Critter Hunting is in the last corner after an hour drive from the Manado Airport on Sulawesi. A quaint little metal-sheet roofed village of 2000 people near by a dangerous river merely 300 meter away from the Ocean front and there, where salt- and sweet-water meet, rests a 15 villa Dive Resort with a tiny but fancy kitchen. I am invited to finish my Dive Master course in exchange of sharing some cooking secrets with the kitchen staff. Although this seems a fair deal, right now my focus is the immediate improvement of the menu and this takes a while to implement. Currently the guests are foremost from Switzerland, but soon the rest of the world will discover that this special little place offers breakfast and boarding the dive-boat from the same terrace; quite a divers heaven!
Minahasa Lagoon is not just the nicest and most hidden of all dive resorts I know about; This place is right on the doorsteps of the worlds most famous Gunung Tangkoko National Park and the dive-famous Btungas Islands and Bunaken flat reef’s and coral life. The few dive expeditions I enjoyed have been astonishing, seeing critters I cannot describe; cute little “creeps” and pigmy sea horses that only vegetate in these waters that would inspire Doctor Zeus characters.


Now, while waiting being shipped back to the United States I am dormant, ‘kinda happy to have some time off and immensely enjoy teaching a few rural chefs the magic of French Cookery. Not that this could be done in the short time I will be here in Indonesia, but certainly, everything I have to share is being absorbed with passion. I probably will find myself relocating to Los Angeles, my home again. Already contacted old familiar clients for whom I enjoy to cook. Maybe I find the time to draft a new script, an old story I have in my head and follow up with the neglected hobbies of painting and playing my violin. I will be missing South East Asia and returning for visits. All in all it was a blessing having the chance to experience this part of the world. Go travel you people!

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What's Next

An incredible journey has come to an end.
It was great fun developing and training a great team of chefs for this TCM/French Restaurant project for the Eu Yan Sang Group in Singapore. I’m honored having crossed path with wonderful souls and a great traditional culture that is newly discovered as essential in health care and in the maintenance of human wellbeing. I wish this baby all the success it needs to survive without me.

Towards the end – my attempts to stay involved on a consultant base did not work out favorably, foremost for the lack of receiving a clear draft of my future involvement brought forward by the management; I was forced to accept a very difficult decision to end my participation. As sad as I am about the final quarrels about my departures – still worried about compensation – I certainly support everyone involved with this concept; truly a fascinating idea. I had great fun as long as it lasted. Good luck!

A short visit to Bali was an amazing and relaxing journey. I stayed at the meditative Four Seasons Hotel in Sayan, build by a river into the jungle – if ever there is paradise… I’m off to new adventures. I am still writing on the TCM cookbook and having great fun with it; I will start a TCM website as soon I have enough material to entice some curious minds about my working with herbal remedies. In the mean while I have added a few links of media clippings currently in the news about my cooking for RWP. Even Times Magazine honored me with a short reportage. I have pitched my idea to a new level, new corporations and hopefully soon will have a clear outline of work on my horizon.

In the short term I will be going to Sulawesi, still in beloved South East Asia and finally finishing my Dive Master class which I had interrupted when moving to Singapore last Fall. Soon you will read a blog on diving with great pictures, since now I even have an underwater camera!

Life is great fun and with every door closing, it seems another one immediately opens up. I am blessed the spirits that keep me sane, humble and foremost kind to others, regardless of how difficult situations appear to be.

Happy mothers day Mom.  I love you!
No excuse I forgot you this year!
Son Raphael

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