Manoj Rawat’s Track and Kitchen Dominance
An athlete and an accomplished chef, Manoj Rawat is living proof that being an avid foodie need not be in the way of being fit.
AND THERE he was – enduring the strain and pain of excruciating physical duress nearly three hours straight. No rest; no respite. But the runner knew he couldn’t stop. He ran 14 laps around ITDC, one of the vastest commercial complexes in the island, and in the end, he was the 5th strongest runner out of around 700 contestants. But even as he recovered at the end of the race, he had no time to be proud of himself. In a short few months he will push his limits once more in full marathons, some with obstacles, around Bali, his current home base, and other cities.
Now, hold on. Why are we talking about a professional marathon runner, you ask? Meet Manoj Rawat, Executive Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali. This super fit chef had always excelled in physical activities, and he’s spent the last three years running. Living, working, and being fit in a paradise island such as Bali has always been his lifelong aspiration, and now that he’s here, chef Manoj continues to be fascinated by Bali’s food, culture, and people.
Manoj Rawat grew up in a small town at the foot hills of the Himalayas with an older brother and two working parents. It was this early on that Manoj started dabbling with cooking, trying silly recipes and leaving burnt pans in his wake. Manoj had fell in love with kitchen affairs since he was a wee boy, and he’s got a minor burn scar on his forearm from hot milk to show for it. Growing up cooking with home-grown vegetables and herbs and produce sent from grandma’s village post-harvest, Manoj’s culinary foundation is that of clean and healthy food.
“Most of the time we (me and my brother) were home alone a lot, and that’s where my cooking experiments started.”
He knew he was destined to be a chef, and sure enough, he was inspired to join a hotel school right after secondary school, where he became the brightest student in his batch with a shining score on culinary subjects. He was determined to be an executive chef, and he sailed through the years of further learning to become just that.
At The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, Manoj’s affinity for health and fitness rubbed off on his overall culinary direction and melds well with Westin’s Eat Well concept. “Our aim is to create experiences for guests throughout their stay, promote local cuisines, and, of course, healthy eating.”
Several healthy signature dishes by chef Manoj, and part of the Westin’s SUPERFOODSRX Menu, include a Super Food Salad mix of quinoa, chickpea, grilled vegetables, avocado, seeds, cranberry, tofu and lavash, as well as Asian Spice Smoked Duck Breast served with pumpkin puree, pickled baby beet, gorgonzola croquette, raspberry, and sorrel leaves.
No stranger to herbs and spices, the chef finds joy in savoring complex cuisines. “It is hard to single out, but some of my favorite cuisines are Chicken Hainan, Vietnamese Pho Bo, and lately, I’ve been in love with the many Indonesian sambals.” But then again, to highlight his human side, the chef also like to indulge in a good “hamburger with bacon, fried egg, and loads of cheese” once very blue moon.
To aspiring athletes out there, chef Manoj Rawat’s healthy habits is an enviable one – he likes to start the day with a breakfast of oatmeal and soy milk and always stocks up the fridge with plenty of isotonic, and with a good exercise as recipe to cleanse his weariness, Manoj is currently on tip-top shape, proven by his easily juggling the most tiresome work in hospitality as an Executive Chef and maintaining a rigorous fitness regime at.
“Many Executive Chefs I’ve worked with inspired me to pursue this career, and I dreamt of one day wearing the same hat.”
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Newly discovered ingredient/food?
Favorite eating place/Bali food?
Waroeng kampoeng, Bumbu bali
Must-have breakfast item?
Oatmeal with soy milk
Currently in your fridge?
Lots of isotonic
Least-liked food trend?
Drink of choice?
I don’t snack at midnight
Indigenous cooking techniques
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali
Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, BTDC Lot N-3 Bali 80363
T: +62 361 771906