From the small island of Nusa Penida to the world, Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa’s story is one that inspires many young cooks on the island. Growing up across the Badung Straits, Chef Wayan’s culinary journey took him to the United States, where he trained at the prestigious Washburne Culinary Institute then sharpened his skills in Michelin-rated kitchens such as Blue Hill Stone Barns in New York and Acadia in Chicago.

Upon his return to Bali, Chef Wayan worked with Chef-owner Will Goldfarb in starting the now Netflix-famous Room4Dessert, but his reputation comes from his exemplary leadership as Executive Chef and Culinary Director for Potato Head. Starting with Kaum, the group’s Indonesian restaurant known for its revival of rare archipelagic recipes; then spearheading the opening of Ijen, the first zero-waste restaurant in Indonesia; and finally Tanaman, an avant-garde, plant-based dining experience. During the pandemic, Chef Wayan turned his passions to documenting Balinese food, culminating in a globally-renowned book, Paon: Real Balinese Cooking, published in 2022 together with co-author, Maya Kerthyasa. It offers insight not only into Balinese recipes, but Bali’s rich culinary culture.

From chef to author, Chef Wayan’s most recent hat is as a restaurateur, opening HOME by Chef Wayan in Pererenan, Bali. Here, diners can savour his take on Indonesian and Balinese flavours, including unique delicacies from Nusa Penida, served in a contemporary style. Must-tries are the Babi Bali, pork cheek in a ginger and turmeric Bali spice paste, Gurita Bakar, or grilled octopus; and Ledok Nusa, a homey traditional dish from Penida, made of brunoise potato, sweet corn and bonito tuna.

@chefwayan |

NOW Bali Editorial Team

NOW Bali Editorial Team

This article has been written or uploaded by NOW! Bali's in-house editorial team.