I am relaxing at the Bali InterContinental Resort about to share in an Indonesian Cooking Class organised by Encanta.
Yes, how exciting a Perth based PCO managing events in the warmth and accomodating Bali, and they have been running this particular medical conference here for the past three years. They say the life of a PCO is tough!
Last night, I watched a delegate walk into the welcome reception (located outdoors, on the grass, overlooking the ocean as the sun set, barefoot and thongs in hand). I thought how wonderful and how quickly delegates relax in a location such as this.
The hotel is secluded within boundaries of the exclusive Jimbaran Bay overlooking the beach. The Resort is reasonably isolated from the busier parts of Bali, and this is music to my ears. It is exactly the location I was looking for, tranquil, despite being full, the space here is so abundant that you can sit on a daybed (as I did yesterday, overlooking the calmest of calm lakes, and feeling that the world had stopped for 4 blissful hours). I barely saw a soul that entire time. Talking about soul, how totally soulful!
Naturally the delegates and their partners are taking full advantage of the day spa and its many services and treatments and I am reminded that with each treatment (trust me there have been a few) the Balinese women truly make you believe that they love what they are doing. Each treatment, you are left feeling just a little bit more loved and pampered.
So the cooking class, which Encanta organised for the accompanying partners (and lucky me gets to do this as well…after all it was a birthday gift from Alison) starts with a bus ride into the bustling seafood markets (which is interesting given I am allergic to seafood and you will never see me serving seafood at our table). The smell is often more offensive than the side effects from eating it. It is very likely that I will be that difficult person who declines the walk through the markets. I don’t think this girl is ready to come face to face with any big fat or small groper today (and is there even a fish called groper)?
Let me not digress, after all my blog is all about food and entertainment, not self indulgence and tranquility (seriously…food is all about self indulgence)!
So proud of myself! I thought stop being a wimp and get on that bus headed for the seafood markets, and I did!
I made it off the bus, right to the front door of the markets, took one whiff and pulled away, and I am left asking myself what am I doing…a seafood cooking class…I must be seriously mad!
The gracious Chef from the hotel takes pity on me after seeing the distraught look etched across my face, and I am liking this man just a little bit more now.
Photo | Chef and Seafood Markets behind
I see a man, resembling an Australian (maybe the thongs). His plate is not filled but piled with prawn shells. I have a vision of the inside of his belly and trust me it is not the prettiest thought. I think he has just eaten someone else’s lifetime supply of prawns in one sitting. He even let me photograph his plate, quite possibly unaware how the photo would be used.
Photo | this is quite possibly one of the ugliest photos I have seen! Taken by Stacey who was couragious enough to venture inside the markets! What is it…a groper? Definitely think it should have gotten away this one.
OMG how fantastic am I!
I made it to the front door of the markets. Who would have thought and all I can think is, how totally disgusting! I think maybe I might throw myself under a passing motorbike, which pretty much happens without me even trying.
I am thrilled that I get to now sit under a canopy, far enough away from the markets and my nostrils start to clear (and yet sadly the smell still etched in my brain) looking out onto another glorious and tranquil beach.
Photo | Beach on Jimbaran Bay, near the seafood markets
The Cooking Class | Note all recipes provided below
Shopping for seafood is complete and we are back at the hotel. We arrive at the InterContinentals famous Japanese Restaurant, Ko, to commence a further 3 hour cooking class.
The restaurant is exclusively ours, and the Teppanyaki Bar is filled with glorious fruits, vegetables, and gorgeous Indonesian spices and yes…seafood.
My white orchids which I have at home in a very minor way are everywhere here and in such great abundance that I am suffering a massive dose of orchid envy.
My Chefs hat keeps falling off my head and I am hoping it is a child’s size as opposed to the size of my head. It erks me just a little that Liousa’s hat fits perfectly and yet beware of the woman with a small head and massive knife.
Photo | Luisa ready for action
What fabulous value; a bus ride to the markets with our lovely chef, water supplied throughout, our group is exclusively seated around the stunning Japanese Bar of the Ko Restaurant, a chefs apron and hat (which on my head is now looking a little more like a member of the ku klux klan than a chef), chopping board and massive chefs knife sharper than sharp. Added to this cooking class we get to enjoy a substantial 4 course meal with an abundance of red and white wine flowing.
Photo | Stacey trying her hand at cooking (note hand…because the other has wine in it)
Luckily for me my meal was especially prepared (no seafood) and I am eternally grateful. Staff constantly refresh our scented hand towels, and I see the mess Luisa makes alongside me and I start to understand why (sorry Liousa, but you don’t get to be the spunky model and be tidy).
Don’t worry, all the recipes have been provided below for the seafood die hards and my brother.
By this stage I am starting to feel very special as my meals start coming my way and this includes the Gado Gado (my Father’s favourite), photographed below.
We have made our way through four courses and drank a little more wine than we possibly should and I start to think that any moment now I might die and fly away to heaven…but hey what a way to go…totally stuffed with food! How good is life!
Note | this salad menu above is pictured below with the prawn wrapped banana leaf
Photo | Dessert and the recipe will be added shortly
To finish, the resort’s head chef (French and need I say more) came to welcome us and thank us! Perfect way to finish a perfect cooking class!
Thank you Alison for 5 wonderful hours. The perfect birthday present!
Thank you Encanta, the perfect accompanying partner event. You did well yet again!
Can’t talk anymore, at the spa after yet another exhausting day in Bali!
Photo | waiting for Balinese massage