Helmut Roessler’s Fated Path to Bali
Coming from an icy town in Austria, Helmut Roessler fell in love with the culture, the people, and the food of Bali.
“IT ALL STARTED when I was eight years old. My mother took me to a 4-star resort and I was blown away. Everyone was dressed nicely and very friendly. It was an inspiring experience. Then my mother said to me, ‘Boy, if you want to see the world, you have to work in the hospitality industry’. And so I jumped in the industry since I was 15 years old, and here I am today,” Helmut Roessler, Food & Beverages Manager of Alila Seminyak, Bali explained how he first came to realize his passion for the world of hospitality.
Helmut grew up in Saalfelden, a quaint little town encircled by scenic mountainous areas, including the Alps to the east. The town thrived in winter activities such as skiing and ice skating. “We have so much ice throughout the year. My childhood was full of activities, from skiing to ice skating. Talking about food, all I can remember is meat, cheese and bread, and I found them very flavorful. My all-time favorite foods growing up were schnitzels!”
Working a prestigious job at one of the world’s most beautiful paradise island is merely a pipe dream for most people, but fate, it seems, had this exactly in store for him. “To be honest, I didn’t plan (to work in Bali) it at all. I was working for M1NT, a high-end restaurant and club in Shanghai when one day a lady approached me and asked if I wanted to work in Bali. The lady was Melanie Hall, the owner of Luna2. Took some time to made up my mind, but when I did, I was sent a contract and moved to Bali within six days.”
Helmut is really pleased with his decision to move to Bali. “I love every bit of Bali – the weather, the beautiful beaches, the people, the culture, and the parties! I’m really living the dream.” The transition itself, according to Helmut, was a very easy one to make, especially when compared to his previous move to China from the United States.
As Food & Beverages Manager, Helmut carried the brand’s philosophy of farm-to-table and craft-over-creation concept. “We want to stay true, using local ingredients and show passion on whatever we do while making sure these values are reflected to our guests.” This philosophy is one of the key factors of the success of the recently opened Seasalt. Helmut stated that he has plenty of great ideas for the popular Seasalt and Beach Bar, including new dishes, cocktails, a new seafood brunch and salt pairing menus, which will be revealed in detail very soon.
Helmut is a full-on foodie with palate trained to appreciate just about every type of cuisine out there. When asked about restaurants in the world he would recommend to our readers, Helmut replied, “This is a hard question. My shortlist would be Australian barbecue restaurant, Burnt Ends, in Singapore, or Völlerei, which I think is the best Austrian food you can find in Austria.” Of late, Helmut has been quite taken with the dishes and culinary style of Thai cuisines, “especially a good Tom Yum soup.”
At the moment, Helmut is having the time of his life working and living in the Island of the Gods. For the sake of understanding the industry more, Helmut is exploring new trends such as vegan cuisines, much like the healthy Nalu Bowls that he’s been taking for breakfast. A steady regime of gym and swimming keeps the prolific Food & Beverages Manager primed and ready for his daily adventures at the hotel and in the island that he has come to deeply love.
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