The Yak bumped into Chef Andreas, nouveau arrivée to The Apurva Kempinski Bali in Nusa Dua and asked him some relevant – and occasionally irreverent – questions.
Andreas, how long have you been in Bali and where were you cheffing before?
Since February 2020. Before that I was in charge of the Restaurant L’Italienne at La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech.
How tall were you when you cooked your first dish?
I was 15 years old and went to work for a restaurant in Salerno. During the week I went to school and on weekends I helped in this small restaurant.
What was it and whose recipe did you follow?
My first dish was spaghetti with clams, garlic, parsley, chili. The chef in charge showed me a couple of times how to make it in a proper way, and once I learned the trick he allowed me to prepare it on my own.
Who influenced you to become a chef? (The whole nine yards please, in 50 words or less).
Back in time after the middle school, I was bit insecure about the next move. My parents helped me a lot by suggesting to enroll in the culinary school. While I was studying I felt very interested in this world and after three years, I got my diploma right away, I went to work in a famous restaurant close by my home town.
Your first very own set of knives? And which brand?
My first set of knives was Whustof brand, and my favorite one was the carving knife.
Make us a picnic. (Wine included)
Focaccia with Parma Ham and Mozzarella and preserved eggplant
Tomato and Basil and shaved Parmesan salad
Grapes, strawberry, mango
Your best hangover cure?
My suggestion is to avoid fat and eat steamed rice and chicken breast and drink lot of water.
Name your top three garnishes.
Spontaneous herbs, citrus, mix roots.
Top three herbs?
Coriander, basil, parsley.
What turns you on? List the ingredients to your most potent aphrodisiac dish.
If we’re talking about aphrodisiac ingredients, I really like seafood, especially lobster. With this I’d prepare a simple tagliolini pasta enriched by chili flakes, garlic, touch of brandy, some cherry tomatoes, zest of lime.
The weirdest ingredients you have ever used?
The khlii a very particular kind of preserved meat typical of Maroccan cuisine. Aside from that, I have also used sea lemon and fermented camel milk.
Your philosophy to cooking is?
My cooking philosophy is based on respect. Respecting the ingredients and their seasonality, and respecting these ingredients through the way I cook them. Always selecting the best techniques in order to respect the original taste.
What most freaks you out in the kitchen?
Disorder and negligence.
Name your favorite vineyard at the moment.
Amarone from Valpolicella.
How important is organic for you and where are you sourcing your organic meats and veggies from?
Nowadays organic food has become the first priority in the food industry. We have a trusted list of suppliers who are really committed to deliver all the best ingredients to us, both locally and from abroad. We use fantastic meat from Austalia and New Zeland, while fruits and vegetables are sourced from Bedugul.
I am English, I wonder if you know what a greasy spoon is?
I am not very familiar with this but I think it refers to some cheap kind of restaurant where they serve mainly fried food!
How long does it take you to peel and chop an onion? Time yourself please.
Depends on the size. Timer on … 20 seconds.
Pinnacle moment in your career?
Joining The Apurva Kempinski Bali. It is the recognition of a path that has started a long time ago and I am fully engaged to bring this project at its highest level.
Name your favorite dip and give us the recipe, please!
In a stone mortar you need to grind garlic with salt, then you add basil leaves and pine nuts. Once the paste starts to shape up nicely, add cheese and cold olive oil, little by little. Once you get a nice and firm consistency, you can enjoy it!
If you had to be reincarnated as a dish, what dish would that be?
Spaghetti with tomato sauce… simple, nutritious and tasty.
To you, “Cooking is a meditation, a creation, a…? (Continue this sentence in less than 15 words)
A mix between of expression, transmission, culture and lots of passion.
How would you cook Green Eggs and Ham?
I would make a puree of spinach to colour the beaten eggs, and I will roast the ham under the grill to enhance the flavour.
Which of the jobs in the kitchen helps you de-stress?
Tasting new ingredients and making new creations. For me this is the moment where your brain is relaxed and filled with creative ideas.
Who do admire in the world of cheff-ing today and why?
I respect very much the work of Joel Robuchon. He recently passed away but his teachings are always actuals and the success of his brand is an example for all chefs.
What is your Instagram?
One last word of advice to ours (and your) followers? (You can give us a few actually).
To tag me in all their story when they prepare a dish
To use social media as tool to learn new recipes and technique
Thank you for taking the time out. (Now can we eat?)
Venue: Koral Restaurant at The Apurva Kempinski Bali