A HEAVENLY TRIO
AUSTRALIAN MASTER CHEF TONY HOWELL & HOWARD PARK WINES AT ALILA VILLAS SOORI.
Committed to delivering authentic cultural experiences, Bali’s Alila Villas Soori is so much more than a luxury hotel. Devoted guests often book well-deserved getaways in sync with the resort’s special event offerings. In response to burgeoning epicurean trends here in Asia and beyond, Alila Soori custom designs world-class culinary happenings that are irresistible to foodies in search of a relaxing, sophisticated holiday.
The impossibly green, undulating rice paddies that lead you to Alila Soori’s sanctuary in southwest Bali, and the seaside farms and romantic vineyards of Margret River reflect two of the world’s most fertile landscapes. Synchronized at an unforgettable culinary evening in November, Alila Soori welcomed a very special guest chef from ‘Margaret’ to join the resort’s resident Chef Dwayne Cheer. A legendary fixture on Western Australia’s award-winning restaurant scene, Chef Howell reigns as Executive Chef of the magnificent 5-star Cape Lodge Margaret River Restaurant – situated within one of the region’s finest private luxury hotels.
Mingling upon contemporary charcoal grey lounges, pre-dinner cocktails were served on the candle lit terrace of Cotta restaurant. A balmy sea breeze and starry sky created a heady mixture of delightful anticipation. As the chefs worked their magic behind the scenes, we were ushered to a sultry open-air dining room with views of an expansive lawn where a traditional instrumental orchestra began to play Indonesia’s famed Gamelan music; a mesmerizing sound created by bronze, wooden and bamboo percussion instruments. Two baskets of Cape Lodge sour dough arrived with a luscious truffle butter and decadent, but airy chicken liver parfait.
Fortunately seated with one of Bali’s foremost wine experts, he introduced the first wine delivered to our table, Howard Park’s Sauvignon Blanc. An ideal complement to Chef Howell’s first course – sashimi tuna on sushi rice discreetly topped with a barely there whisper of ginger – an audible note of pleasure could be heard around the table as the immaculately chilled composition couldn’t have been more refreshing in the tropical climate.
As Western Australia’s largest family-owned winery, Howard Park delivers on Margaret River’s reputation as a producer of elegant, well-balanced reds. To balance the intense, earthy goodness of Chef Howell’s duck leg confit, the Scotsdale Cabernet Sauvignon was hand picked as a perfect match. A representative of the winery’s single vineyard series, the deep crimson Cabernet provided dark and dense notes of cherry, a well-planned accompaniment to the savory flavors of duck, sarladaise potatoes and veal jus.
As we all know, dessert is every chef’s pièce de resistance, and Chef Howell is no exception. Accompanied by the Howard Park Muscat, a lusciously textured sweet wine, an artful composition of coconut sorbet, sliced mango and crisp meringue wafers offered a sumptuous, yet delicate sweet note upon which to conclude a magical evening beside the pristine seascape of Bali’s southwest coast.