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“Paon” Real Balinese Cooking by Tjok Maya Kerthyasa and I Wayan Kresna Yasa

“Paon” Real Balinese Cooking by Tjok Maya Kerthyasa and I Wayan Kresna Yasa

FoodieS Team
22 April 2022


Direct from the traditional home kitchens of Bali, Paon is a cookbook of true Balinese food and recipes.


Sharing more than 80 dishes alongside essays and beautiful photography capturing the life, culture, and food from across this widely beloved island, Balinese locals Tjok Maya Kerthyasa and I Wayan Kresna Yasa shine a light on the depth and diversity of Balinese cuisine, with insight into food and worship, sacred fare, and zero-waste cooking.

Journey through rice fields, food forests, coastal towns and bustling markets in six chapters: Foundations; From the Fields; From the Land; From the Sea; From the Pasar; and Rare and Ceremonial.

Balinese food can be as modest as a plate of fresh pineapple with sea salt and chopped chilies, or as complex as minced duck massaged with grated coconut and spices, then pressed around bamboo skewers, wrapped in banana leaves, and grilled slowly over coconut husks. In Paon, all of these riffs on Balinese cooking – from the simple to the spectacular – are worthy of praise and preservation.

In traditional Balinese cooking, there is an emphasis on the whole process, which is something Maya and Wayan learned from their ancestors and wish to preserve for future generations; readers will be encouraged to make their own coconut milk and spice pastes, double-cook rice the traditional way, and use their hands and intuition.

Paon offers a deeper understanding of Balinese culture and the true meaning of Balinese cooking – the philosophies, traditions, rituals and elements that give it purpose and soul. Its pages reveal a largely untold story of the island: everyday Bali, modern Bali, agricultural Bali. Paon is an essential cookbook for lovers of Indonesian food and culture, and the first book of its kind.

Tjok Maya Kerthyasa is an Indonesian-Australian writer living in Ubud, Bali. After a successful career in Sydney writing for Australian Gourmet Traveller, She moves back home to Bali to reconnect with her family and her ancestral home. Since returning, Maya has hosted culinary-based events, starred in an Indonesian food-based web series called Masakan Rumah, and has spoken about Balinese cooking for various media platforms. Maya is documenting her grandmother’s recipes to share with the next generation of Balinese cooks and food lovers from other parts of the world.

Maya is joined by Chef I Wayan Kresna Yasa, born on the island of Nusa Penida, off Bali’s east coast. He trained and worked in the US for six years. In Bali, he is known for the deftness of his cooking, his deep respect for the environment, and his drive to put the flavors of his home on the global culinary map. Wayan is now global executive chef and culinary director for the Potato Head family. He opened Ijen – the group’s first zero-waste sustainable seafood restaurant – and Kaum which is known for its revival of rare tribal recipes from across the archipelago.

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