Top (Spa) Chef: Executive Chef Made Runatha, Fivelements
In our series Top (Spa) Chef, we’re going to be introducing you to some of our favorite culinary masters and sharing some of their personal favorite recipes and cooking tips! Meet Executive Chef Made Runatha of Fivelements in Bali, known for its raw and vegan 3, 5, and 7-Course Chef’s Tasting Menus and recently awarded Spa Cuisine of the Year by AsiaSpa.
After joining Fivelements as the healing and wellness destination’s Executive Chef, Made Runatha began studying the art and science of healing cuisine. With a vast knowledge in both European and Asian cuisine, combined with his years of experience in hotel restaurants in Bali and overseas, Chef Made found himself facing a brand new challenge: how to make healthy food taste great.
“I can’t really remember why I chose a career as a chef, although I’ve always had a passion for cooking and remember enjoying helping my mother in the kitchen as a child,” shares Chef Made. “But I do remember why I chose a raw culinary path. When I was offered the job of Head Chef for the healing center, Fivelements, it included being sent to California to study at the Living Light Culinary ArtInstitute. I didn’t know anything about the raw vegan cuisine they taught at the time but it was a wonderful opportunity and I was intrigued to learn something new.”
Made began researching everything he could from macrobiotics to Ayurveda. Under the tutelage of Master Chef and Founder of Living Light, Cherie Soria, known as the Mother of Gourmet Raw Food Cuisine, Chef Made became the world’s first Indonesian certified Gourmet Living Foods Chef. Earning this certification wasn’t all Chef Made gained during his time at Living Light, here he also learned how a raw diet could benefit his own health. He explained, “before I studied raw and vegan cuisine I had long had sleeping and digestive problems, and learning and living the raw cuisine lifestyle had an immediate effect on my health. My energy levels soared, my weight dropped and it also improved my sleep and digestion. Six years later, this not only continues to motivate me to eat raw and vegan myself, but also to encourage others to do the same. I truly believe in the healing properties of raw food and it inspires me everyday.” Chef Made is so inspired by these healing properties that he and the founders of Fivelements created the Cuisine for Life Retreats during which guests are educated on the power of living foods and can learn the secrets for why a raw diet is among the fastest growing in the world.
When asked what food trends have become passe Chef Made replied, ‘eating for the sake of eating.’ “What’s great is that people are starting to be more conscious about what they eat. They are beginning to realize that eating just to fill yourself with food, especially food that isn’t good for you, creates health problems that can take a long time to heal. Raw and vegan cuisine is becoming more and more popular every day. People want to be healthy and they believe that food is our medicine. I believe that eating raw and vegan cuisine is a current trend that is growing fast, and when you also see the benefits to the environment and local organic farming, you realize it’s nothing less than a food revolution.”
Now for the fun! Enjoy Chef Made’s favorite recipe for a Passion Fruit Panna Cotta below!
Passion Fruit Panna Cotta
For the crust:
1 cup raw cashew nuts
1/4 cup dates
1/4 dried coconut
1/2 vanilla bean (the seeds)
For the filling:
150g passion fruit pulp (without seeds) (approx. 1 cup)
1 cup thick coconut cream
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup + 2 tbs agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut butter (cold pressed coconut oil)
3 tablespoons Irish moss (fresh; soaked and rinsed)
1 vanilla bean (the seeds)
For the topping:
1/2 passion fruit (pulp with seeds)
1/2 teaspoon agar-agar powder diluted in 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 teaspoon turmeric (for the color)
What You’ll Do:
1. For the crust, process all the ingredients in a food processor and press into a rectangular form. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 min. or until set and firm.
2. For the filling, blend all the ingredients in a blender and pour the mixture into the form with the crust. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
3. For the topping, mix all the ingredients and heat in a saucepan until nearly boiling. Then chill the mixture a bit. When it’s still warm, pour on top of the set, chilled panna cotta. Chill one more time in the refrigerator for 15 min.
4. Cut into serving pieces; serve chilled.