A year ago March, I had the good fortune to travel to Bali.
I stayed at both Four Seasons Resorts Bali, one high in the mountains near Ubud and the other on the shores of the Indian Ocean at Jimbaran Bay. Recently a new Executive Chef was appointed and has already made his mark on the superb culinary offerings at this magical resort. Here’s my story about Chef Phillip Taylor, his role at the resort, and his own recipe for Balinese Bouillabaisse. The Chef kindly shared it with me and I am now sharing it with you. Enjoy!
In all honesty, once I’d arrived at my Ocean Villa at the Four Seasons resort on Jimbaran Bay, I never wanted to leave.
Ensconced in this picture-perfect Four Seasons take on Balinese architecture, what possible reason would I? Behind a traditional Balinese door, in a private stone-walled garden, I had every creature comfort imaginable. In a lush garden, my private swimming pool glistened, lounge chairs beckoned under their thatched roof. My canopy bed could wait for later. Perhaps after a soak in the enormous tub overlooking the frangipani growing in the courtyard. Or a quiet drink in my sitting area. A persimmon from the fruit bowl perhaps?
What drove me from my personal paradise was hunger.
I am sure it could have been happily satisfied with a call to Room Service. But then I would have missed all the options the Four Seasons lays out for its guests. No less than four restaurants awaited. And now, guests have a new reason to try every one of them. Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay has just greeted a new Executive Chef. Phillip Taylor arrived this past July. And he’s already made his mark across all the restaurants in Jimbaran Bay’s portfolio.
If Chef Taylor looks preternaturally young, it’s because he is.
At just 32 years of age, he is one of the youngest Executive Chefs of all 112 Four Seasons properties. Born in New Zealand, raised in Australia, he started cooking to put himself through Pharmacy School in Melbourne. His passion for cooking didn’t keep him from finishing his degree. But it led him to culinary school and not to a Pharmacy. His rise was steady and swift. His culinary school provided a background in classic French culinary techniques. This led to his becoming Chef de Cuisine at several Michelin-starred venues. For ten years, he crisscrossed the globe. In the end, he was particularly drawn to Asian flavors. Chef Taylor is quoted as saying “Food tells a story about people and culture. Like a person, it has character, individuality, history, pride and serves a very important purpose. My biggest influence comes from traveling around the globe and exploring local cuisine with different chefs and Bali is a melting pot of talent and ingredients.”
Inspiration for Chef Taylor is right down the beach.
The village of Jimbaran lies just to the north of the resort. From their villas, all of which overlook the sea, early risers at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay are greeted with the sight of traditional Balinese fishing junking boats. They make their way across the bay where they unload their catches. Local Balinese women carry baskets of whole fish, prawns, squid, lobster, crabs, mussels, and scallops into the Fish Market. Guests at the Four Seasons can join chef-guided tours of the Fish Market. As part of its Jala Cooking Academy, helmed by Bali Celebrity Chef Kristya Yuhda, the cooking school students bring their catch back to the school to prepare lunch. Meanwhile, Chef Taylor takes full advantage of the freshest fish imaginable as he puts his menus together for Four Seasons’ guests.
The Chef has just launched a modern Asian Dinner menu at Jimbaran Bay’s Sandara Beach Club and Restaurant.
Knowing the guests’ fondness for certain classics, these were kept. Chef Taylor has introduced some fascinating new flavors like blue cheese ice cream with Guava compote, a fresh-from-the-Jimbaran-Bay fishing boats seafood and sashimi platter with bamboo lobster, flower crab, king prawns, wild salmon, yellowfin tuna, and snapper. He’s also reinvented Bouillabaisse, a recipe he shared with us to share with you, which follows this article.
Chef Taylor is already experimenting with Balinese ingredients.
He has already produced his own recipe for Balinese Bouillabaisse. Snapper, Prawns, Octopus and Scallops are married in a version with an orange-flavored sauce and tomato fondue. The Chef was kind enough to share his recipe. Still, I can’t help feeling, I’d like to try the real thing the first chance I get to go back to Bali and the splendid Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Below, Chef Taylor’s recipe for Bali Bouillabaisse.
Bali Bouillabaisse from Chef Phillip Taylor
- Scallops, octopus, prawns, snapper and calamari. For the Bouillabaisse:
- 5 kg. Salmon Bones & Head
- 150 g Onions
- 125 g Shallots
- 39 g Ginger
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 200 g Fennel
- 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 2.5 g Saffron
- 2 Red Chilis
- 50 ml Olive oil
- 1 Orange Peel
- 500 g Tomatoes
- 675 ml White Wine divided 500 ml and 175 ml.
- For the Orange Gel:
- 80 g Yuzu Juice
- 5 g Sliced Ginger
- 465 g Orange Juice
- 60 g Honey
- 1 pkg Gelatine
- 8 g Agar
- For the Tomato Fondue:
- 2.5 kg Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, concasse)
- 180 g Onions
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 110 g Tomato Paste
- 80 g Olive Oil
- 10 g Sugar
- 15 g Salt
- Step 1 To make the Orange Gel: Soften gelatin in iced water.
- Step 2 Bring to boil agar, orange juice, yuzu juice, sliced ginger & honey whilst constantly stirring.
- Step 3 Add gelatin. Strain into a tray and chill.
- Step 4 Once the mixture is set as a jelly, cut into small pieces and blend to a very smooth puree.
- Step 5 To Make the Tomato Fondue:
- Step 6 Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until soft without color. Once soft, add tomato paste and caramelize. Add tomatoes, salt & sugar. Cover with baking paper and foil. Cook in the oven for 1.5 hours at 180 Degrees C
- Step 7 For the Bouillabaisse:
- Step 8 Clean the fish bones, removing gills and eyes.
- Step 9 Chop the bones into 4-inch pieces. Rinse under cold water for 1 hour.
- Step 10 Peel and wash all the vegetables, cut into 1 cm cubes. Brown fish bones on non-stick paper.
- Step 11 In a pot sauté the vegetables with olive oil until soft. Deglaze with white wine.
- Step 12 Add tomato, vegetable tea, and salmon bones. Add cold water to cover the bones, simmer for 30 minutes. Cover and allow flavors to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove bones.
- Step 13 Blend vegetables and stock until smooth. Pass through a fine strainer. Adjust seasoning of the bouillabaisse with butter, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Step 14 Season and grill the scallops, octopus, prawns, snapper, and calamari on the flattop. Finish with lemon zest.
- Step 15 Garnish with dots of orange puree, betel leaf crisps & bronze fennel.