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A Matter of Good Taste

Bali Food Experts Call for Upgrading and Standardization of Balinese Cuisine Served at Local Hotels and Restaurants


Heinz von Holzen, the award-winning restaurateur, photographer and cookbook author is calling for discernable standards to be established in the preparation and presentation of Balinese cuisine.

The Swiss-born chef who operates Bumbu Bali Restaurant and the Bumbu Bali Cooking School, told participants at a culinary seminar held in Bali on Saturday, May 26, 2012, that Balinese food needs standards of preparation – such as those that exist for French, Japanese and a number of other regional cuisines to ensure that visitors to Bali encounter at least a minimum quality and good taste.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, von Holzen comments were made at a culinary seminar organized by the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Association on Tourism (GIPI).

Saying authentic recipes should not be modified to conform with the misconceptions of Indonesian chefs about the taste preferences of foreign visitors. Von Holzen explained that Balinese cuisine, which is sometimes spicy hot and uses a rich array of herbs and spices, is not a problem for many foreign diners. The Swiss chef, with more than 20 years in Bali, is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on Balinese cuisine. In Heinz’s view, many tourists come to Bali wishing to try the regional cuisine, however there are only a few restaurants that prepare authentic local dishes and almost no hotels that present Balinese cuisine.

In order to address this situation and promote Balinese cuisine there needs to be a standardization of recipes for hotels and restaurants.

Also joining the one-day culinary seminar was Janet de Neefe the Australian-born proprietor of Ubud’s Casa Luna and Indus Restaurant. De Neef said the severity of the situation described by von Holzen is demonstrated by the fact that most Balinese are embarrassed by the version of Balinese food offered in the island’s hotels.

“In my restaurant,” said de Neefe, “the foreigners enjoy our Balinese dishes using seafood. This (Balinese food) is really a potential just waiting to be developed.”

The chairman of GIPI, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, said he hopes through hosting similar culinaru seminars a movement to promote and standardize high quality in the preparation of Balinese food can be initiated.

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[Morning Balinese Cooking Class]

[Evening Balinese Cooking Class]

[Bumbu Bali Cooking Class with Market Visit]

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