Mad About Chocolate

We talk with Pastry Chef I Nyoman Rinanta of Cau Chocolate about his long abiding devotion for chocolate and his distinguished career in the world of pastry.

It is hard to pinpoint the age of I Nyoman Rinanta by watching him at work in the kitchen. Energetically moving from the kitchen to the production area and back to the adjoining garden, the man in charge of developing pastry and sweet delights at Cau Chocolate is a prime example of golden age. With an agro tourism program and a cafe, Rinanta’s days are fully occupied with chocolate.

Based in Tabanan, the chocolate factory is producing high quality and sustainably sourced products from local organic farming practices in the surrounding area. Founded in 2014, Cau Chocolate is proudly owned and managed by a local cacao farming family. It aims to introduce and educate the public about cacao farming as well as the importance of consuming the right kind of chocolate for one’s health and well-being. For that purpose, visitors are welcome to come and learn about the bean-to-bar process in the factory, as well as getting their hands dirty in their village program such as the learning about the water irrigation system or subak tour.

How did start your career in pastry and chocolate making?

I started my career in one of Bali’s early hotel, Hyatt Sanur back then in 1973. Starting from dishwashing, I made my way up, became a cook and eventually a pastry chef. I ended up working there for 17 years and gained plenty of experience. I travelled and joined culinary promotions in many countries, from Australia to Brunei. The company also supported me in expanding my skill, so I got the chance to learn in Austria and Switzerland about chocolate. I also got the chance to work in other five-star hotels in Bali and finally retired in 2008. 

Tell us about the chocolate desserts that you create at Cau Chocolate.
We are still developing it as we speak. But essentially, everything that I create here can easily be replicated by our guest. Our dishes here are made of local ingredients and obviously will have chocolate in its element. It can be inspired by the traditional Balinese cuisine or Western pastry. It can be sorbet, cocoa butter, raw cocoa bean, or a simple and tasty chocolate sauce. One example is the Caramelized Banana Chocolate, which recipe can be found here. 

Is it difficult to work with chocolate?
Everything can be learned. First and foremost is to understand the nature of the ingredient. Often, I ask people on what do they think of the taste of chocolate. More often than not, they will answer ‘sweet’ which is wrong. Naturally, chocolate is bitter. You can consume it daily, it is beneficial for your body and when produced in the correct way, it will make you healthy and happy. Secondly, it needs to be processed in the right temperature. But other than that, one can learn about it easily as long as they use a good chocolate product. 

What do you enjoy doing outside cooking and creating chocolate?
I love gardening and being able to harvest from my own garden. I also like to teach and share, so I am also a lecturer in a vocational school.

Jalan Raya Marga-Apuan, Tua, Marga, Tabanan
T: +62 812 360 64 989