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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Chef Andik Purnomo moved toBalito take on the role as head Indonesian Chef at Padi restaurant. He has introduced several of his signature dishes to Padi’s new menu, including some handed down by his mother. He talks about his cooking + life inBali.

Q: How are you enjoying life here and what is your favorite thing about Bali?

Chef Andik: I really enjoy the island-life, very laid back. My favorite thing is probably the environment here in Bali, there is still so much nature to be found, very different from where I grew up.Surabaya is a metropolis with tall buildings and a lot of traffic. I prefer Bali’s island vibe.

Q: Did you cook growing up?

Chef Andik: Yes I did, I loved to help my mother cooking when I was still in Junior High School I was 13 years old at that time but I never really thought of a career as a professional chef. I think it’s my destiny because I have the talent, god is the one who decided I had to become a professional chef.

Q: What influenced your cooking style?

Chef Andik: Of course my mother’s cooking influenced my style, I always loved my mother’s dishes and was always trying to make the food taste just as good as hers. And clearlyIndonesiainfluenced my cooking style as well, I am an Indonesian-born chef specialized in Javanese dishes. I really love art, food is not only to eat. I like to think about the presentation of each dish, I am always trying to WOW the guests by showing them something different than they’re used to.

Q: What is the main difference between Balinese and Javanese cuisine?

Chef Andik: The main difference is the type of Sambal (chili based sauce) used, in the Balinese kitchen they use a lot of Sambal Matah while in the Javanese kitchen we always use Sambal Mentah. The sambal Mentah is raw sambal which is grained, the Sambal Matah is chopped sambal. These two ingredients are used in many Balinese and Javanese dishes and often identify the origin of the recipe.

Q: In your opinion where is the food better, Java or Bali?

Chef Andik: (Laughter) That is impossible for me to say, I come from Java of course I am going to say Java. However the Balinese food is great too! I am just going to say I love Indonesian food, especially authentic home-style dishes!

Q: Do you have anybody you look up to or are inspired by in the cooking-world?

Chef Andik: Ibu Sisca Soewitomo, a celebrity chef from Surabaya. She is older than I am and has a lot of experience too. I had the honor to work with her for 2 weeks in Surabaya and learned so much from her.

Q: What would you cook at home but never cook in a restaurant?

Chef Andik:TempePenyet (beancake with sambal), it is very healthy because there is not much cholesterol. Tempe Penyet is actually one of my favorites, it is very famous in Java but it’s a small side dish and does not suit the AYANA audience.

Q: Which Padi dish would you recommend, why?

Chef Andik: Oh there are many, but If I had to choose it would be the Beef Rendang, Ayam Kremes and Mixed Satay. All three are very good dishes and we receive a lot of positive feedback from guests, especially from local guests because they are able to compare them to the same dish at other restaurants in Indonesia.

Q: What three ingredients would you recommend everybody have at home?

Chef Andik: Shrimp paste, chili (all kinds) and shallot spice (but all kinds of spices is even better), tasty and useful ingredients for many dishes.

A Model View

Charmaine Harn
International fashion model, eco-activist and host of reality show Supermodelme Season 1 & 2, Charmaine Harn is one of south-east Asia’s most in-demand models. A natural beauty of Chinese, French and Dutch heritage, she recently spent three days shooting for AYANA’s 2012 marketing campaign with British photographer Pete Seaward, who is shortlisted for the coveted 'Travel Photographer of the Year’ award by the British Travel Press Association.

Read Charmaine's blog post on her AYANA experience.