The multi award-winning chef-owners of Locavore
I hope I taught some kids how to become better cooks, and to be more responsible for their surroundings.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
Ray: I spent my childhood in Jakarta, and after high school, I got sent away by my parents to go overseas to do something that I wasn’t keen on. Obviously, that didn’t work out. So after skipping so many classes, I decided to go to a cooking school, which turns out, was the right move for me! After a few years working abroad, I decided to go back to Jakarta where I met Eelke in 2008.
Eelke: Personally I don’t think my story is that interesting – I simply got lucky by being born in a little countryside village in the South of Holland. My parents really let me make my own decisions, and for some reason, I chose for my future to be in the kitchen. So I spent a lot of time working my ass off, starting from when I was 14 years-old. I got my first job in a little kitchen back home in Holland, and the rest is history…
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Ray: To have built a Locavore family and to have grown together with them, in good times and in tough times too.
Eelke: My two sons, though I’m not sure if having kids is an accomplishment!
What impact have you made in Bali?
Ray: Tough question, I don’t think that is for me to answer…!
Eelke: Wow, no idea really… I hope I taught some kids how to become better cooks, and to be more responsible for their surroundings. I’ve never tried to aim too big…
What does 2022 look like for you?
Ray: Hopefully we will be busy cooking again and welcoming our international guests from all over. Besides that, we are opening a bar in Berawa hopefully mid-year, and we will see our dream project come to life too! Fingers crossed…
Eelke: Hopefully we can get some more guests through the doors of our restaurants so that there will be less financial stress. But at the same time, we are opening our dream restaurant later this year, which is a bit more than just a restaurant. So that should be cool… and scary!
What do you love most about Bali?
Ray: Bali is very much home to me, but what do I like about it? Probably the pace and the quality of life here. Bali is perfect to raise my little one and to hang out with him and my wife on my days off.
Eelke: To be honest I’m not sure I love it here… There are many good things about Bali (the people, mostly) but it also has some bad things, and you don’t have to look particularly hard to find them. Don’t get me wrong, I like being here, but I am not one of those people that say they will never leave.
If you could choose your last ever meal, what would it be?
Ray: For me it would be Padang food, and my mum’s braised ox tongue with sweet soy sauce.
Eelke: Not so much what, but more with who… And that would be my parents, sister and wife (last but never, ever least!). Maybe something simple and Dutch, although my wife wouldn’t be happy about that!
Who is your Local Legend and why?
Ray: Besides the boys and the girls in our Locavore family, it would be Felix Schoener , who is our current R&D Chef. Felix has been a great mentor to so many young Indonesian chefs, and not only that, he also has a good taste in music! Sadly, Felix will be leaving us soon will and hopefully taking on his own dream project…
Eelke: One of our Sous Chefs named Gus Kasida. He is special for so many reasons. We should write a book about him one day! He has had so many bad things happen to him, and yet he is still one of the most pleasant and positive people on the island. I have no idea how he does that…