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.
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.
We are all still drying off after annual training with a Thermes Marins Hydrotherapy trainer this month! Nine of our therapists took part in 6 days of intensive training to review techniques, skills, products and facilities for our hydrotherapy treatments, including Underwater Massage, Aqua Exercise, Sea Breeze Massage and Oceanic Ritual package (my personal favorite). The trainer, who is based at Thermes Marins headquarters in St Malo, France – nice spot to be living but then Bali’s not too bad either! – also checked and approved the temperature and water quality in the Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool, which contains 700 million liters of seawater pumped in from the Indian Ocean. Everybody raves about Rock Bar, but personally I think sunset in the Aquatonic Pool is not-to-be-missed ;-) It’s even better if you follow it up with a Rock Bar cocktail afterwards – when the crowds have died down a bit and you can enjoy your beverage under a star-lit sky listening to the waves of the spot-lit ocean. That’s why we call this package the Perfectonic! Sundowner anyone?
PS – Happy Second Anniversary for AYANA! It’s now been 2 years since we rebranded as an independent resort. Another reason to celebrate :-)