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Learn to Cook Indonesian Style at Four Seasons Bali’s Newly Opened Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy

Four Seasons Bali is the only resort on the island to feature its own stand-alone cooking school.
Four Seasons Bali is the only resort on the island to feature its own stand-alone cooking school.

Delicious local food is one of Bali’s most famous attractions and now visitors can take home the authentic flavors of Indonesian cuisine, thanks to a new Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy which has opened at the Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay.

“Four Seasons is the only resort on the island to feature its own stand-alone cooking school. We wanted to go beyond offering casual lessons in the kitchen to providing a full professional-quality training facility. Our classes are designed for novice and experienced cooks alike – creating a focused learning environment for a maximum of 10 students per session,” says Michael Branham, General Manager.

“Food is a great way to create a deep personal connection and also enhance people’s cultural appreciation of Bali and Indonesia. Many of the recipes are based on old family traditions. Now our guests can take these recipes home and share these authentic dishes with their own family and friends.”

Set in its own building, the Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy features a charming stone-paved courtyard and herb garden at its entrance. Enormous glass doors lead into the air-conditioned kitchen, equipped with gleaming state-of-the-art appliances and a large, kidney-shaped, black granite preparation unit with induction hot plates. Students can sample their creations at the communal dining table or outdoors in the shaded courtyard. All graduates receive an official certificate of achievement, as well as copies of the recipes in a beautiful hand-drawn booklet.

The Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy provides a hands-on opportunity to learn about the secret techniques and distinctive ingredients of Indonesian cuisine. Recipes are sourced from the resort’s team of Four Seasons chefs who come from various regions across Indonesia, including Bali, Sulawesi and Sumatra. All classes are taught in English only.

Classes are led by Chef Anak Agung Kristya Yudha, a Balinese native who has been preparing delicious meals for Four Seasons guests for more than 20 years. Caring and passionate with a charming sense of humor, Kristya enjoys engaging with students and sharing his knowledge of Indonesian cuisine and culture.

In each half-day session, students learn to prepare a full five-course meal according to traditional menus representing Bali, Java, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and Sumatra. Highlight dishes include: “Sate rembiga” (traditional beef satay skewer with spicy sauce) from the Nusa Tenggara region; “Bebek betutu”(roasted duck with wrapped in banana leaf) from Bali; and a dessert of “Es doger” (young coconut, tapioca pearls and cassava with sweet milk) from Java.

As part of the day, students can visit the Jimbaran Fish Market – about 10 minutes from Four Seasons – to see how locals shop for the freshest seafood. Students can also pick indigenous ingredients from the academy’s herb and spice garden that grows Thai lemon basil, tamarind, pandan leaf, ginger and garlic.

Taking a class at the Cooking Academy is ideal as an interactive family activity. Once a week, the school offers a kids’ pastry class, focusing on Indonesian desserts.

After an optional market tour at 8 a.m., students gather in the kitchen at 9:30 a.m. to create an authentic Indonesian meal. There are six regional menus (including two different Bali menus), rotating on a daily basis, seven days per week. Special pricing is available when booking multiple sessions, starting at IDR 900,000++ per class. Classes are open to a maximum of 10 participants. Non-resort guests are welcome to attend with advance reservation.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay sits along Bali’s southern coast in 35 acres of oceanfront gardens. Accommodations include 147 villas and nine grand-scale residence villas that can accommodate up to 10 in palatial 11,000 – 24,000-square-foot spaces with 24-hour butler service. Memorable dining options include four restaurants and lounges featuring Indonesian, Thai and global cuisine, in-villa and in-residence dining and specialty meals accompanied by traditional Balinese dance. Cooking classes offer novice to expert instruction in Balinese, Indonesian and Asian dishes as well as the culinary secrets of pastry. The oceanfront Spa features an array of treatments that demonstrate the curative powers of water, including Balinese ayurvedic wellness and healing rituals, along with massages and yoga sessions offered in thatched open-air oceanside gazebos.

For more details on schedules and booking at the Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy, phone (62 361) 701010, or email concierge.balijimbaran@fourseasons.com, www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay/

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