Bali's Elysian Resort is justifiably beaming at their recent coup in recruiting a world-caliber Indonesian-born chef and long-term Swedish resident Nizar Achmad to head their kitchen brigade at the Elysian' Rush Bamboo & Bar.
The 35 year-old Nizar's love affair with food and wine has inspired a culinary sojourn that has taken him to all corners of the globe, including Australia, New Zealand and Stockholm where he lived for 14 year before returning to his homeland, Indonesia.
Originally from Surabaya, Nizar says his food concepts are "green fusion with an organic focus, seasonal, back to basics, heartfelt and passionate" - all which draw from his Indonesian heritage with a little bit of fun and modern taste kicks tossed in.
This can be seen in Nizar’s signature Oyster "Fines De Java" a creation with a selection of tempting condiments to suit individual tastes such as Kiwi Crush, Thyme Ginger Chili, Caviar, and Matsuhisa dressing.
Says Nizar: "I put my signature on pretty much every dish with my cooking style. My lightly salted salmon with mini yellow zucchini flowers fried with honey with a rambutan salsa using green tomato, onion, garlic lime and chili is a symphony of tastes and combusting with color. I also make my own Indonesian style Quince of jackfruit with cinnamon, red wine, sugar and Indonesian saffron that I serve with a selection of cheeses and compote of yellow cherry tomatoes with vanilla stick, white wine and Indonesian saffron. Then there’s the Granny Smith Apple Ball Soup with wasabi, fish stock and a side of prawns that have been bathed with olive oil, rosemary and garlic that I serve from a Teapot. I love combining a bit of fantasy with my food.”
Nizar cooked for the 2008 Nobel Prize Dinner held at City Hall Stockholm as well as at the Michelen Star restaurant Feichmaker in Norway. One of his own restaurants in Sweden, Carpe Diem earned 2nd place among the “Top Five Restaurants in Sweden” and his Lugnet Bar & Restaurant regularly saw Crown Princess Victoria as diner.
Despite his relatively young age, Nizar has led a colorful life, well known in Sweden’s “major league party animal’.” This reputation cemented further after a stint at one of Sweden’s most exclusive clubs, Berns Salonger where international celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, PINK, Busta Rhymes and Britney Spears are frequent visitors. Both fearless and flamboyant, he hosted a video blog Cool Stockholm, where he cooked and interviewed Swedish film stars to some comedic acclaim. Nizar has worked as a fashion stylist and promotes himself as a fantastic dancer having taught Funk & Hip Hop most of his life. He has a penchant for shopping in his spare time, and loves listening to a good Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye album over a bottle, or two or three of red wine.
This recreated Norseman has landed at the Elysian in Bali. And, if past performance is any measure of things to come, both the island and his new culinary pied-à-terre are assured interesting times as they watch the passionately professional Nizar reveal his magic to an appreciative audience.
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