Chōsen Partner Josh Davies on Surfing, Food and Family
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Josh Davies is a Chōsen Partner and the Executive Chef and Global Operations Manager of the company. With over nineteen years of experience in hospitality around the globe, Josh now runs his restaurant, The Savage Kitchen, in Bali. We chat to him about his passion for food, adventure and surfing, and how he balances work and family.
How did your journey as a chef lead you to where you are today?
I put my head down and worked hard to tackle every opportunity that came my way. I like to keep an open mind and spend time developing my skill set every day. I like challenges and pushing my boundaries, which allows me to do what I love without becoming stagnant. Chōsen is the best of a number of different types of hospitality in my eyes: travel, adventure, intimate dining and a great bunch of people. I just feel lucky to be here.
What are the nutritional rules that you live by?
Whole foods all the way, you should be able to identify everything you are eating and drinking. You should know what you are eating and what it was eating. If you stick to this simple rule, you will go a long way towards protecting your health.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://chosenexperiences.com/chosen-life/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Guat-Nov-2015-Josh-DaviesWEB-e1472436961755.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]
Buying and prepping organic vegetables in multiple destinations can be a struggle – what are your biggest tips and tricks?
It’s important to get to know the locals. We spend a lot of time scouting suppliers, chefs, farms and produce from each location. It’s vital to understand what seasonal produce is available. I do a lot of research and shop the local farmers market to see what’s in season, and what looks the best. I plan the menu based on what’s available and fresh, not the other way around.
How do you keep a cool head in a hot kitchen?
Ha! Vodka. No, that’s the old me. Patience is key and I utilize our mindfulness techniques, which mainly means taking notice when I start to feel frustrated. I pause for a moment to take a few breaths before moving forward.
What does a day in your life look like?
When I’m not working on a Chōsen experience. I wake up before sunrise and go for a surf with some mates, come home to my family (Rosa my wife& Maya my daughter) for breakfast, then spend a few hours at Savage Kitchen, my Bali restaurant. After a midday workout I spend a few hours at Chōsen, go for a late afternoon swim and play on the beach with Maya; then it’s back to Savage Kitchen for a few hours, and finally home to hang out with Rosa.
Do you have a morning routine?
I get up early and drink about 1 litre of lemon water, then either go for a surf or spend the morning with Maya. We eat breakfast together daily, usually chia puddings with berries and seeds, cold brew coffee for me and Rosella ice tea for Maya.
What role does fitness play in your life and has it always been an important part of your daily routine?
Fitness for me has always been more about sport, like surfing, soccer or tennis. A couple of years ago I was introduced to CrossFit by John and Robin, and that is now a regular part of my life. I need to move, so I do something active every day.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered and how have you overcome it?
Balancing family and career for sure. I don’t live to work; I work to live. I work hard at keeping that balance, it’s ongoing, and I am still perfecting it.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]
How do you juggle fatherhood with running Chōsen experiences and managing the Savage Kitchen?
It is difficult: there are not enough hours in a day. I schedule meetings with her, but really it’s a way of putting daddy-daughter time into my timetable.
Dining together is a fundamental part of Chōsen experiences – why is this time so important?
It’s one of the universal symbols of love, respect and consideration. The art of conversation is in danger of being lost with all of the technological distractions, but meal times are about coming together and enjoying good food in good company. There are so many health benefits to eating in a calm environment, connecting with people through conversation and taking the time to reflect on the day, so we make it a key part of our rejuvenation program. It’s so beneficial socially and emotionally to sit down to thoughtfully-prepared food with fresh, local ingredients and share it with new friends from varying cultures and professions.
Who are your five favourite chefs?
Yotam Ottolenghi, Pete Evans, Massimo Bottura, Anthony Bourdain and my Mum.