Making the most of Bali’s fabulous fresh produce, Locavore offers a unique gastronomic experience that also respects and preserves the environment of the island. Five years ago, the restaurant switched to a local focus, sourcing the vast majority of its ingredients from within Indonesia.
The two nine-course menus – one vegetarian and one that also features meat – focus on the natural produce of the region, with the former being 90% vegan. Favouring nose to tail cooking, Locavore has its own butcher shop to ensure that all parts of the animal are used and to minimise waste. All leftover proteins – such as egg whites, meat bones and fish guts – are turned into garum, a fermented sauce.
Owner-chefs Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah favour freshwater fish, a sustainable choice that avoids overfished species and poor practices. Fish such as catfish, carp and eel are served to challenge customers’ preconception about flavour, quality and consistency, with the intention to highlight the ‘underdogs of the fish world’.
A member of Slow Food International, Locavore organises regular events to celebrate the restaurant’s sustainable and ethical roots. Employees are encouraged to take trips to discover new ingredients and learn about the island’s produce through a program called ‘Jalan jalan’, meaning ‘wandering around’ in Indonesian.
Further highlighting its commitment to a fairer society, the restaurant also works with the Sumba Hotel Foundation to train and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, counting five employees in the team who have joined through the training program.
Plastic waste is taken seriously at Locavore, and all plastic received from suppliers is returned so that it can be reused. Locavore also holds brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas to create dishes from waste materials through an internal program called ‘trash cooking’.
Among the revolutionary ideas that have come from the program, citrus peel is turned into detergent and leftover stems are made into a herb salt that constitutes the main salt used at the restaurant. Locavore’s local focus, sustainable ethos and waste-reducing efforts make it an example to follow for many other restaurants in Asia and a deserving winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award 2019.
The Sustainable Restaurant Award is given to the restaurant with the highest environmental and social responsibility rating, as ranked by audit partner Food Made Good Global. All restaurants on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list are invited to enter the award via self-nomination and each is assessed across three main pillars: sourcing, society and environment.
Discover more about the previous award winners