Chef's corner: Wayan Sudarsana, chef of Sequoia
Born in Bali, chef Wayan has grown up with a love of Indonesian cuisine and wants to share it with the world. With more than 20 years experience in five-star hotels such as Viceroy and one of the best Indonesian Restaurants, Mozaic, this season he will be whipping up a unique menu with Indonesian flare from the finest local seasonal ingredients on board 26 metre Sequoia.
I am Balinese so my life has revolved around gathering food, living and eating well. One of my favourite adventures is acquiring local ingredients. Most of our guests are families and it is rewarding to introduce them to foods they have never heard of and watch them as they sit as a group at the table. Sometimes I hear them say, “This is insane, how could I not know this food existed!”
My favourite market is Maumere, Flores which Sequoia anchors just in front of. It is buzzing with activity as sellers scurry to get their freshly caught fish. Surprisingly, unlike any other markets, no plastic is used to transfer the product to the buyers. They only use coconut vine. The variety of fish is all that you can imagine from yellow fin tuna, mahi-mahi, leather jacket fish, and so much more. The Indonesian archipelago is within the Coral Triangle, the richest oceans in the world supporting 500 million people with their daily protein needs.
Strangest requests? Sometimes guests say, “Please do not serve me bread or any desserts because I like them too much and can not control how much I eat”. Gaining weight on board Sequoia even with all of the physical activities from scuba diving to birding is common.
My favourite dish to cook on board is called Rendang from West Sumatra, with 24 raw spices slow cooked in freshly grated coconut milk. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of coconuts. We love to make all things coconut. The dish is laborious to prepare requiring several hours. Guests have said after eating it that they want it served at all future dinners! And for dessert, they'll be served a Klaapertaart and home made coconut ice cream.
My ideal guests would be a curious family. A guest that craves new culinary experiences and, more importantly, to share those discoveries with their loved ones, is wonderful to witness.
What is good on our plate should also be good for our planet. From sourcing organic and locally grown ingredients to supporting responsible businesses practices has become Sequoia’s way of life. It is our responsibility to make sure the grandeur of the Coral Triangle, the richest reefs on earth, will last for generations to come. Therefore, we are conscious about the use of plastic and adhere to a “no one time use” of plastic such as straws, plastic bottle water, and other plastic garbage usage on board Sequoia. Your journey with sustainable food starts here.