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(10/25/2013) James Ephraim, executive chef of The Mozaic Beach Club at Batubelig, Seminyak will welcome Chef Cédric Bourassin of the 3 Michelin star restaurant Michel Bras Toya Japon of Hokkaido, Japan to collaborate on a four-hand dinner on Saturday, November 2, 2013
A lavish six-course tasting menu will feature dishes from Michel Bras Japon's fabled Hokkaido restaurant brought to Bali by executive chef Cedric Bourassin.
The menu promises to be a version of Bras’ cuisine with characteristic Japanese influences. By joining forces with Bali’s own Chef James Ephraim, the common theme of the evening’s fare will be local freshness and innovation.
“Playing in the kitchen is literally what I feel we’ve been doing. Our passion for local fresh ingredients and French Cuisine techniques is opening doors to so much creativity; it’s just pure playing time for us,” says James Ephraim of Mozaic Beach Club.
Born in Bourgogne, Cédric Bourassin spent years studying to be an hotelier before working as an apprentice in a variety of hotels and restaurants.
“Becoming a chef was the last things in my mind,” Bourassin confesses. “I always thought that I would end up working manual jobs, like my father who is a professional interior decorator and painter. My aspiration shifted when a friend of mine talked me into joining a Hotelier School to study “L’Hotellerie Restauration”- (Hotel management & cooking). I never thought I had the potential to become a chef, since my first dish that I ever cooked were crêpes, for my family when I was 10 years old.”
In France where the enjoyment of good food is de rigueur, aspiring chefs are expected to bring an admixture of passion, sacrifice, creativity and hard work to their training in order to earn a reputation among the many thousands of French men and women who have earned the right to wear the toque blanche.
After working with the Bras family for 4 years, Cédric sought further challenges working at various Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Maison PIC - a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in Valence and at Le Saint James in Bouliac-Bordeaux with the renowned Michel Portos.
Heading east, the young chef undertook kitchen roles in Malaysia and Singapore at leading fine dining eateries, eventually landing the title of chef-director at Michel Bras Toya Japon in 2011.
The Japanese position permitted chef Bourassin to continue his Asian culinary odyssey while, at the same time, returning to his earliest roots by once again cooking with the Bras family. Recalling his early start at Bras Laguiole in France, he said: "I worked in every food section in the kitchen where I learnt ‘Maison Bras’ philosophy, cooking styles and techniques. The ‘cuisine’ incorporates simple yet quality natural ingredients (herbs, flowers and vegetables) mostly grown from Michel’s impressive garden to create special dishes, like the Gargouillou.”
Le Gargouillou – the signature dish of Michel Bras is praised, emulated and copied around the world. A deceptively simple medley of garden vegetables and flowers – each component is individually blanched to perfection before being invited to join a Leviathan of flavor and beauty. With as many as fifty ingredients, the Gargouillou is a garden of earthly delights presented on a dining table - full of discovery and new nuances of flavor each fork awaiting with each fork full.
Commenting on his cuisine, Bourassin continued: “I cannot say that I have fully achieved my carrier goals, but I am almost getting there. As you know cuisine evolves and is well appreciated by people when adapted according to their produce of vicinity. Fresh produce and ingredients is key to a good healthy cuisine. This is what makes my job interesting and motivating because I am always experimenting and playing with different tastes, matching colors on plates, trying to achieve a pleasant smell. . . to create that perfect dish.”
Chef James Ephraim
Four hands are better than two and for this special occasion Chef James Ephraim, the executive chef of the Mozaic Beach Club, will be combining talents and recipes with Chef Bourassin.
The UK-born Chef Ephraim started his career as a sous-chef with the highly praised Grosvenor Hotel, catering exclusive events with regular appearances at the Estate of the Duke of Westminster. He ventured half way across the world to another island nation to open Bracu Restaurant in New Zealand as chef de cuisine, before transitioning to helm various restaurant establishments.
He now continues the legacy initially created at the Ubud flagship by Co-owner and Chef Chris Salans in the Mozaic's Beach Club location.