Seafood Spread by Chef Stefano Attardi

Executive Chef Stefano Attardi of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali exuberates an aura of warmth, brilliance and simplicity through his presence, which he exquisitely transfers to his cooking, professional career and lifestyle.

Executive Chef Stefano Attardi of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali exuberates an aura of warmth, brilliance and simplicity through his presence, which he exquisitely transfers to his cooking, professional career and lifestyle.

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“FOOD DOES NOT need to be complicated,” said the recently appointed Executive Chef of Ritz-Carlton, Bali. “The root of a great dish is simple; fresh ingredients that are cooked properly and presented beautifully.”

According to Chef Stefano, the most important and simplest aspect of good cooking was obtaining the freshest of all ingredients, from olive oil to onions, bread, meat and fish, you name it.

“It is incredibly satisfying to use fresh produce to cook! When you get good products, 50 percent of your job is pretty much done,” he added.

Chef Stefano’s sensational cookery can be seen in the dazzling array of dishes served in one of the resort’s captivating restaurants, The Beach Grill.

Take for example, the Sunday Feast – Brunch by The Beach menu, which offers a selection of appetizers from juicy Thai beef salad, parma ham grissini, pork gyoza and a unique fusion salad, which combines the king of citruses, pomelo with poached crabs and a popular local hot sauce called sambal matah.

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The main course includes tender striploin, pork ribs and an unprecedented seafood platter with various sizeable catch of the day including local lobsters that are simply seasoned and grilled to perfection. For epicureans alike, what could be more gratifying than enjoying a plate of fresh, sweet and succulent seafood by the beach, while overlooking the indigo horizon of the Indian Ocean.

“When I worked in the Caribbean, we used to get seafood that were extremely fresh that we couldn’t cook it right away because it will turn rock hard, so we will have to wait it out. However, the seafood that is available all year round here in Bali is among the best in the world,” said the chef who brings nearly 15 years of culinary experience from world-class hotels and restaurant from around the globe including Italy, Switzerland, Florida, Barcelona, Dubai and the Cayman Islands.

Originally from Naples, Italy, Chef Stefano deemed his cooking flair as more light compared to most Indonesian dishes that are generally heavier on spices and herbs. However, he adapted quickly and believed in staying true to the country’s cuisine by providing the best for the local palates.

“I don’t really like buffet and leaving the food out in the open for too long. So, we really wanted to come up with a concept where the customers can come in, relax and order as much as they want from a big menu!” – Talk about eating large with some exceptional service!

Chef Stefano found his true métier at a tender age of 13 in a restaurant that was owned by his father’s good friend, just a little away from home. “They used to call me to the kitchen to say hello, so I was intrigued to see so many people running around trying to make something wonderful,” said the passionate chef.

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He then spent most of his annual summer vacation there and insisted to be involved behind the scenes. “While my brother would jump into the pool in the same complex as the restaurant, and my friends would go to the beach in another part of town, I would run in to the kitchen to cut onions!”

He continued to pursue his passion by graduating from culinary school in Italy and spending his younger years interning in Switzerland as a kitchen hand before acquiring various distinctions under his belt, from all over the world. “As a kitchen hand, I learned to differentiate, handle and appreciate all types of produce even the simplest ones like mushrooms,” said Stefano, who for the first time ever has earned the title of an Executive Chef, in the Island of Gods.

Chef Stefano believed highly in setting a family-like working environment, “In this industry, you want to create love and warmth between the team,” said the award-winning chef. “Especially the people here in Indonesia, they have genuine hearts. All that they need are a little guidance.”

The humble chef simply wanted to be known for a shared passion and love of food with those around him, including his customers, friends and co-workers. “It makes me really happy when people call or email me about what I previously served or said that had touched them. I want to leave behind the memory of Chef Stefano being a great person.”

With the exceptional mark he has left on our palates, we will surely remember him for more!

THE RITZ-CARLTON, BALI
Jalan Raya Nusa Dua Selaton Lot III, Nusa Dua, Bali
T: +62 361 849898
Instagram: @ritzcarlton
Facebook: ritzcarltonbali
www.ritzcarlton.com/bali


Written by Divya Pridhnani Photographs by AKI November 7, 2016.

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