William Gumport, the Chef de Cuisine, at Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali, has landed in Bali after working in the U.S.A. from 2005-2008 at two leading Las Vegas Hotels. Prior to working in Nevada, Gumport served stints working with Two-Michelin Star chef Joel Antunes at Joel's Restaurant in Atlanta.
Recently, balidiscovery.com caught up with Gumport at Dava Restaurant at the Ayana Resort providing a chance to "grill" the man known for working wonders behind the grill.
The Interview: William Gumport, Chef de Cuisine, Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali
Balidiscovery.com: The culinary world is awash with almost as many food movements as we have organized religions. Slow food, fast food, organic, nouvelle, macrobiotic, no-carbohydrates, raw food and even molecular manipulation. At the risk of creating a new "foodie" movement, describe your approach to food.
Gumport: The food that I work towards producing is simple, flavorful, well executed, straightforward, and attractive. At Dava I am looking to combine Balinese ingredients and flavors with western technique. Wacky combinations may spark curiosity but my experience has shown me that at the end of the day, people want food they can identify, that is fresh, flavorful, and eye-appealing.
Balidiscovery.com: Describe the most incredible dish you've ever eaten?
Gumport: I have eaten a lot of good food, one meal that sticks out now is the Italian beef sandwich at Mr. Beef in Chicago. It is slow simmered beef sliced thin, put in a steamed hoagie roll with pickled vegetables and au jus. It is fantastic! Hot, juicy, spicy, and sour goodness.
Balidiscovery.com: Name you favorite comfort food for a night at home with the family in front of the video?
Balidiscovery.com: Balinese chefs are winning numerous awards. After several months on the island, what's you're early take on the skill base of local lads and lasses working in Bali's professional kitchens?
Gumport: Awards are made to be won. I think the local professionals have a good understanding of what the guests are looking for. I feel fortunate with the staff I have in the sense that they understand what Dava is and that it takes higher than average work habits and mentality to do high end dining.
Balidiscovery.com: You revised the menu of the Ayana's very formidable restaurant "Dava." The "old" Dava had a large and enthusiastic following. Will the "new" Dava be a variation on a theme or a bold new culinary departure?
Gumport: I wish to continue the success that Dava has achieved, and even surpass the standards set thus far. As with most restaurants, Dava must evolve and challenge itself to serve our guests better and so we have re-launched the menu that is local, simple yet creative. It is a menu that focuses on what is good here now. The degustation menu is a six-course menu that allows the guest to sample a range of dishes and allows Dava to develop and integrate new ingredients as we discover them.
Balidiscovery.com: I've never gone wrong asking chef to order for me. No fair reciting your entire menu, but describe my next four-course dinner at the "Dava."
Gumport: Appetizer: Borneo crab salad, snakeskin fruit, avocado coulis , kaffir lime.
Fish Course: Jimbaran shrimp dumpling, baby shitakes, sesame, tom yum sauce
Main Course: Grilled Angus beef rib eye, corn cake, java onion marmalade, wilted spinach, beef jus
Dessert: Crispy rice paper crepe, vanilla cream, Bali berries.
Balidiscovery.com: I'm convinced. Book me a table!
Book a stay or a table at the [Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali].
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