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Keep it Green, Keep it Local

Bali Restaurateur Chris Salans Works with Bali Farmers to Maximize the Use of Local Produce and Food Ingredients


Bali News: Bali, Mozaic, Spice by Chris Salans, local food ingredients
Click Image to Enlarge

(9/18/2017)

Top-class restaurants in Bali are often accused of favoring imported ingredient over local producers for their businesses.
 
As reported by Balipost.com, at least one leading chef with decades of experience in Bali rejects such claims while, at the same time, explaining the reluctance of many restaurants and hotels to depend on local farmers for their food supply.  American Chris Salans, the owner of Mozaic and Spice by Chris Salans said he genuinely desires to use local products in his recipes, but does encounter problems of limited supply and seasonality.
 
On Saturday, September 9, 2017, Chris Salans, speaking to the press at ‘Sanur Goes Organic” – a farmer’s market organized outside at his Sanur Restaurant, told how, when he formerly worked in hotels in Bali, he needed tomatoes, but could never find red, ripe and sweet tomatoes.  Salans said he could only find tomatoes that were half-ripe and green or yellow in color.
 
Salans said, “I went to the farmers and asked ‘where are the red tomatoes?’ According to the farmers, the red tomatoes were already rotten, explained Salans.

Salans now buys his "vine ripened" produce directly from farmers so they can be immediately transported to his restaurants.
 
Chris insists that in order to make delicious food he needs produce that has ripened on the vine, but soon realized that farmers will suffer losses if they ripen their produce in this way. Farmers need to pick their “under-ripe” produce so it will arrive in the market, surviving picking and transportation to local markets in a still-useable condition.
 
The trip from field to market can take up to 5-6 days.
 
Running three restaurants, Chris says that he is often forced to buy imported raw materials to meet the supply needs of his eateries. Added to this, seasonal supplies of certain produce makes a steady supply problematic.
 
Chris Salans has lived and worked in Bali for 20 years, prides himself on the use of local ingredients in his recipes. “I was the first chef to use local products. I first came to Bali in 1995. Prior to that, all hotels imported their food. I was the first one to go to local markets, buying fish directly from the market in Kedonganan,” Chris said.
 
Chris says that his two Spice by Chris Salans Restaurants use 100% local products. In order to show his appreciation to local farmers, Chris now sponsors farmer markets at events such as “Sanur Goes Organic.” Explaining, “I have profited from Bali because of their farmers. And now I want to repay in a number of ways the assistance received from Bali’s farmers.
 
Meanwhile, Chris' Mozaic fine-dining restaurant in Ubud still uses 60% imported goods as ingredients. As a result, costs of production are higher at Mozaic.
 
Referring to his two Spice by Chris Salans Restaurants that use only locally produced ingredients, he said: “I have told my chefs, we cannot import. Butter must be replaced with coconut oil; meats used must be local meats. Here as ‘Spice’ everything is a local ingredient, there are no imports and the prices are below Rp. 200,000.”
 
The “Sanur Goes Organic” farmers’ market is held in Sanur outside Spice by Chris Salans every Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase organic produce but also be able to view live cooking demonstrations


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