Cover Pak Nyoman Darta (left), owner and cook at Warung Tekor, with chef Dean Keddell, holding the eatery's signature Nasi Campur Bali

Support Bali charities through the purchase of Our Bali Your Bali, a 400-page coffee table cookbook comprised of local recipes, community stories and beautiful photography

The Island of the Gods is beloved of many a traveller. Which is why the last year has been so tough for Bali and its people. Many of its inhabitants are struggling to make ends meet without the island’s influx of international visitors––in a normal year, Bali welcomes more than 5 million visitors, and its economy is driven by tourism.

Restaurateur and chef Dean Keddell, who is behind Bali restaurants Ginger Moon Canteen and Jackson Lily’s, wanted to do something to help. He had seen firsthand the impact of the global pandemic, having to reduce his 130 staff across his two venues to just 50 employees, while the restaurants themselves remain closed.

“I found myself sitting amongst the chaos wondering what I could do,” says Keddell. “So I thought I would make my staff active by providing a project that we could all get involved in.”

Keddell started collecting recipes that had been handed down from older generations of his staff’s families. For example, he worked with I Gusti Ayu Wahyuni Mustika (Ayu), restaurant manager at Ginger Moon Canteen, and her mother, I Gusti Ayu Suarthi, to include a family recipe for Ayam Betutu, a must-have chicken dish served on special occasions and which traces its origins to Kedewataan, Ubud.

“My mum makes this dish for our family and until now it has been a well-guarded secret recipe from my grandma. We love this dish, and we hope you will too,” says Ayu.

As well as recipes from Keddell's staff and their families, the chef expanded the programme to ask local Warung cooks for recipes too. One restaurant he reached out to was Warung Tekor, whose owner and cook Pak Nyoman Darta shared his recipe for Nasi Campur Bali (Balinese chicken rice). This eatery focuses on typical Balinese dishes, served the traditional way, and the recipe the cook shared is for the eatery’s go-to dish.

All the recipes Keddell has collected come together in a stunning hardcover cookbook entitled Our Bali Your Bali (Bali Kita Bali Kami), which along with beautiful images and stories from the community, includes more than 100 recipes.

The 400-page book can be ordered via crowd funding site Chuffed, where more than AUD310,000 have already been raised. All profits will go directly to five local charities, including the Bali Children’s Foundation, Scholars of Sustenance, Friends of the National Parks Foundation, East Bali Poverty Project, and Bali Wide by R.O.L.E Foundation.

“The charities we have chosen are the backbone of Balinese society––they support the poor and vulnerable at the best of times. Now with this pandemic, many more families have joined the ranks of the needy, while the charities have found themselves unable to raise their normal funds,” says Keddell. “I know that cashflows are at critical levels and these charities need financial aid to continue their wonderful support of local families.”

He adds, “If you have ever visited Bali or plan to enjoy some time on our tropical island, please support us and buy a book. Bali’s warm and sincere hospitality has been captured between the covers in order for us to bring our precious Bali to you.”

Visit Bali Needs Our Help on Chuffed to purchase a copy of Our Bali Your Bali and lend your support.

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