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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AYANA’s Pastry Chef Made ‘Dena’ Sutisna has won many awards during his years in the pastry world. As he brings home the gold trophy from the recent Salon Culinaire event in Bali for his ‘Chinese Dragon’ sugar sculpture, he again proves himself as a non settler who keeps setting a higher bar every time he reaches a milestone.
We converse with him to find out the reasons behind his perseverance, why he thinks art is the core that embodies his passion, and how pastry can be his legacy for the future….

1. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Chef: I am from Denpasar both by birth and ancestry. I never lived elsewhere… this island is my flesh and blood.

2. At what age did your interest in cooking and/or pastry start? Was it part of your upbringing? Family business?
Chef: It was my uncle’s influence. He lived at our family’s house when I was little. I used to watch him bake, making cookies and believe it or not, I will always remember how our kitchen smelled so sweet and sugary at that time.

3. Are you formally educated in pastry/baking or did you go the apprenticeship route? Or both?
Chef: I say both. But the strongest pillars came from my apprenticeship.

4. Can you point to chefs or individuals who were influential in your pastry skills and development?
Chef: Easy. My ex boss. I can recite you the year I first work with him; 1996. His name is Bill McCarrick. He never underestimates his team, always open for new ideas and is generous with his knowledge and skill.

5. How is the appreciation of pastry and chocolate evolving in Indonesia?
Chef: For Indonesia in general, both private sectors and the government have shown a good appreciation and support. But Bali should be able to come up with something independently. This is something that requires an enormous effort form the Chef

Waking up at 4am on a weekend is never on my agenda, except for those days in my early childhood when I used to do an Easter egg hunt. So as I dragged myself out of the house, little did I know I was going to find something worth to treasure. Something worth a whole lot more than a bucket of cracked boiled eggs and a handful of kinder chocolates in horrible colors.

I am the newcomer in the family of AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. At the end of my very first week, an orphanage visit is on schedule. Though this is not the maiden visit for the company, this time it has its own perks. A marathon runner; Scott Thompson is on his 25 day run from Bali to Jakarta to raise money for children with cancer. Stopping by the orphanage was not part of his schedule, but he jumped at the suggestion from Jerome Colson, AYANA‘s Food and Beverage Executive, who is an ultra-marathon runner and volunteered to join Scott for 150kms from Bali’s airport to the orphanage in the island’s north.

The kids from Sanatana Dharma orphanage were lining up in such excitement when we arrived by car, ahead of the runners? The second I looked into those beaming faces, the 3.5 hour bus ride was instantly worth it. My nagging words of “Are we there yet?” The. Whole. Ride seemed painfully embarrassing compared to the children’s continuous shouts of “Where are they? Where are the runners? Where is Pak Jerome?” We waited for about 15 minutes before both Scott and Jerome made their grand entrance, all sweaty and if I am not mistaken – laughing in a heartfelt euphoria and surprise. We had fun. Breakfast continued with cleaning campaign, play games and challenges. Everything flowed as if it were just an event of a family visiting another relative after a long break. And in a way, it was.

I talked to some of the girls at the orphanage and find out that one of them, Titin (12 years old) wants to be a marathon runner someday and just enrolled her to a national athletic championship. I did not miss a second to raise that story to Scott. “Scott! We have a future runner over here!” was the line that brought Scott stepping away from the crowd of new fans. He approached Titin who was trying so hard to hide her blushing face. They made a pact, immediately talking about their passion for running. And when Scott handed her one of his running caps, everyone in the compound clapped their hands and cheered. It was an immediate bond, for Scott and Titin, if I may say.

Rp23 million was raised by the management and staff of AYANA for Scott’s noble cause. And that was just a drop in the ocean; so far, Scott has raised 370.000 USD from his 1250km run from Bali to Jakarta. In addition to that, a girl’s dream found its affirmation. And a newbie cannot be anymore rest assured that she has met a new family.

Visit Scott’s blog to find out more about the cause or read Jerome’s thoughts about that day here.

AYANA‘s new Weddings specialist Ria Kentjono shares her Top 10 Tips to ensure your big day goes off without an…er…hitch!
1. For brides, wear a simple dress with a short train, no big fluffy gown, no gloves. It’s too hot!
2. For grooms, the suit is not a must; some grooms do not wear a jacket or you could use a light material if you would like to wear a full suit.
3. Use moisturizer or foundation with SPF and do not apply heavy make up.
4. Pick a simple hairstyle, an up-do sleek style is normally longer-lasting and most convenient.
5. Wear wedges shoes instead of stilettos which will sink into lawn/sand, and you might want to share this tip with your female guests.
6. Prepare mosquito repellent, a spray is handy and portable.
7. Dont over-decorate the venue; simple and natural color that blends with the ambiance creates a beautifully stylish backdrop for your special event and photos.
8. Entertainment recommendation is light acoustic or piano with singer.
9. Don’t overdo lighting as it will be too hot and too bright. Flickering candles are romantic and perfect for a wedding!
10. Check the weather forecast 1 week before the big day and book a marquee as a back-up option to be safe in case the forecast doesn’t look good for an open-air celebration.