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New Man in Charge at Dava Restaurant

John Nash Joins AYANA Resort and Spa Bali as Chef de Cuisine at Dava Restaurant.

(2/12/2011) AYANA Resort and Spa Bali is using the occasion of the appointment of its new chef de cuisine to also reinvent the elegant fine dining venue for the 5-star resort - Dava.

Introducing Chef John Nash

Previously based in Doha, Qatar, where he was chef de cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton's La Mer fine dining French restaurant, John Nash said he was inspired to join AYANA because of the resort's successful re-branding and the opportunity for creative freedom provided by Dava.

"Bali already has a multitude of fantastic restaurants specializing in various cuisines, and I wanted to do something completely different," said the American who has worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan. "My menus draw on the concept of a classic steakhouse, offering the six best cuts of meats paired with the guest's choice of gourmet sauces and sides. But we've taken it upscale with a modern twist, featuring seafood dishes, small touches of molecular gastronomy in the mushroom gelee and horseradish espuma for example, use of local flavors and ingredients, and a larger selection of meats than a traditional steakhouse."

The Dava, under the watchful eye of Chef Nash, will use meats and seafood that are prepared using the sous-vide or "under vacuum" technique much in favor with some of the world's best chefs, including Paul Bocuse, Michael Mina and Joel Robuchon. Sous-vide maintains the integrity of the ingredients and ensures even, slow cooking for full flavor, by sealing the meat or seafood in an airtight plastic bag in a water bath and cooking it at low temperatures for many hours. At Dava, the braised short ribs are cooked for more than 24 hours, while the Angus beef fillets are cooked for two hours.

John Nash has also created a new Tasting Menu offering a choice of 3, 4 or 5 courses.

"This is my play area, where I get to do the really fun things," said John, who first got into cooking while working at a ski resort. Then 17, he was on banquet set-up, but decided he "wanted to wear a tall, white hat. Now I never wear a hat, it falls off going in and out of coolers and is very inconvenient."