By Nadine Kam
John Hardy CEO Damien Dernoncourt and creative director Guy Bedarida, pictured, hosted lunch at the John Hardy compound in Bali Aug. 26. — Nadine Kam photos
I feel fortunate to have visited the John Hardy compound outside Ubud, where I had the opportunity to view the copany's entire jewelry-making process. As if that were not enough, I was lucky to enjoy a traditional Balinese meal with the company's CEO Damien Dernoncourt and creative director Guy Bedarida, and witness a rarity: a company that takes an interest in keeping employees happy from making sure all families have spousal medical care—in Bali society, women traditionally are not offered medical coverage for their husbands because it's assumed all men work—to treating its 700 workers to lunch every day.
It's a big commitment. The company goes through 160 pounds of rice a month. All the cooking is done by 20 kitchen workers, who prepare food traditionally, with no electricity, over bamboo-burning stoves and a brick oven.
As a sustainable company, all the ingredients are organic, with much of the produce raised on site, including rice grown in paddies surrounding the property. It was amazing to see and they set a good example that I wish other companies would follow.
The John Hardy employees get an hour-long lunch break, during which they are also allowed to nap!
Fried chicken and salad. There was also a second chicken dish in a mild curry sauce.
Twenty cooks prepare lunch for the company's 700 employees and guests every work day. The cooking is done traditionally, with no electricity. This woman works over bamboo stoves, with brick oven behind her.
A wet sambal on left was fiery, but a dry sambal of onions and bell pepper was thankfully mild. I could only handle one bite of the hot one, even though it was delicious.
A rice pudding dessert topped with toasted coconut and palm sugar syrup. The palm sugar itself is wonderful, dry and less sweet than brown sugar because it doesn't contain molasses. John Hardy creative director Guy Bedarida went light on lunch, opting mostly for grilled vegetables, but he couldn't resist asking for more of the syrup with dessert.
A few employees relax after lunch, before going back to work.
An offering to gods placed just outside the communal dining area comprises a little bit of everything on the menu.
One of the rice paddies on the property. These are brown rice.
Two of several goats on the property.