Interview with Lara Frenzel as Executive Pastry Chef of Padma Resort Legian




How long have you been a pastry chef?

I started my career in the age of 16, as an apprentice in a traditional bakery, to learn each and all of the bases of this varied job. So in total I´m working since 9 years in this profession but with some breaks in between.

Why did you decide to work in Bali?

The decision to move to Bali and start a living in here was quite easy for me. I got the chance to prove myself by taking the job as executive pastry chef in Padma Resort Legian, which was a big step for me but I was very eager to take this new challenge. I have been in Bali before and simply loved the culture and mentality of the people in here but also the Island itself. That´s why I didn´t have to think twice about working in here if I got the chance to.

What is your most favorite comfort food?

Soup, probably. Or everything that is kind of soupy. Back home it would be the lentil stew of my grandma. In here it´s any kind of curry or soto ayam.

Please name one dish/dessert that you hate and why

 That´s a tough question. I almost like any kind of food, especially sweets but if there is one thing that I don´t like and that is not even a specific dessert, but it´s basically everything that is like a jelly. It starts from the watery jelly like they´re famous in here, coffee jelly, lychee jelly, but also things like a panna cotta were the pastry chef was too generous with the gelatin are awful for me. I simply do not enjoy the feeling of this kind of food when eating them.

Do you have a “specialty” or favorite dessert you enjoy cooking?

I enjoy cooking any kind of dessert but of course, when there is the time to do some extra garnish and some small details then I like that even better. However, if you would serve me a chocolate soufflé or something similar, warm, moist, light and full of chocolate, I probably could not resist. I don´t enjoy making this more than any other one but I love to eat it.

What is the weirdest cake that you have ever baked?

The weirdest creation I remember to make was actually not a cake but a praline. It was a surprise for a good friend of mine. I made a white chocolate truffle filling, with lots and lots of the spiciest wasabi I could find, I covered everything with couverture and garnished with pistachios in case she would wonder about the color.

If you could spend a day with a famous chef, who would that be and why?

Honestly spoken I never had any intentions of meeting a famous chefs, although I would love to work a day, a week, a month or so under Heston Blumenthal for his perfectionism and under Jordi Roca for his revolutionary ideas in pastry. But currently I am pretty lucky to spend almost every day with Chef Degan Septoadji and to learn from his expertise.

Have ever thought of opening your own pasty shop in the future?

Sure I did, that was my dream ever since I was little. But in the moment I don´t really have the desire of settling down to open my own place. First I want to see, experience and learn everything I can before I make a big step like that.

What do you do for fun during your days off?

My two main weaknesses in here during my days off are eating; in all this awesome eateries that Bali has to offer, with their local food and also international variety and then surfing. You can find me early in the morning at the beach, trying to catch some waves or after that grabbing a coffee and breakfast in one of the many cafes around here.