Ayana Appoints New Executive Chef

Ayana Resort and Spa Bali has appointed veteran hotelier – and former gymnastics champion – Bernhard Butz as Executive Chef, strengthening its management team ahead of the September opening of sister hotel Rimba Jimbaran Bali, a 297-room hotel located within Ayana’s 77-hectare property.

Chef Bernhard brings over 25 years of hospitality experience to Ayana. Raised in Germany, he began his culinary journey as a pastry apprentice in his native town of Germersheim, where he was also a serious gymnastics competitor. Noted for his dynamic floor and ring routines, Bernhard started his gymnastics training at the age of four, and went on to compete in German national championships at the age of 17.

When not working on his backflips and cartwheels, Bernhard’s aptitude and love for creating delectable cuisine flourished. Upon receiving formal training, he was hired as executive chef at some of the finest hotels and resorts across the globe including InterContinental Berlin, JW Marriott Seoul and Sheraton Amman. He also spent two years on the high seas aboard the world’s most famous ocean liner, the Queen Elizabeth 2, as a pastry chef. Having spent over 20 years in Asia, his most recent posting was executive chef at Shangri La Hotel Group in China, a position he held for more than five years.

Bernhard describes his cooking style as “simple and understanding”, drawing on his passion for outstanding food presentation and balance of flavors. “I use only the best available local products to get the best result and flavors,” he said. “My aim is to enhance the culinary scene at Ayana and to make every dining experience, an authentic and memorable one.”

Chef Bernhard replaces Ayana’s previous executive chef Giordano Faggioli, who moves to the pre-opening team for neighboring Rimba Jimbaran Bali in a new role as director of Food & Beverage. Giordano joined Ayana in 2010 and elevated the quality of the cuisine throughout the resort, achieving record scores for guest satisfaction. He was instrumental in the achievements of signature restaurant Dava, which was just awarded by the 2012/13 Miele Guide. At RImba, which is also managed by Capella Hotel Group, Giordano will oversee new dining concepts including Indonesia’s biggest Chinese restaurant Ah-Yat Seafood Abalone, and an ultra-chic roof-top bar called Unique.

Giordano welcomed Chef Bernhard to the Ayana family and said the latter’s wide-ranging expertise across European, Asian, Arabic, and classical cuisine would enhance the culinary experience at Ayana even further. “Chef Bernhard is an asset to Ayana. No other resort in Bali has as many dining and bar outlets as Ayana, and chef Bernhard’s high personal ethical standards and professional experience will ensure culinary standards are not only maintained, but are raised even higher to cater for the different tastes and preferences of guests from around the world,” Giordano says.

Chef Bernhard will oversee all culinary operations at Ayana’s 13 restaurants and bars, In-Room Dining and banqueting services that include:

  • Damar Terrace, surrounded by terraced lily ponds, serves an all-day menu of Asian favorites in relaxation pavilion with daybeds. Live music is performed some evenings.
  • Dava, an ultra-chic restaurant with stunning Indian Ocean views serving modern European cuisine by chef Jusman So, and a la carte breakfast for villa guests. Was recently recognized with a 2012/13 Miele Guide listing.
  • Kisik Bar and Grill, an ocean front, sand-floored restaurant carved into the cliffside serving fresh seafood fresh from the boats and cooked to perfection over coconut husk barbecues.
  • Rock Bar, a must-see for every visitor to Bali, perched 14 meters above the ocean on a rocky outcrop at the base of towering cliffs.
  • Padi, featuring Thai, Indian, and Indonesian cuisine for dinner, and international buffet breakfast.
  • Sami Sami, a cliff-top restaurant serving Italian cuisine.
  • Langit Theatre, an open-air, terraced theatre for dining under the stars while watching traditional Balinese dance performances.
  • Spa Café, serving low calorie healthy spa cuisine.
  • Pesta Lobster ‘Dinner on The Pier’, the resort’s famous candle-lit, five-course lobster dinner for just two people, 'cast away' on the private pier extending out into the Indian Ocean.

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