Sarita Interviews Chef Made Runatha

Sarita Interviews Chef Made Runatha, Executive Chef and Co-Founder of Moksa Resturant: Ubud, Bali.

0062 81 339 774 787

Speaking as a world traveller, in my opinion, Moksa Restaurant, is the best restaurant in the world! The founder, Chef Made Runatha is passionate about food and offers cuisine which is both delicious and healing. My Beloved Dharmaraj and I did a one-day raw cuisine class with him and were simply blown away by the amount of enthusiasm and knowledge he has about haute raw cuisine.

While in Bali, we made sure to rent a place close to Moksa Resturant so we could eat there twice a day for the 10 days we were in Ubud. We simply didn’t want to eat anywhere else. The food is that good.

Chef Made was born and raised in Bali. He worked as an executive Chef in the 5-star Resort 5 Elements for 7 years. They sent him to USA to learn Raw Food Cuisine. Even though he is very grateful to them, he left when it became clear that the owners were discriminating against him by paying him one third of what his white skinned Western colleagues were making, even though he was doing the lion’s share of the work.

Chef Made: “I did a big research about how much interest there was in this kind of food, thinking of opening my own place. I did a business plan, found a partner, investors and land to create a permaculture garden and restaurant. I felt powerful energy on the land and spent a lot of time meditating here before buying it.

We first created a garden, then a small Shala for serving food, and finally we created more eating spaces in a typical Balinese style. We got a consultant from Australia for permaculture. Even before opening, when there was only a garden, guests began coming and asking to eat here! They were so attracted by the garden. There was no menu yet!”

Sarita:How did you start training people?”

Chef Made: “I got a call from someone in New Zealand who said, “I am sending my chef to be trained by you!” And I said, “But we don’t yet have a kitchen!” But the person was so insistent, finally I agreed. So, this is how I started training people.”

Sarita:And how did you make your restaurant a success? You are a bit outside Ubud so people have to know about you and be able to find you!”

Chef Made: A couple from Switzerland said, This restaurant has good energy! We can help you!” They created Instagram, Facebook and internet profiles. After that, we were busy all the time and already began getting profit after being open only for one month!

Sarita: “I heard you have a unique concept in regards to paying your staff.”

Chef Made: “Previously, when I worked in restaurants, I found the owners repressed the staff and tried to give them less money. Our concept is different. The staff is involved in the restaurant, through profit sharing, so they make more than they could anywhere else. The staff is trained to really be present and in their heart. I say to them, “Give with your heart and with love.” We are three chefs, working from early morning till night. Especially June, July and August it is crazy busy.

Sarita: “Tell me something about your training in Raw Food Cuisine. I really like it that you have both raw and vegan cuisine in Moksa, so those who don’t wish to be completely raw also find cooked dishes to enjoy.”

Chef Made: “I was trained by Living Light Gourmet Chef Institute in Ft. Bragg, California. They specialise in Raw Food Cuisine. However, since 11 years, I have realised that it is better to use local produce and not to use too many nuts as many Raw Cuisine chefs do. I rely on local coconuts to give texture. The spice palette is important to bring harmony to the body. 7 tastes are needed in order for the food to be balanced.

I prepare vegan and raw food cuisines. This is inspired by the desire to offer healthy food to people.  I get opinions from many people before deciding on a dish. People are happy because they get a free dish! And by testing with multi people, I get a good idea of what works. We also have to be careful about food allergies and what works on a menu that can be good for multi people and their food intolerances. We are very inventive and create new delicacies based on experimentation and trying it out.”

Sarita: “You offer amazing Raw Food Preparation Classes on a regular basis. Do chefs also learn from you?”

Chef Made: “Yes, I teach chefs and find that even though they may be experienced in traditional food, with raw and vegan cuisine they need to learn from scratch. I ask this question: “How do you make a raw soup?” They realise they don’t know, and then are ready to learn. Someone says, “I have been an executive chef for 10 years and now I realise I know nothing!” People come from many different countries and continents. Also, tourists come who are just curious. I love to share!”

Sarita: “I notice that your menu is really varied, with dishes from many countries being represented. It is never boring to eat here because of that!”

Chef Made: “Yes, I love food, so I create recipes inspired by cuisine from all over the world! People come from Thailand, Mexico or India and say to me: “Made, this is better than my country’s original food!” I tell my staff, “Don’t think only of money. Make the dish, taste it, feel it, and then only decide if it will work.”


Sarita:Your staff are all from Indonesia and Indonesian food has its own style which is very different from some of the food on your menu. How do your staff respond to your menu? Do they like this kind of food?”

Chef Made: “Once they learn how it feels to be healthy, then they realise that something is missing if they don’t get this healthy food anymore!”

Sarita: “I have noticed that the food here in Moksa has a different taste than in other restaurants. It is more alive and has so many different nuances of flavour.”

Chef Made: “It is because if you cook the food it kills enzymes. We don’t cook anything above 42 degrees or sometimes, quick blanche i.e. quick boil and then remove and cool down immediately.

The cooking process is not only about ingredients. It is about being in a state of devotion. How do you grow and harvest your ingredients? How do you process it? How do you store it? If everything from the very beginning is of a good quality, and this quality of devotion is maintained all the way down the line, then the result will be high quality and good tasting food.

The staff is trained to think about the people who will be eating here. I tell them, “Look at them, get to know them and then you will be serving a consistently high-quality cuisine.”

Sarita: “Chef Made, you are an inspiration. Please offer a message to people everywhere.”

Chef Made: “My message is if you try raw food it may not be easy to switch right away to a raw food diet. But over time you will come to love it. You need to educate yourself. Instead of spending money on the doctor, you will discover that food is medicine and you will end up saving money! Use local produce, easy to get near where you live. It will end up giving you more nutrition. Our restaurant is not only for business. It is for education! I myself go shopping for ingredients so I choose only the best. What is local and fresh is much better than imported.”

Sarita: “Thank you so much Chef Made. I hope many people will be inspired by your story and we can transform the way people care for their bodies, ingesting the highest quality of food for the highest quality of life!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *