Chris Salans: The Culinary Genius Behind Mozaic

The Culinary Genius

Bali, a tropical paradise that has always been known for its beautiful beaches, ancient temples, and vibrant culture, has recently also gained a reputation as a destination for food lovers around the world. At the forefront of this culinary revolution is Chris Salans, the master chef behind two of Bali’s most popular restaurants: Mozaic and Spice. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Chris Salans’ life and career, the birth of Mozaic and Spice, and the impact he has had on Bali’s culinary scene.

The Early Life and Culinary Journey of Chris Salans

Discovering a Passion for Food

Chris Salans’ journey to becoming a world-renowned chef started with a simple passion for food. Born and raised in the United States, Salans developed an interest in cooking at a young age, often experimenting with different ingredients and flavors in his family’s kitchen. His love for food continued to grow, and he eventually decided to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

Salans’ early experiences with food were heavily influenced by his family’s diverse cultural background. His mother was of French-Canadian descent, while his father was Indonesian. Growing up, Salans was exposed to a wide variety of cuisines from both sides of his family, which sparked his interest in exploring different flavors and cooking techniques.

Training and Education in Culinary Arts

Salans received formal training in the culinary arts at the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. During his time there, he was exposed to a wide range of culinary styles and techniques, which helped him develop a strong foundation in the fundamentals of cooking. Salans was particularly drawn to the art of French cooking, which he found to be both challenging and rewarding.

After completing his studies, Salans traveled to Asia and Europe to gain valuable experience working in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens. He worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in countries such as Singapore, Japan, and France, where he learned from some of the most talented chefs in the industry.

Gaining Experience in Renowned Kitchens

Salans’ time working in France was particularly formative, as he was able to work at several Michelin-starred restaurants, including the iconic Le Jardin des Sens. It was here that Salans honed his skills and developed a unique culinary philosophy that would eventually become the foundation of his restaurants in Bali.

Salans’ time in France also gave him the opportunity to work with some of the country’s most renowned ingredients, such as truffles, foie gras, and escargot. He learned how to prepare these ingredients in a variety of ways, from classic French techniques to more modern, innovative approaches.

Overall, Salans’ culinary journey has been marked by a deep passion for food and a commitment to excellence. His experiences working in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens have helped him develop a unique culinary style that draws on a wide range of influences and techniques. Today, Salans is widely regarded as one of the most talented chefs in the industry, and his restaurants in Bali continue to attract food lovers from around the world.

The Birth of Mozaic: A Gastronomic Revolution in Bali

Concept and Inspiration

After years of working in renowned kitchens across the world, Chris Salans decided to bring his culinary expertise to Bali. In 2001, he opened Mozaic, a fine-dining restaurant that would go on to become one of the most famous and influential restaurants in Indonesia. Salans was inspired by the vibrant and rich Balinese culture, as well as the abundance of fresh local produce available on the island.

Salans’ vision for Mozaic was to create a dining experience that would showcase the best of both French and Indonesian cuisine. He wanted to push the boundaries of traditional cooking techniques, while also celebrating the incredible flavors and ingredients that Bali has to offer.

Mozaic’s Unique Culinary Philosophy

At Mozaic, the focus is on using only the freshest and most seasonal ingredients, with a strong emphasis on locally sourced produce and seafood. Salans believes that by using the best ingredients available, he can create dishes that are not only delicious, but also visually stunning. Each dish at Mozaic is carefully crafted to provide a multi-sensory experience for diners, with a focus on texture, aroma, and flavor.

One of the unique aspects of Mozaic’s culinary philosophy is the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability. Salans works closely with local farmers and producers to ensure that the ingredients used in his dishes are grown and harvested in a responsible and eco-friendly manner. This commitment to sustainability is not only good for the environment, but it also helps to support the local community.

Awards and Accolades

Since its inception, Mozaic has won numerous awards and accolades, including the coveted title of “Best Fine Dining Restaurant” in Indonesia for several years in a row. In 2015, it was also ranked among the world’s 50 best restaurants by San Pellegrino. These awards are a testament to Salans’ dedication to creating a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience.

Mozaic has also been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing. In 2019, the restaurant was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s highest rating, making it one of the most eco-friendly restaurants in Indonesia.

Despite all of the recognition and success, Salans remains humble and focused on his goal of creating innovative and delicious dishes that showcase the best of Bali’s culinary scene. With its unique culinary philosophy and commitment to sustainability, Mozaic is sure to remain one of the most influential and celebrated restaurants in Indonesia for years to come.

Expanding the Culinary Empire: The Creation of Spice

A Casual Dining Experience with a Twist

In 2013, Salans expanded his culinary empire by opening Spice, a more casual dining concept that offers a fusion of Indonesian and Western flavors. Located in tranquil Sanur, Spice has quickly become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The restaurant’s interior is designed to reflect its fusion concept, with modern and traditional elements blended seamlessly together. The walls are adorned with Indonesian batik prints, while the furniture is sleek and contemporary. The open kitchen allows diners to watch as their dishes are prepared, adding to the overall dining experience.

Local Ingredients and Innovative Techniques

Like Mozaic, Spice focuses on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, but with a more relaxed and informal approach to dining. The menu is a reflection of Salans’ passion for combining traditional Indonesian flavors with modern cooking techniques, resulting in dishes that are both bold and innovative.

One of the standout dishes on the menu is the “Babi Guling Burger,” which features a juicy pork patty topped with crispy skin, sambal matah, and pickled cucumber, all served on a brioche bun. Another must-try is the “Nasi Goreng Carbonara,” a fusion of the classic Indonesian fried rice dish and the Italian pasta favorite, made with smoked bacon, parmesan cheese, and a poached egg.

Spice’s Growing Popularity

Since its opening, Spice has garnered a loyal following, thanks to its unique concept and consistently delicious food. In fact, it has become so popular that Salans has opened additional Spice branches in Ubud and Seminyak, ensuring that more diners can experience the unique flavors and approach to dining that the restaurant offers.

Despite its growing popularity, Spice remains committed to its roots, using only the freshest ingredients and innovative techniques to create dishes that are both comforting and exciting. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Spice is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best of Indonesian and Western cuisine.

Chris Salans’ Impact on Bali’s Culinary Scene

Elevating Local Cuisine and Ingredients

Chris Salans has had a significant impact on Bali’s culinary scene, not only by offering innovative and delicious cuisine but also by highlighting the importance of using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. Through his restaurants, Salans has been able to give local farmers and producers greater visibility and appreciation, encouraging others in the industry to follow his lead.

Salans’ passion for using locally sourced ingredients is evident in every dish he creates. He believes that by using fresh, seasonal ingredients, he can offer his customers a truly authentic taste of Bali. His menus feature a range of dishes that showcase the best of Balinese cuisine, from fragrant curries to succulent grilled meats.

But Salans doesn’t just stop at using local ingredients – he also works closely with farmers and producers to ensure that they are using sustainable and ethical farming practices. By doing so, he not only supports the local economy but also helps to protect Bali’s delicate ecosystem.

Inspiring a New Generation of Chefs

Salans’ success has also inspired a new generation of young chefs in Bali, who are eager to learn and incorporate his approach to cooking into their own menus. His dedication to using the freshest ingredients, experimenting with flavors, and creating beautiful dishes has set a high standard for others to follow, raising the bar for Bali’s cuisine as a whole.

Salans’ restaurants have become a hub for young chefs looking to learn from the best. He has created an environment where creativity and experimentation are encouraged, and where chefs are given the freedom to develop their own unique styles. This has led to an explosion of new and exciting culinary ideas, and has helped to cement Bali’s reputation as a foodie destination.

Promoting Sustainable and Ethical Practices

Finally, Salans has also been a vocal advocate for sustainable and ethical practices in the restaurant industry. He believes that chefs have a responsibility to not only create delicious food but also to do so in a way that respects the environment and promotes social responsibility. Through his restaurants, he has demonstrated that it’s possible to run a successful business while also making a positive impact on the world.

Salans’ commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of his restaurants. From the ingredients he uses to the way he manages waste, he is constantly looking for ways to reduce his environmental impact. He also works closely with local charities and organizations to give back to the community, helping to support those in need.

Overall, Chris Salans’ impact on Bali’s culinary scene has been immense. Through his dedication to using local, sustainable ingredients, his encouragement of young chefs, and his commitment to social responsibility, he has helped to elevate Bali’s cuisine to new heights. As Bali continues to grow as a tourist destination, Salans’ influence will undoubtedly continue to be felt for years to come.


Chris Salans’ impact on the Bali culinary scene cannot be overstated. Through his restaurants, he has brought a unique and innovative approach to cooking that has earned worldwide recognition. He has also been a vocal advocate for using locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and promoting responsible business practices in the restaurant industry. His restaurants, Mozaic and Spice, will continue to inspire food lovers for years to come, and his legacy in Bali’s culinary history will not soon be forgotten.