Agung Gede

Agung Gede

The Midas Touch at Kayuputi


In today’s highly competitive culinary landscape, it’s a refreshing experience to meet a chef who is not only humble, open-minded and without dispute one of the most talented chefs in Asia; but also a man who encourages young Balinese chefs to reach for the stars.

Confident and relaxed, I can’t help but notice that Agung Gede, Chef de Cuisine of the ten-time Wine Spectator award-winning Kayuputi and Executive Sous Chef of The St. Regis Bali Resort, looks absolutely regal within the opulent ambience of Kayuputi, The St. Regis Bali’s beachfront fine dining signature restaurant. Impeccably groomed and dressed to the nines in black and white, his soft-spoken demeanour and discerning professionalism fit right in with the theatre-like display kitchen appointed with artisan-crafted stone walls, luminous granite countertops, contemporary stainless steel and top-of-the-line appliances imported from the chef’s world travels.

Fresh from winning 18 medals at the recent Salon Culinaire competition hosted in Nusa Dua every March by the World Association of Chefs Societies, Agung spent a few minutes chatting with us about life within one of Asia’s most recognised kitchens.
Q: Every year, the Kayuputi team walks away with several gold medals awarded during the prestigious Salon Culinaire. What’s your secret?

A: This year we were very honoured to receive 18 medals. It’s simple, really. We do what we do everyday in the kitchen, taking inspiration from both our Kayuputi and Boneka signature restaurants. The judges awarded our appetiser, the Texture of Duck Fois Gras, with a gold medal, highlighting the unique characteristics of the dish. It was originally on Kayuputi’s degustation menu, so to salute the gold medal; we elevated its status to a signature dish. Our team created a trio of bite-sized canapés that showcase four individually conceptualised layers of foie gras: foie gras biscuit combined with ground pistachio nuts, a foie gras terrine, foie gras mousse mixed with wild berry flower powder (imported from France where it is only grown in one location throughout the world), and smoked foie gras shavings appointed with a sliver of gold leaf. Sphericals of mandarin orange are designed to eat after each morsel of foie gras, creating a delightful burst of flavour while cleansing the palate at the same time. Our Chief Sommelier, Harald Weissman, pairs this dish with a De Bortoli Sacred Hill Riesling crafted in 2012. It also happens to be my favourite wine. It’s soft, fruity and slightly sweet style works perfectly with citrus.

Q: How would you describe your style of cooking?

A: Contemporary cuisine based on Asian influenced haute cuisine. I’m always looking out for classic as well as inventive ways to fuse Asian flavours and ingredients with French cooking techniques. When I was a child growing up in Bali, I was inspired by one of the island’s most beloved dishes: steamed fish with lemongrass tomato coulis. I love to travel to other regions within Indonesia, Sumatra being a favourite, and Europe, of course.

Q: You are always open to thinking outside the box and utilising innovative ideas from other cuisines. Where are your preferred culinary destinations and why?

A: My favourite countries are Germany and Austria. They feature beautiful landscapes, so different from our island lifestyle here, and they have an extensive variety of classic cooking techniques for meat dishes. My goal when travelling is to learn about a country’s traditional recipes and methods and then upon our return to Bali, we place Kayuputi’s distinctive stamp on it. On our most recent travels, I met with a fellow chef who is associated with one of Germany’s most acclaimed restaurants. We were experimenting with innovative ways to cook meat, something that would surprise our guests both there in Germany and here in Bali. From my experience working for five years with Japanese cuisine, I had an ‘aha’ moment and utilised the Japanese technique of tempura-style deep-frying to prepare a rack of lamb. It was a superlative moment. The European chef and I now serve this dish in both of our restaurants.

Kayuputi’s grass-fed Australian rack of lamb is first cooked via a sous vide method at very low temperature, then coated with a bread, herb, and sundried tomato mixture before being deep fried in extra virgin olive oil for a brief 15 seconds. The result is exceptionally tender lamb complemented with our savoy cabbage cooked with bacon and a sumptuous side of lamb shank prepared with several varieties of wild mushroom. With this dish, Harald and his expertly trained team of sommeliers often recommend a classic Pinot Noir. Australia’s Yerring Station has a lovely 2010 vintage produced in their Yarra Valley vineyard.


Q: What do you look forward to most about coming to work everyday?

A: I love when guests ask for something different from the menu. My adrenaline starts to surge and then I create something special to make the guest happy. St. Regis clients often spend a minimum ten days with us, so by the time their holiday is coming to an end, they’re searching for a new culinary experience. In the mornings, I’m often at Boneka during breakfast. I’ll chat with the guests and sometimes they ask if I can prepare something special like fish. I’ll head to the market that day and hand select the fish myself. Sometimes I buy a whole fish and create a special set menu for them – maybe a sashimi for the starter, a fish-based soup and then for the main I combine the fish with a meat component to make it different.

Q: Kayuputi’s wine dinners are legendary. Do tempt us with what you have planned next.

A: On May 20th, we continue to celebrate The St. Regis Bali’s 5th Anniversary with an exquisite Midnight Supper. A treasured ritual that started with Caroline Astor, mother of the St. Regis founder. We have invited three top chefs from St. Regis Asia Pacific for a captivating collaboration. We have confirmed with The St. Regis Osaka, The St. Regis Bangkok and The St. Regis Chengdu. Each chef will prepare two of his restaurant’s signature dishes and the event will take place beneath the stars on our beachfront Cloud Nine Terrace; the resort’s elegant wedding venue. Our wine dinners are always well attended by in-house guests as well as island residents.

Q: There’s an expression that you’re only as strong as your weakest link. How do you train your team?

A: I have spent almost three years training my current team, from the very basics on up. We have a diverse group of talented chefs that have experience with Japanese, Italian and patisserie, for example, so we all work together to inspire creativity as well as always maintaining the highest quality with a keen attention to detail. During the Salon Culinaire, one of my young trainees, who is still in school actually, was awarded with three gold medals during the competition. I am always open to meeting young chefs and giving them an opportunity to train with us.  I advise our young chefs to not be so obsessed with the idea of ‘modern cuisine’. Everyone must start with the basics, such as mastering local regional dishes that maybe their mother cooked for them. My advice is, “Don’t try to be something that you aren’t. Build upon what you know and improve upon that with experience.”

Roasted Peking Duck Breast Served with Duck Leg Confit, Chinese barley risotto, shaved smoked duck foie gras, fresh truffle, red wine meat jus and parmesan foam




• 300g Peking duck breast
• 100g smoked duck foie gras
• 250g confit duck leg
• 100g Chinese barley (jali –jali)
• 50g shimeji mushroom
• 30g chanterelle mushroom
• 20g Brussels sprout petal
• 50ml red wine meat jus
• 10g Chopped onion
• 30ml Olive oil
• 250ml parmesan foam


The Reduction 
• 150ml duck brown stock
• 100ml red wine reduction

The Parmesan Foam
• 200ml chicken stock
• 100ml cooking cream
• 200g parmesan grated
• A pinch of white pepper and sea salt

Duck leg confit 
• 1 pc duck leg
• 150g  duck fat
• 1 pcs shallot
• 1 clove garlic
• Thyme
• Salt and pepper to taste

Smoked Duck Foie Gras 
• 450g foie gras clean without vein
• 2g blackcurrant buds powder
• Himalayan pink Salt and pepper


For the Duck breast
1. Clean the Peking duck breast. Keep the skin.
2. Place it in a vacuum seal and cook in sous vide at 65°c for one hour.
3. Remove the duck from the vacuum seal and pat dry with kitchen paper
4. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
5. Gently pan sear the duck in a non-stick pan until the skin is crispy and golden brown.

For the Reduction
1. Place ingredients in a saucepan in low heat.
2. Leave it in a gentle simmer until it is reduced by 1/3 (approximately 50ml).
3. Just before serving, add a cube of cold butter until the sauce achieves the desired thickness and shine.

For the Parmesan Foam
1. In a saucepan, heat chicken stock, cooking cream and parmesan.
2. Blend with a hand blender until an emulsion is formed.

For the Duck Leg Confit
1. Marinate the duck leg with salt and pepper.
2. Place the leg in a side vacuum bag. Add duck fat, thyme, shallots, and garlic.
3. Vacuum seal the bag and cook in sous vide at 90°c for 24 hours.
4. Remove the bone and slice the meat.

For the Duck Foie Gras
1. Marinate the foie gras with salt, pepper and blackcurrant buds powder.
2. Wrap the foie gras in a muslin cloth or cheese cloth. Smoke the foie gras inside a smoked oven on hot smoke for 1 hour.
3. Remove foie gras from the muslin cloth and transfer onto a cling wrap.
4. Keep it chilled in freezer and slice just before serving.

For the Sautéed Brussel Sprouts
1. In a sautée pan, sautee the brussel sprouts in olive oil until cooked.

For the Chinese Barley Risotto
1. Cooked the barley until al dente.
2. In a sautée pan, sautée the onion until the fragrant and add the mushrooms.
3. Sautée for a few minutes. Add barley and chicken stock.
4. Let it cook until reduced. Add the duck leg confit and red wine meat jus.
5. Add butter to achieve the right consistency.

1. In a deep plate, put the risotto as a base and arrange the slices of duck in deep plate and arrange the slices of duck breast on top of risotto.
2. Add the sautéed brussel sprout petals and slices of foie gras around the duck slices.
3. Finish with parmesan foam and fresh black truffle.