Celebrity Pastry Chef Thrives In Bali

Sometimes the only thing a chef needs to spur creativity is a nice vacation. Pastry chef extraordinaire Will Goldfarb has been doing just that for the last three years, though perhaps ‘vacation’ is an overstatement. While his move to the tropical paradise of Bali may seem like the optimal beach getaway, it isn’t all naps on the beach and pina coladas poolside for the New York expat. Instead, Goldfarb has been hard at work developing new dishes in his 21st century pastry lab and restaurant called Mejekawi. Located on the second floor of popular Balinese restaurant KU DE TA, Mejekawi is Goldfarb’s playground where he is free to experiment using cutting-edge machinery and the abundant natural resources that surround him.

Struggles in New York
Goldfarb rose to prominence in New York City, where his dessert concept bar Room 4 Dessert became an instant hit as a place to try some of the most adventurous sweets in the city. Despite the location’s popularity and reputation, Room 4 Dessert was forced to close in 2007 due to a falling out with his business partner. From there, Goldfarb engaged himself in a variety of modest culinary outposts around the city, including a barbecue truck on Wall Street and hot dog stands in Battery Park, until the discovery of a malignant tumor in his leg forced him to take some time off. It was during this time that he and his wife decided to act on their long-held plans to move to Bali with their daughter.

Island life
The family moved to Seminyak on the southern coast of Bali. It was there that Goldfarb began working in the kitchen of KU DE TA. It wasn’t long before he had convinced the owners to open a second floor space replete with the latest in kitchen tech – think subzero blast chillers and ultrasonic homogenizers. It is in this new space, christened Mejekawi (meaning “sacred table”) that Goldfarb has found the perfect test kitchen. While he hasn’t abandoned his hopes of more personal projects, such as another iteration of Room 4 Dessert, Goldfarb is adamant on spending his island time in pursuit of innovation.

Aspiring chefs should take note of Goldfarb’s international move. Sometimes the pursuit of a career can get in the way of one’s own creative inspiration. It is always good to have a private space to escape to when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Embrace solitude and tranquility as the seeds of inspired creation.

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