Bali is fast becoming one of Asia’s leading food destinations, and Master Chef, Chris Salans, has played a huge role in this with the opening of Ubud restaurants Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomoqie and Spice by Chris Salans.
The food scene in Bali is growing by the day, and it would be fair to say that the island offers some of the best cuisine and venues in Asia, if not the world. And we aren’t being biased either [honest!]– Bali’s restaurants and chefs are winning world-renowned awards and accolades, and as the number of restaurants and cafes increase we only see the food culture on the island improving [as if it could!].
A man who knows what we are talking about is Chris Salans, owner of highly reputable and iconic restaurants Mozaic, in Ubud, and Spice, in Ubud and Sanur – all of which have become culinary destinations in their own right and have helped put Bali on the ‘foodie’ map. So what makes Chris such an expert in providing world-class food that constantly delivers? We find out.
Born in the USA [his father is American], raised in France [his mother is French], and now residing in Bali [his wife is Indonesian] he has the experience to combine different flavours, cooking methods and styles from around the world. The youngest of three brothers, he spent his pre-teens globe-trotting with his parents, which opened up his eyes to the different cuisine available in different countries, from Michelin star restaurants to street food.
Chris is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who saw Bali’s culinary treasures, and applied it to his own tastes. The result? He is now considered a bit of a celeb in Asia and beyond, especially in Bali!
Chris’ first restaurant, Mozaic, opened in 2001, and hoped to provide a place for people to not just eat good food but to also experience that intimate jungle-like-vibes that Ubud has. And it certainly delivered. Now often referred to as ‘the culinary heart of Bali’, Mozaic has earnt itself some impressive accolades. In 2013 Mozaic was the highest ranked resto in Indonesia when it won 50th place in San Pellegrino Acqua Panna Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, 5th place in the Miele Guide’s Best Restaurants of Asia, it nabbed the award for the ‘Best Asian Restaurant’ at the World Gourmet Summit in 2015, plus it was recently listed in the Foodie Top 100 Restaurants – Best of the 2016 in Asia Pacific. Impressive!
But that wasn’t enough for us Bali foodies, so Chris opened Spice in 2015 – a gastro-bar with all day dining options. This lively, hip café gave people the chance to experience his famous cooking in a more affordable way. Again located in Ubud, it became on overnight success, so much so infact that a second Spice location just opened its door in the east coast town of Sanur, with another on the way in Seminyak.
So why do Mozaic and Spice have such fantastic reputations? A few things [and this coming from first-hand experience] – quality ingredients sourced from all over, perfect execution, a diverse and intense variation of flavours, a combination of native and international foods, an ever-changing menu, and beautiful settings. You can’t really go wrong with that!
So, the question on all of our lips… what’s next?! We caught Chris at a rare free moment and asked that very question! As the Mozaic family grows so does its potential to expand. As we attract more and more talented people into our vibrant culture the pool of ideas for growth is also expanding. We are currently planning Spice by Chris Salans in Seminyak and discussing one in Jimbaran. The next step will be to setup Spice so that it can travel outside of Bali so that we can share the wonderful flavors of our cuisine with a wider audience. We are also discussing putting a new F&B concept together based around Coffee, since Indonesia is now producing such wonderful coffee. The dream of opening a specialty cooking, bartending and service school is still very prominent and it is being discussed on a regular basis. So the future is bright and full of options. I just need to make sure that we grow wisely!
Chris knows food [he was even a judge on TV’s Top Chef Indonesia!], and his techniques have proved so popular all over the world that he released an award winning cook book that divulges his secret ingredients and methods. It’s safe to say Chris is a foodie legend on the island of the Gods, and we strongly recommend checking out Mozaic or Spice pronto!
Follow Chris on Instagram @chris_salans, and visit Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomoqie, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud Gianyar, p.+62 361 975768, and Spice by Chris Salans, Jalan Raya Ubud No 23 Ubud, Gianyar, p. +62 (0)361 4792 420, Jalan Danau Tamblingan No 140, Sanur, p.+62 (0)361 4490 411.