Exclusive Interview With Executive Chef Eric Cocollos of The Apurva Kempinski Bali
The Executive Chef of The Apurva Kempinski Bali, Chef Eric Cocollos recently shared a little about his work on an exclusive interview with the Eat Vacation team.
It’s impossible not to be entranced by all that The Apurva Kempinski Bali has to offer. From the moment you enter the premise, every corner offers a little captivating feat of its own: whether it’s the design, the view, or the impeccable hospitality from the staff. What makes this hotel so unique, the very essence it carries, is what seems to keep its Executive Chef, Eric Cocollos, motivated, too.
“How can you not be motivated when you have a project like this? I am motivated, excited and passionate – it’s not difficult for me, it’s my job,” Chef Eric told Eat Vacation in a recent interview.
Born in Normandy, France, Chef Eric said cooking has always been a big part of his life. Many of his family members had been chefs, and immersing in the culinary world seemed like a natural path to take. He recalled family gatherings during his younger days during the interview, where his grandmother would prepare the family’s favourite dishes.
Chef Eric began his professional career in France in 1993, when he joined two and three-star Michelin restaurants. He expanded his career in 2016 by joining the hotelier scene with La Mamounia in Marrakech, Morocco. His time with The Apurva Kempinski Bali is his first time working in Asia, Chef Eric said, who also shared that he’s grown fond of the spirit of kindness and peace on the island.
“Bali is an island that is home to people with a deep sense of well-being and kindness. It does a lot of good and allows you to fully develop yourself on a daily basis,” Chef Eric said.
Inspiration, for Chef Eric, comes from the small things that happen on the daily. The people he surrounds himself with, be it his family, friends, colleagues or clients, all play an integral role in creating excitement and challenging him to create and do well.
“Our culinary team and I figured out a way to take all the wonderful flavours this country has and present them in such a way that would do them justice, while keeping true to their roots,” Chef Eric said.
This is why, at The Apurva Kempinski Bali, each of the dining venues take inspiration from the diversity of Indonesian flavours, offering a unique dining experience that is meant to be sensational for the guests.
“We are here to deliver sophisticated, true and authentic Indonesian experiences. Something unique in every sense. It’s something completely different,” Chef Eric said, adding that the culinary team has laid out efforts to embody and reflect “Apurva,” which means “unique and magnificent.”
During the interview, Chef Eric keeps going back to members of his culinary team – all of whom seem to occupy their respective special places in his life. Each person has something distinct and unique to share and offer, therefore creating a diverse cultural value that seems to embody the operations of the entire Hotel.
“I continue to learn because of the team… We are a good combination, with [diverse] talents like these,” Chef Eric told Eat Vacation.
There is evidently a lot guests can expect from dining at The Apurva Kempinski Bali, where food is presented in angkringan style in Selasar Deli, traditional seafood in the Hotel’s spectacular aquarium restaurant, Koral, or modern interpretation of traditional Japanese food at Izakaya by OKU. Chef Eric shared that he hopes to continue developing the Hotel’s culinary scene to make it an iconic dining destination in Bali.
Chef Eric is always on the lookout for the latest trends, adhering to the changing world of cooking and ever-dynamic preferences among the customers. Adapting to the changes is part of the effort, and discovering something new to share it with his culinary team is part of the chef’s process.
“It is always exciting for me to discover something new, share it with my team and see what we can make of it; which will be the source of a great experience or discovery for our guests,” Chef Eric said.
Always curious and passionate about learning, Chef Eric said he’s been working to find a balance between traditional flavours that make Indonesian dishes unique and five-star sophistication, eager to ensure that both Indonesians and foreigners can enjoy their meal when dining at The Apurva Kempinski Bali.