET
With Heirloom Tomato, Leek, Shimeji Mushroom, Onion Petal, Cilantro and Lemon Butter Sauce
150g red mullet fillet
1 heirloom tomato
2 organic leeks, steamed and cut in half lengthways
50g shimeji mushrooms, cleaned
½ baby onion
50ml white wine
1 clove of garlic
50g unsalted butter
salt and crushed black pepper
- Season fish with salt and pepper, and pan-sear in olive oil. Make sure the skin is crispy. Turn when the fish is 80 percent cooked and keep to the side of that pan. Add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant. Then add wine, continue with butter and lemon juice. Finish with chopped cilantro. Spoon lemon butter sauce quickly over the fish, then remove from stove.
- Heat pan and add olive oil. Pan-sear tomato first until it is well roasted. Do the same for the mushrooms, onion and leek, then season with salt and crushed black pepper.
- Arrange the vegetables on the plate and place the fish on top. Drizzle with lemon butter sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Notes from the chef:
- All the ingredients should be based on what is currently available in the chef’s home refrigerator.
- Cilantro is optional if you prefer to have an Asian aromatic herb to enhance the classic taste.
- Happy cooking!