Amandari Chef Nicholas Kennedy, who originally hails from New Zealand, spent the majority of his career in top restaurants in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Bali. NOW! Jakarta had a quick chat with the chef who will also participate in the upcoming Ubud Food Festival.

How do you integrate the local food culture in your menu?
I draw upon the knowledge and experience of my staff, all of whom have varying styles and tastes. They have different family recipes, different favourite dishes and ways to reflect their individual creativity. Our resort really represents authenticity in our Indonesian menu, so I try to eat not only from warungs and stalls at local markets, but I make sure I eat Balinese specialties to familiarize myself with the flavour profiles. Paired with the consciously sourced ingredients we use, our menu gives regional food a high quality restaurant touch.

Amandari will host a dinner for the upcoming Ubud Food Festival. Could you tell us more about your involvement and what to expect?
The theme for the festival is “Every flavour has a story”, so my concept is to embrace regional diversity, express local produce and introduce food from Bali and beyond. I have invited executive chefs from our other two island resorts, Shane Lewis, from Amankila, and Lorenzio Bucharini, from Amanusa. Together we will reinterpret local fare and present it in a six course degustation for the event “Six at Sunset”. Expect new tastes and creative representations of Indonesia.

What is your favourite Indonesian dish?
I am a huge fan of babi guling, roast suckling pig. It is also one of the reasons I first visited Bali after witnessing it on a televised food show. It can be prepared in the same basic way – cooked over wood and coconut husk – but with the many ways of preparing the spices, you can get many varying tastes from village to village. Indeed, we have made babi guling part of the culinary fare we offer at Amandari, especially on a full moon, when we cook on the grounds of the resort for our guests to witness and we pair it with local Balinese craft beer. Delicious.

Why do you think Amandari has stood the test of time, especially regarding the fierce competition from other resorts and hotels in Ubud and Bali?
Our attraction goes beyond the excellence of Aman and extends to the warm nature of our staff. With its famous stunning architecture, Amandari is a timeless property to be in that has aged gracefully with lots of care.

Ubud Food Festival runs from 12 to 14 May. For the full programme, visit NOW! Jakarta readers can score 20% off the 1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day FoodLover Pass by entering the code MPNJ at the checkout. This offer is valid until 8 May.

Katrin Figge

Katrin Figge

Katrin Figge is a previous editor of NOW! Jakarta. An experienced writer and avid bookworm.