Chef Passion Media

Through the Looking Glass

Dedy Sutan Supriady is no stranger to competition, as he has been a winner in plenty of international pastry championships.

His recent role in representing Indonesia on the most prestigious pastry competition in the world, the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2017 in Lyon, was something that he would not forget in a long time. PASSION talks to the busy chef about his career, competitive streak, and the role of photography in his dessert creations.

Shall we go back to the beginning to find out how did you become a pastry chef?

I had to say it was because of a demonstration. I was a kitchen apprentice in a five star hotel in Jakarta when suddenly the majority of its staffs held a strike. I closely worked with the sous chef, assisting in everything that I could to avert a catasthrope. Afterward, that hotel closed for a month before a new management took over and I was called back to join the kitchen. The sous chef appointed me to work in the pastry kitchen so I think my career path was sealed back then!

Is it true that you spent most of your career working abroad?
Yes, I spent a lot of time working in the Middle East. I joined Shangri La Dubai and met my mentor, Chef Anthony Collar there. He taught me the basic of pastry and the love of photography. When he moved, his replacement, Chef Chris Widmar taught me about flavour and kitchen organizing. I was lucky to have met many inspiring figures in the industry who are willing to share their skill and expertise. I have worked in Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, The Address Dubai Mall, and The Address Downtown Dubai. In 2014, I decided to come back to Indonesia. I was involved in setting up Pipiltin Cocoa, part of the team in the pre-opening phase of Raffles Hotel Jakarta, and eventually joined the Potato Head Family as the Group Pastry Chef in the end of 2015.

In what medium is your style more clearly expressed and how does it influence the concept of the pastry at your current work place?
I have to say my favourite medium is chocolate. There is no limit on what you can do with chocolate. To make a remarkable dessert, one has to master the recipe before going for the presentation. I love to play with texture, flavour, and different presentation in one plate; and that is what I created here for Potato Head.

Tell us about your exciting experience as the first Indonesian representative in the Coup du Monde de la Pâtisserie.

It was a humbling experience. Our team which are made of Dwi Artha Astika of Potato Head Beach Club, I Ketut Suaryana of Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, and I, were up against 21 teams from all over the world. Their countries have been competing for many times while for us, it was the first time. We had to make three Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate entremets, three frozen fruit desserts from the Ravifruit range, 15 identical plated desserts, one artistic sugar piece, one artistic creation made of chocolate, and one artistic creation made of sculpted hydric ice within 10 hours.
Pak Ketut and his skill in ice sculpting impressed a lot of the attendants, especially with his hand carving tools while the other participants using electric saw. Our concept was to introduce nutmeg and incorporated its distinctive flavour into the desserts. We got the 20th place. This time, we didn’t win.

What did you learn from that competition? Will you go again next time?
We need a better preparation. Despite the full support that we received from our companies and our mentor, Potato Head Family’s Director of Culinary’s Will Goldfarb, there are still lot more to learn. I was amazed by the technique, innovation, discipline, team work, coordination, and training schedule of the other participants. To answer your question, yes, I want to do another round with my team!

We learned about your love for photography.

Yes, I love taking pictures of food. Personally, it helps me on documenting my creation. At the same time, it teaches me to be more aware of composition, texture, and generally, adjusting the dish and make it looks better.

What do you think of Indonesia’s pastry scene?

We have immensely talented pastry chefs, working here and abroad. Many of them are working in the hotel industry. Unfortunately, working in the industry has its own limitation especially in the freedom to create. In that sense, individual pastry or dessert shop are much needed to push the growth of pastry and dessert creativities. In Indonesia, we don’t have a dessert culture. There are only a handful of dedicated dessert destination so further campaign or introduction are still needed. The worrying thing for me is the presentation fever. Taste is becoming less important than its look, and how copying a trend is sadly still much more preferable than experimenting with something new.