World Chefs: The art of "uncooking" in Bali

Tue Nov 8, 2011 3:06am EST
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By Trisha Sertori

UBUD, Bali (Reuters) - Balinese chef I Made Runatha, who discovered raw food at the age of 52, creates gourmet cuisine that consists of organic raw plants blended into luscious meals.

The classically trained chef worked in kitchens from Beijing to Bali and Warsaw to Cairns before becoming head chef for Fivelements Health Hotel in Bali where he turned off his ovens, switched on a dehydrator and found that rice noodles can come from coconuts.

In the process, he lost 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and has never felt healthier.

Runatha spoke to Reuters about discovering and experimenting with raw food and adapting it to Balinese dishes.

Q: How did a classically trained chef turn to uncooking?

A: "It was a long story that started three years ago. The owners of Fivelements here in Bali sent me to The Living Light Culinary Institute in Fort Bragg, California, to study gourmet raw foods. I spent two months learning about this incredible raw food. It really interests me as it is all about health, love and also about life. When we do the raw food we really use our hearts to make it."

Q: What is gourmet raw food cuisine?

A: "Raw food is based on plants that are not cooked, are unprocessed, have no chemicals and are organic."   Continued...