He sailed the seas on cruise ships as a waiter, and traveled on foot from his hometown in Germany to Yugoslavia in search of a richer working and life experience. Today you will see him commanding Kayuputi, spreading his knowledge and passion for food and wine to his many Balinese protégés at the restaurant.Harald Wiesmann, currently the restaurant manager of the Asian-inspired haute cuisine Kayuputi restaurant and Chief Sommelier at The St. Regis Bali Resort, has a very interesting career history

He sailed the seas on cruise ships as a waiter, and traveled on foot from his hometown in Germany to Yugoslavia in search of a richer working and life experience. Today you will see him commanding Kayuputi, spreading his knowledge and passion for food and wine to his many Balinese protégés at the restaurant.

Harald Wiesmann, currently the restaurant manager of the Asian-inspired haute cuisine Kayuputi restaurant and Chief Sommelier at The St. Regis Bali Resort, has a very interesting career history spanning a number of years with different roles in various countries. His 42 years of international experience has led Kayuputi to receive prestigious awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) for six consecutive years since its opening six and a half years ago.

Harald was the first to introduce Bali as a destination where you could enjoy great wines from both the old and new worlds to the Wine Spectator during his stints at two of Bali’s dining institutions, Mozaic Ubud and CasCades at Viceroy Bali. “When I came to Bali for the first time in 2004, I stayed in one of the biggest, most luxurious resorts on the island. Everything about the resort wowed me, except for the wine list. The cocktail list and beer lists were inspiring, but the wine was so frustrating. Someone needed to do something about it,” he recalled.  

That said, Bali had not been at all in his plan as a place where he would continue and thrive in his career as a sommelier. But when he met the girl who captured his heart during his one-week stay on the island, he knew his fate was sealed. “Actually I was thinking about South Africa; and I went there. But something just brought me to Indonesia, a foreign land I had never visited before. I spent ten days in Java and one week in Bali, where I met the love of my life. She is now my wife and mother of my two children”.

If you’ve been to one of the wine dinners at The St.Regis Bali, you know that what he does to create an unprecedented dining experience is beyond applying his knowledge about food and wine to it. He is the kind of guy who likes to pair not only great food, but also inspiring stories with his selection of interesting and varied wines. That’s right, Harald is also a writer.

His wine poems have graced the pages of the wine and dinner menus at The St.Regis Bali; and  his ‘inner voice’ that he translates into writing has garnered the attention of many readers of this magazine; his personal thoughts about life, religion, and other things, expressed through his poetry have also been published in Germany.

“I traveled a lot when I was young. I’ve seen places and faces. For me writing is a way to immortalize the experience. I always kept everything in my journal; I still do. It’s through my journal that I get to travel back to the days when I was working as a waiter, traveling from one restaurant to another around Europe while gaining my knowledge about wine. I even worked as a carpenter once in Israel during my travels.”

Harald further explained that writing makes it easy for him to communicate with his parents. “Both my parents are deaf. It’s through writing that I get to talk to them. During my travels as a young waiter I always wrote them a letters, telling them my experiences and reassuring them I was alright. Even when I was still living with them, I always wrote as a way of communication.”   

Harald is currently preparing another book that is set to be published soon. You can reach him by sending an email to harald.wiesmann@stregis.com.!

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