The Black Box Cooking Competition
At Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay we love to help our guests come up with fun and different ways to commemorate special occasions. So when a family decided to have a reunion in Bali, we went all out, customizing their stay with a host of activities. The highlight was the Black Box Cooking Competition, a friendly contest among friends that turned into an unforgettable event.
Our celebrated onsite cooking school, which imparts the culinary secrets of Asian cuisine, and our fabulous Indonesian restaurant, Warung Mie, which features authentic local and regional specialties, lent their services. The chefs of each facility supervised the competition and made sure that the competitors were in excellent hands.
The participants were split into two groups of six – one group worked at the school and the other at Warung Mie. When the Black Box Competition began, each group received a black box containing identical ingredients. The challenge for each team was to create a two-course menu using the contents in the box. Ingredients included turmeric, Asian ginger, and other local Balinese ingredients. To make things even more interesting, each box contained a secret ingredient, known only to that group. Once the ingredients were handed out, the two teams had a set time in which to develop their menu and prepare their dishes.
Working with their mentors the participants launched into their tasks with the excitement of eager new students. They had a wonderful time learning the fine art of Balinese cuisine. At the cooking school, which houses a stone-paved entry courtyard and garden and a gleaming state-of-the-art kitchen, they got a lesson in the art of Asian cooking, even using a tandoor oven, Asian cook range, noodle boiler, and rice/vegetable steamer. There were plenty of mistakes and laughs along the way.
Of course, the participants didn’t spend all of their holiday slaving over a hot stove. They gave themselves plenty of time to take in the staggering beauty of Bali’s natural wonders – its sacred mountains, quaint and peaceful villages, lush green rice paddies, ancient temples and magnificent waterfalls. They watched holy Balinese dances, met local healers and swam in the tropical waters of the emerald-green Indian Ocean.
When it came time to present their dishes, the participants gathered for a specially arranged dinner. Our hotel chefs served as judges, and were pleasantly surprised by the results. As for the competitors, spending a holiday on the island of Bali, cooking up local dishes in gorgeous surroundings, and dining on their own culinary creations was a fabulous and memorable way to celebrate.