AYANA Zeitgeist

Translated from German, Zeitgeist means "the spirit of the moment", and is the key principle underpinning AYANA's service philosophy. Here, we share our inside tips and favorite haunts to help you experience the AYANA Zeitgeist.

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The winning cake, Tiramisu and Chef Sutisna
AYANA Resort and Spa's pastry chef I Made Sutisna was recently awarded best pastry chef in Indonesia, after being judged the best overall performance in the international Fonterra Pastry Chef Challenge 2011. The chairman of the judging panel said the most important criteria for winning this competition was having a WOW factor, and Chef Sutisna's creations astonished the jury and most definitely satisfied this requirement.

First of all, congratulations on winning this contest. With which creation did you become Indonesia's best pastry chef?
Chef: I won the contest with my chocolate mousse cake with kaffir lime passion cream and macadamia croquant, a multi-layered cake which I call Literati. I had to make two of these, one only to display and one for tasting. The jury gave us 8 hours to prepare our cakes.

Is the dish available to AYANA guests, if so where can they get it?
Chef: This cake was specially created just for the contest, but it might be available in the future. It would best suit Sami Sami, as it fits the Italian menu because it's a very European type of cake.

How many chefs competed in the contest?
Chef: Ten Chefs in total were allowed to enter the competition, there were two from Bali, one from Bandung, one from Medan and six from Jakarta.

Have you won any other competitions in the past?
Chef: Yes, a lot (embarrassed laughter). I took the first place in the Asian Pastry Cup 2010I also joined the Fonterra competition two years ago in 2009 and came 2nd. This year I finally won the contest, very happy!

Do you have anybody you look up to or are inspired by in the cooking-world?
Chef: Yes, my mentor was a French pastry chef who taught me how to make beautiful and artistic creations with food. He taught me how to make up the plates but he also taught me many things about the tastes of food and how to use certain products.

What would you make at home but never serve to AYANA guests?
Chef: The birthday cakes I make for my children. They are very colorful and a bit childish, it would look a bit funny to serve them to our guests. They are also a little simpler to make than the complicated creations I make at AYANA.

What is your favorite thing about Bali?
Chef: Wooden sculptures, they are distinctively Balinese and very different from sculptures at all the other Indonesian islands. The sculptors have an amazing eye for detail. It is a typical Bali thing that I am very proud of, we (Balinese) have been making such sculptures for a long time and the workmanship is often passed from father to son, very traditional.

What three ingredients would you recommend everybody to have at home?
Chef: Sugar, flour and eggs! That was not too hard, since these are the three ingredients to make a cake with. It will be a simple cake, but the ingredients are essential for each cake no matter how complicated.

Any future competitions you will be joining?
Chef: Yes, the next competition I will be joining is regional final of the Fonterra competition, it will be held in Singapore in April 2012. I will be defending my title, we will be using the exact same ingredients only the rules of the competition will be different. I do not know yet what I will make for this contest.

How did you end up as a professional pastry chef?
Chef: When I was young I saw my uncle making cakes. I was interested and loved to help him. When I grew a little older I joined the school of Tourism, I chose to specialize in F&B, Pastry in particular and now here I am as Pastry Chef at AYANA. There is one very important thing to be successful at what you do: you have to be motivated and enthusiastic. Being passionate gets you so much further.

ROLE Foundation TraineesHi everyone, my name is Mike O’Leary and I head up R.O.L.E Foundation. We were recently invited to partner with AYANA to hold the first ever ROLE Models Charity Dinner last month, and it was a success beyond the wildest dreams of the seven Balinese who joined this program.

These seven students, who have never had formal schooling and were illiterate before they joined R.O.L.E’s vocational training program, are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to getting jobs in Bali’s lucrative tourism industry. This program changed that, by giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and open new doors.

The dinner was held at Padi restaurant and marked the end of 10-weeks of hospitality training for our trainees, who were taught basic Food & Beverage skills by AYANA’s F&B team. The dinner was the culmination of their training sessions and was the first time they served guests. They were nervous, but as it turned out, they had no reason to be as they excelled on the night and impressed the 100+ guests who attended.

The dinner and silent auction raised Rp54,200,000 in cash support for R.O.L.E Foundation, but it was the skills development and job opportunities that have really changed lives.

Serving at this event, they were pure professionals and you could see them brimming with confidence and inspiration to change their lives for good. Two of them have been offered permanent positions with AYANA, and there were at least another four or five job other offers on the night from wine companies, hotels and restaurants. We’ve also got mad interest from other hotels to conduct their own training program with our students as a result of the successful AYANA ROLE Models dinner. Talk about a good result!

Congratulations to the trainees and the trainers alike, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to fight poverty.