Chef Will Goldfarb, Executive Pastry Chef, Bali, New York, Willpowder, WillEquipped, Pastry Ingredients, Tools, Experimental Cuisine

Q & A

Ku De Ta - BaLI - Indonesia


Photo courtesy of Will Goldfarb



Jalan Kayu Aya 9,

Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia 80361




Will Goldfarb’s recommendations for restaurants and bars around the world as well as books and tools.

Q & A with Chef Will Goldfarb

Q. You’ve been described as an eccentric chef, a molecular gastronomist/pastryonomist, an avant-garde pastry chef, and even a mad scientist. How would you describe your work?

A. My focus is on making desserts and making people happy. I have worked hard on developing the creative process, as well as integrating the role of experience design into the plated dessert.

Q. Tell us about your two businesses, WillPowder and WillEquipped:

A. WillPowder is the 21st Century pantry, the specialty pastry ingredient company, which I have owned and operated since 2005. Our mission was to make industrial ingredients available to users in small quantities with excellent technical support for all levels.

Photo Credit: Emilie Baltz

WillEquipped is the sister to WillPowder, which I released last year. It is the modern chef’s tool box. We have made a host of tools available to chefs and amateurs, that were previously difficult or impossible to find.

Q. How has living in Indonesia inspired your creativity?

A. I have been working at Ku De Ta, Asia's most distinctive lifestyle destination, so I have been working every day to make new desserts with new techniques and new ingredients. Being in Bali has allowed me time, new experiences, new ingredients, and new customers to provide joy for.

Q. You worked with Ferran and Albert Adria at El Bulli. How does that experience influence your work?

A. The experience has influenced my entire professional trajectory. In terms of the dedication to excellence in particular and the creative process in general, I have not encountered their equals.

Q. A few months ago, you did a one-night pop-up in New York, what’s next for you?

A. We did our Room4Dessert is Not Dead tour at its original location, as a guest of Frederick Twomey, proprietor of Veloce Club and owner of the Veloce Group. I think we are looking to do a Room4Dessert is Not Dead 2: Electric Boogaloo next. I am also working on my backhand.

Advice / Tips

Q. For the novice or home cook who is interested in your products, which ones are great for non-professionals and can you provide some advice on using them?

A. All of our ingredients and machines are great for professionals and non-professionals alike. 

For ‘first - timers,’ I recommend the Spherification Kit, or something with wide applications like lecithin.

With regards to tools, I would recommend our flame scale, cream whippers, and our Williteracy Department for a greater understanding of the techniques.


Q. Is there a cookbook that you really respect and what do you love about it?

A. I think that Albert Adria's Natura is the ultimate expression of art and technique in cuisine.

For technical support, I find Alan Imeson's Thickening and Gelling Agents For Food to be useful, if a bit dense.

Q. Aside from your own sites, what are your favorite culinary favorite resources?

A. I enjoy Alex and Aki's blog Ideas in Food (who have just published a book), for their continued dedication to technical knowledge and artistry.

I enjoy Dave Arnold and Nils Noren's blog Cooking Issues, for its radical new techniques and sense of humor.

I also enjoy [pastry chef] Michael Laiskonis' writings on just about anything, especially with particulars on pastry preparations.

Q. Have you recently come across a food purveyor / ingredient / tool that you’re excited about using?

A. I have uncovered some Balinese ingredients that Willpowder will be releasing shortly.

With regards to tools and gadgetry, the Ultrasonic Homogenizer is the latest for exploration...and the Cryo gun pretty much rules!


Q. What places are worth going out of your way to try for desserts/pastries anywhere in the world?

A. I would always recommend Mulot in Paris for macarons (pistachio especially).

The Panettone at Massari in Brescia (Pasticceria Veneto).

Anything by Robert Truitt at Ai Fiori in Manhattan.

Q. What’s your secret indulgence food and where to do you go for it?

A. I love McDonald's double cheeseburgers. I go straight to the source.

Q. What restaurants do you think are serving innovative cuisine ?

A. Even though the word innovative may be a bit loaded, at the moment I am enjoying Fatty ‘Cue, 11 Madison Park, and Roberta's in New York. 

Around the world, Mugaritz, Pierre Gagnaire, Osteria Francescana, and Nahm would be among my current crop of favorites. Anything they touch turns to gold.

Q. Having lived in France, Italy, and Spain, do you have favorite places you always return to?

A. I was lucky to live in some amazing places. Being in Bali, it’s a bit difficult to get to the motherland as regularly as I would like, but we are planning a move to Puglia for 2014. I love Paris, Florence, Barcelona, Roses, Turin, Milan, Ramatuelle, and Saint Barthelemy.

*** Click here Will’s full list of restaurant recommendations ***


Q. Now that you’re living in Indonesia, what restaurants have you found that you could recommend and what should we order?

A. I would recommend coming to Ku De Ta for sunsets and to say hello to me. 

I enjoy Naughty Nuri’s Warung for ribs and martinis. 

De Ka De for tasty, upmarket Warung food.

Mina's for spicy fish.

Didi's in Bingin for the ultimate ham and cheese sandwich ... all with a large cold Bintang of course.

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Q. What are some of your favorite drink pairings with desserts?

A. I like grower champagne with just about anything, or nothing at all.

Pyrat rum pairs extraordinarily well with most unrefined sugar-based desserts.

Photo Credit: Emilie Baltz

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Q. Have you come across an interesting beverage that should be on our radar?

A. I just started working with Ron Zacapa XO, which is a rockstar.

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Q. With the cocktail culture becoming more dedicated to the art of the drink, are there places you love to visit?

A. There are indeed many locations specializing in cocktails, and I enjoy the following:

- Pegu Club by Audrey Saunders.

- Flatiron Lounge by Julie Reiner.

- PDT by Jim Meehan.

- Mayahuel by Phil Ward.

Be on the lookout for any of Johnny Iuzzini's cocktails at underground locations in New York.

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Details of Will Goldfarb’s recommendations for restaurants and bars around the world as well as books and tools.