Marc Lorés Panadés – Executive Chef at Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
Marc Lorés Panadés is Executive Chef at the beautiful Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia.
We chat to him about living and working in Bali, and the island’s wonderful local produce.
Marc Lorés Panadés – Chef’s Portrait
Marc, you were born in Spain, have worked in Europe and Hong Kong, and are now in Bali – please tell us a little about your culinary journey and your most formative experiences/roles.
My culinary journey is a continuous process and I strive to learn from every individual I meet. Working in Hong Kong increased my knowledge, and the presence of the Spanish chef community, with which we could share our experiences, capitalised on this.
Working in Bali has presented me with opportunities to learn from the rich and diverse Indonesian culture.
How would you describe your cooking?
My cooking technique is simple, natural and incorporates fresh produce.
Have your travels around the world impacted your cooking or philosophy of food?
Yes, Thai culture and cuisine was, and remains, one of my favourite styles of cooking.
We all think of Bali as a tropical paradise – what’s it like living and working there?
Bali has been amazing although I do miss spending time with my relatives and eating my mother’s home-cooked dishes. Nonetheless, it is easy to keep in touch with them through social media.
My favourite aspect about living and working in Bali is the constant change of scenery within hours with its beautiful landscapes of jungle, forest, cliff and the ocean.
Do you find there are differences in kitchen culture in Bali, or more generally in Asia, compared to in Europe?
Absolutely, there is a shift in the kitchen culture between Asia and Europe. Asia specialises in spices whereas Europe focuses heavily on the quality of its produce.
What are suppliers there like? Can you access all ingredients? Which are more difficult to access?
Here at Alila Villas Uluwatu, fresh local produce is easily accessible, yet it may be difficult to access imported produce. At Alila, we try our best to source our ingredients locally. Adopting Western concepts into our dishes using local produce might be unusual yet it is an interesting journey to discover culinary surprises.
You’re passionate about sustainable organic ingredients – how many organic farms are there in Bali?
We have a permaculture garden at Alila Villas Uluwatu, where we grow specific produce that may be difficult to source elsewhere. Other sustainable ingredients can easily be sourced from various local organic suppliers. The hillside and jungles of Bali produce quality ingredients. For instance, we can even grow artichokes in Bali’s hot tropical weather!
What’s the Bali dining scene like? Can you get all kinds of cuisine? Are the top restaurants usually in hotels or are there interesting independent restaurants, too?
The dining scene in Bali has certainly expanded and continues to grow! It has become trendier over the years and there are as many amazing stand-alone restaurants as hotel restaurants, offering an excellent variety of culinary experiences.
You have a few dining options at Alila Villas Uluwatu: The Warung serving traditional Indonesian, Cire serving refined comfort food, and then you have QUILA, which sounds particularly exciting. Please tell us a little about what you’re doing at QUILA.
QUILA is an exclusive ten-course dining experience, welcoming up to ten guests each night at the restaurant’s five-table indoor setting. At QUILA, we tailor to our guests’ dietary requirements and preferences to deliver a bespoke gastronomic journey offering Mediterranean-inspired dishes combined with fresh, seasonal local produce.
Thank you very much for these insights, Marc!
Marc Lorés Panadés, Executive Chef at Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia, shares his recipe for The Uluwatu Mushroom. Take a look at the full recipe – but be careful! You might get hungry.