Back then the only thing he knew about Bali was that the island has good surf. He thought Ubud was located near the beach. But, as he found out soon after, being one and half hours away from the nearest beach was the least of his problems. Language provided the biggest obstacle to him to settling down immediately. Luckily, Thornley embraces…
When Chef de Cuisine Blake Thornley showed up at Mozaic Bali in Ubud for the first time three years ago, he had never been to Bali, had no knowledge about the life on the island and its culinary scene, and the first thing he said to himself was, ”What am I doing here?”
Back then the only thing he knew about Bali was that the island has good surf. He thought Ubud was located near the beach. But, as he found out soon after, being one and half hours away from the nearest beach was the least of his problems. Language provided the biggest obstacle to him to settling down immediately. Luckily, Thornley embraces challenges. And there was, Chris Salans, Chef and owner of Mozaic Bali Ubud, took Thornley under his wing.
During the first two years, Blake Thornley had a lot of catching up to do at a place and culture he knew very little about. He was also presented with a big task of upholding Mozaic’s philosophy of combining traditional French culinary techniques with Indonesian flavours. So he wrote everything down in order to communicate his ideas to the local staff and, most importantly, he listened. Listening is an important part of his personal development strategy. “Listening helps you develop yourself faster”.
It took the first two years at Mozaic Bali Ubud for him to finally become comfortable with his position as Sous Chef. Prior to his post in Mozaic Bali, Blake Thornley had never stayed for more than two years at any of his previous jobs.
“I have always moved after one or two years. I was always looking for good chefs, a good kitchen, to learn new things, new techniques.” he said of his method of learning.
Absorbing knowledge from everyone and everything was how he earned his culinary credentials. Not surprisingly, before moving to Bali, Blake Thornley was already a veteran in the cooking competition scene with numerous awards under his belt. And when he felt it was time to move for something new he contacted a long-time friend from Australia, James Ephraim, who was then Chef de Cuisine at Mozaic Bali. Ephraim invited Thornley to join him at Mozaic Ubud as his Sous Chef. Thornley immediately took up the challenge. With the hopes of catching some good surf, he packed his bags and left Sydney for Bali. He was going to give himself a year at it and see what would come up next.
In Bali, Thornley continues to listen to ideas from around him. He keeps himself excited by creating new cuisines that will impress guests of Mozaic Bali. He also enjoys working with his local staff who are as eager to learn new things from him. Thornley realized from the beginning that he needed to forge happy work relations in order for everyone at Mozaic to perform. That works quite well for the whole staff, and himself as well. Three years have gone since he arrived in Ubud and Thornley has never felt as comfortable with what he does.
Just recently, Blake was promoted to Chef de Cuisine at Mozaic Bali Ubud, an opportunity he had never thought to stay long enough for. Today Chef Blake Thornley is keeping himself busy with more creative work with interesting and unusual local ingredients at Mozaic Bali Ubud. He’s settled but continues to look for better ways to create dishes, putting more emphasis on consistency to his customers. Thornley sets out to maintain the distinct approach and quality of product that has put Mozaic Bali Ubud on the map.
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