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  • 02/03/2020 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Studying Abroad

    Dari beberapa perjalanannya ke luar negeri, Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, Presiden Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), mendapati sebuah fakta menarik: di beberapa kampus pariwisata, jumlah mahasiswa Indonesia merupakan jumlah kedua terbesar setelah mahasiswa lokal. Untuk mengetahui apa yang terjadi di dalam dan luar negeri, berikut penuturan dari CRK

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  • Hensin
    02/03/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Chefs ofIce and Fire

    It’s been 3 years since Henshin was established and ever since, it has been one of the most important restaurant in Jakarta, if not Indonesia, as it represents the rising Nikkei cuisine. Located in 67-69 floor of The Westin Jakarta Hotel, it is easy to be distracted by the luxurious place. However, since we’re not an interior magazine, of course we’ll talk about the thing that matter the most, the food! Sandro Medrano, Sous Chef of Henshin’s cold kitchen and Ivan Casusol, Sous Chef of the hot kitchen, explains about Nikkei cuisine, and the concept of Peruvian food.

    Tell us about your hometown and Peru in general!

    Sandro: I grew up in Lima, Peru, but my parents came from Huancayo (a city located in central highland in Peru), while my grandfather is from Chile. 

    Ivan: I was also born in Lima, my family came from the Chiclayo (north part of Peru). Basically, we use a lot of seafood there, and we have a kind of connection with Nikkei cuisine. Actually, Peru has cultures and influence from different countries. For example, my last name is Casusol, it’s an Italian last name as my great grandfather did come from Italy

    Nikkei and Peruvian cuisine are new things for most of Indonesians, please explain a bit about it!

    S: Like Ivan said, Peru has many influences from Chinese, Japanese, to Spain. In fact, Peru has the second biggest Japanese community in South America (after Brazil). The name Nikkei refers to Japanese people who live outside Japan, so Nikkei cuisine is not considered as traditional Japanese, it’s a fusion.

    I: Basically, the Japanese immigrants arrive in Peru 120 years ago. They were supposed to stay for a few months to work, but in the end, they stay. Like everybody, they try to make their own food here, like sushi and sashimi. After some generations, the food started to change.Tiradito is a perfect example for the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cultures, both from technique and flavor. Japanese’s sashimi is more to serving plain, raw fish with soya sauce. It’s amazing, but it’s something really basic. In Peru, we like it spicy, sour, so we put some Peruvian sauce onto it and we call it tiradito.

    So, can I safely say Nikkei is a “traditionally fusion” cuisine?

    I: Yes. Like I said before, we have many influences. We have a dish called menestron, which is basically our version of Italian’s minestrone and our own version of Chinese sautéed noodle.

    I guess chefs of new cuisines, like you guys, are acting like an ambassador to your country. How do you feel about such responsibility?

    S: When we came, almost nobody knew about Nikkei cuisine in Jakarta, you had some restaurants that serve similar concept in Bali, but in Jakarta, it’s only Henshin. Since we’re the first, it’s our responsibility to show about Nikkei food, if we do something that’s not correct, it will confuse the local people. We’re here to explain about our concept, the meaning of Peruvian food, and the difference of Nikkei compared to Japanese food

    I: I feel really, really proud! Because, first, it’s not easy. I think more than 60% of the people that came to Henshin tasted Nikkei cuisine for the first time. It’s a big responsibility, but we have many guests that love the food.A few months ago I traveled to Bali, make food tasting with some of the chefs there. There was an Indian chef who loves the food, and he wanted to bring Peruvian food to a 3 days wedding in India. Initially, we were intended to make 4 courses menu, but after a tasting session, the guest really loved them and they wanted 9 courses! Probably it’s the first time somebody’s making Peruvian food in Calcutta, India.

    The food you serve here in Henshin, is it typical everyday food in Peru?

    S: We make the food like in our home, but here, we try to make it fine dining. We keep the flavor, but we change the presentation and the products that we use. We use items such as foei gras, wagyu, chutoro (fatty tuna), and you can’t find any of these ingredients in Peruvian homes.

    I: There are 2 important things we need to consider: the level of spicy and acidity. We realize that you love spicy food, I mean, your spiciness level is super high! However, Peruvians love their food acidic, that’s why we have to tone it down here. Unless we have Peruvian guests, we’d make the food to my liking, and Sandro’s.About the products that we use, my mother never cooks with wagyu. Here, we have ingredients mainly from Japan, and some beef from Australia, but the recipes, sauce, garnish, side dish, all of these are traditionally Peru.

    There are some popular cuisines that are popular here, like Japanese, nowadays, it’s Korean, but we also have some cuisines that stay in the niche market. How do you see the future of Peruvian food here?

    S: It’s difficult (to make any statement now), I think 3 years are not enough, but I think we’re going in a good way. We still need to work with embassies, local suppliers, it’s not only our job to introduce Peruvian food, but also the guests, especially when they bring along their families and friends. I believe this concept will grow more, like what I see in Bali. I see a good future for this kind of food, not only here in Jakarta, but also in this Asia.

    I: I want to make a resume what happened in the last 15 years in Peruvian cuisine. When I started, I’m talking 15 years ago, I told my mother I want to be a chef, and she got mad. She yelled, “what are you talking about?!” The most popular restaurant in Peru, if you want to eat in a nice place, is either you go to Italian, French, maybe Spanish restaurants. We never have the idea to eat in Peruvian restaurant, never! I mean, why should I eat ceviche in restaurant when I can make it at home?So I remember when I started, the Peruvian chefs were incorporating traditional French concept with our local ingredients, but it was nowhere near the popularity we have with Nikkei cuisine nowadays. After some years, people realized that people go to Peru to try Peruvian food. You don’t travel to Peru to try truffle or parmesan, do you? So we began to focus on our own food. People started to like it and speak about it. Nikkei cuisine is not a new concept, in fact it’s been around for 120 years, and this is the result. The food that you order here is exactly the same like we have in Peru.I know it’s difficult, but if you tell me 10 years ago, you would put a Peruvian restaurant in a rooftop of a 5 star hotel in Jakarta, I’d say, “you must be crazy!” But look at us now, we’re one of the most important restaurants in Indonesia. We have great comments from guests, we’re super busy, everyday! Maybe it’s similar to the boom of Mexican food around 5 years ago. Today, everybody speaks about nacho, tortilla, and I’m sure, in a few years, if somebody ask about ceviche, people will know about it.

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  • 02/03/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Kaiseki Chef

    Sanur asked our place to set up a new Japanese restaurant. I was assigned to work and live in Bali for 3 months to set up the place. I met my friend who run a restaurant in Bali, accidentally, he introduced and recommended me to the owner of this place.

    On August 30th 2018, we attended an exquisite sake dinner, a collaboration of Born Sake and Sake+. The dinner left a deep impression for us, and we said, “whenever we have the next Japanese cuisine issue, we need to have Kawamura Toshinobu, the Executive Chef of Sake+ in it!” And after 1,5 years, here’s Chef Kawamura telling us his story about starting his culinary career in his 30’s, his confusion about Japanese fusion style cuisines, and the working situation in Japan.

    Where did you come from?

    I was born in Tokyo, but when I was 29, I moved to Kyoto and went to culinary school. I worked in normal office before I switched into cooking.

    Why did you decide to change your job?

    So many reasons. Japanese was growing from 1960’s and reached it’s maximum potential in 1990’s, and in 1998’s it started to decline. Back then, I thought I might lose my job. I worked in some warehouse, and the job didn’t require me to have specific technique or knowledge, basically, anyone can do it. My mom said that I need to have specific skill, like painter or carpenter. Finally, I chose cooking. Now I’m working here (in Sake+), but I can work in any place because I have the necessary skills.

    You started your culinary career in your 30’s, what’s the biggest challenge?

    Normally, Japanese chefs started when they graduate from junior high school, when they’re 15-16 years old. When I studied in culinary school in my 30, my colleagues were much younger than me, around 18 years old, and it was very difficult for me to communicate with them.

    Where did you work in Kyoto?

    The first place was a one star Michelin star kaiseki restaurant called (Gion) Kawakami. I worked there for 9 years, and from there I worked in 3 other places for 6 years

    So, how did you come to Indonesia?

    When I was in Kyoto and working in a restaurant, then a hotel in Bali, Maya Sanur asked our place to set up a new Japanese restaurant. I was assigned to work and live in Bali for 3 months to set up the place. I met my friend who run a restaurant in Bali, accidentally, he introduced and recommended me to the owner of this place.

    What sort of changes did you make in Sake+ when you come to Indonesia?

    Not so much difference. The most important thing is to keep the consistency because every cook has different cooking quality, I didn’t want that. I want to keep the same quality and taste in every dish, that’s my job. We have no seasonal ingredients here in Indonesia, unlike in Japan, probably that’s my biggest challenge.

    Do you consider Sake+ as traditional or fusion restaurant?

    The owner wants the food to be traditional, but sometimes if the menu has 100, we must include like, 10 fusion menus. Personally, I like traditional style. For me, it’s difficult to make fusion style, for example, the sushi roll that use mayonnaise, spice, sweet. I’m confused already (laugh)!

    Don’t you have that kind of style in Japan?

    No. In fact, the first time I see sushi that use mayonnaise is here in Sake+ Indonesia. In here, we have Salmon Avocado Roll, Special Sushi Roll, so when I started here, I asked everyone, “hey! How do you make that?” I’ve never seen such things before.

    Was it hard to learn the fusion stuffs?

    Very hard! I know I have the basic for sushi, but it’s completely different, I can’t seem to enjoy fusion, even until today. You know that California Roll is not Japanese food, right? They started it in California! The fusion thing started in New York by some Japanese chefs, they mix things up and you have fusion. In Indonesia, how do you combine Indonesian and Japanese taste? It’s very difficult, for example, what I consider as very spicy might be nothing to you.

    How do you adapt to that?I don’t use any modifications, because if I use chilly, you can not feel anything after that because of the burning sensation in your mouth. For that reason, normally, many Japanese chefs don’t use garlic, pepper, or any chili powder. It’s a different case in ramen place because customer only eats ramen. But in kaiseki restaurant, you have to taste the sushi, soup, to the dessert.

    In your opinion, why does Japanese cuisine is loved all over the world?

    Let’s take 10-20 years ago, before the Internet, people don’t know much about Japan. Probably, people think of Japan as the place for samurais and ninjas. And then people from all over the world came to Japan and taste the real Japanese food. After they return, they demand the same taste in their own countries. People in Japan are really concerned about their health, and I think many Indonesians are started to think that way, people started to avoid carbohydrate, fried food, and eat more vegetables.

    How do you compare working in Japan to in Indonesia?

    In Kyoto, I opened the restaurant at 9.00 o’clock in the morning and close it on 2.00 am everyday, no break! Then I went home and start eating in 3 o’clock until 4, sleep, and wake up at 8.00 am. That’s why we have karoshi, sudden death caused by overworking.

    That’s a very long working hours, don’t you have any regulations regarding the matter?

    Yes we have, officially it’s 8 hours. However, most restaurants do the same thing. So, when I came to Indonesia, I could finally have 9 hours sleep everyday! In Japan, there are only 3 people in the kitchen and the restaurant has around 200 seats. We had to do everything, from washing the dishes to cleaning the place. In Indonesia, we have 6 people working in the first shift, we have another 6 for the second, and the restaurant capacity is around 100 seats. Why ask, do you plan to work in Japan?

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  • hotel borobudur
    02/03/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    And Japanese Food for All!

    Before coming to Jakarta, Indonesia, Tomohiko Omori, the Japanese Chef of Hotel Borobudur Jakarta has spent great deal of time working in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. As he loves so many categories of food in Japanese cuisine, Miyama, Hotel Borobudur Jakarta’s Japanese restaurant seems like a perfect outlet for him to showcase his skill through wide range of food.

    Tell us a bit about your hometown!

    I came from Fukuoka, the bottom part of Japan, near Korea. In my hometown, we have wide range of cuisine, from street food to high class restaurant. Since Japan is near to the sea and has mountains, we have quite wide variety of ingredients.

    How did you end up in Jakarta, Indonesia?

    Back then, I studied in Japan, and then I opened my own restaurant in Perth, Australia, but it was closed down a long time ago. When I came there, there were just 5-6 Japanese restaurants in Perth, after that, the number kept increasing and the competition level was very high.After that, I moved to Hong Kong and worked in a cruise, Star Cruises. I worked just for the experience, but I ended up working for 15 years there. Then I moved to Singapore, before I found out about this Hotel Borobudur. Next year, it will be my 10th years working here.

    There are many categories of Japanese food, do you have any personal favorites?

    Basically, I want to master everything. I started with tempura restaurant when I was young, then I learned sushi, fine dining, and I ended up learning everything, that’s why it’s very interesting to work in this hotel.

    But Japan has its own specific restaurants for each category, right?

    Correct! Usually Japan is like, one street with 10 ramen shops, they only have ramen there, but each of them have different taste. Then you go to sushi area, they only sell sushi. It took quite some time to master each of this category, but for some people like me, I’m interested in everything.

    When you worked in other countries, how far do you adjust to the local taste?

    When I was in Australia, it was the first time I stepped my foot outside Japan. We know only typical Japanese food, that’s why we look for the 100% traditional Japanese ingredients from the sauce and everything. However, as time goes by, I have to adapt the Australian taste, Hong Kong Taste by using local ingredients also. I also know Indonesians don’t really enjoy sour taste, so I have to tone down the vinegar and the lemon, you also love spicy food. However, I believe I still serve 100% Japanese flavor!

    Everywhere in this world, people seem to enjoy Japanese food, in your opinion, what’s the cause?

    First of all, it’s healthy, unlike Chinese food that uses lot of oil. Long time ago, most countries don’t eat raw fish, so they want to try it. They wonder how can we serve very fresh fish, how we cut it, how we present it. Another reason is, most people love Japanese soy sauce! These are the reasons why people love Japanese food, I mean, it’s basically everywhere!

    According to you, what’s the philosophy of Japanese cuisine?

    In addition to healthy, the presentation is beautiful, and most people can enjoy it. You know Singaporean food? They are spicy, use lots of coconut milk, Korean has lot of beef and it’s sauces, but when you think of Japanese food, actually it’s very simple to eat, nothing too heavy. Japanese cuisine is very difficult to explain, it’s simple, but deep.

    Japanese chefs are known to be strictly traditional, however, do you adopt modern cooking techniques?

    I always try so mix a little bit of modern stuffs, I love to do that, but I still want my food to be 100% Japanese. In fact, we do some monthly promotion by incorporating Asian, Italian, Indonesian, Thai style. Using pasta to cook Japanese food, why not? We can do it Japanese style!

    Outside Japanese cuisine, which type of cuisines do you enjoy the most?

    Now I’m very interested in food that has lots of spices, like Indian food, Singaporean is also okay. But basically, I eat everything, so, nothing is really special to me.

    Tell me about the food that you serve today!

    We start from Sushi Aburi Salmon Roll, Salmon Aburi Tataki (torched fresh salmon yuzu ponzu dressing), Houba Yaki (Kagoshima wagyu and vegetables with saikyouu miso sauce), and Jyu Jyu Rib Eye (Thin sliced US rib eye seared on hot stone). The name jyu jyu came from the sizzling sound. I use rib eye because it’s my favorite cuts of the beef, I like the fat! When you go to a steak restaurant and they remove the fat, I wouldn’t be happy, even though I know it’s that healthy (laugh)! The Houba Yaki is also quite something. I use houba leaf from Japan, but sorry, I don’t know the English name for the leaf, but you cook the leaf together with the beef, and it will give the beef really nice flavor.

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  • Tomoaki Ito
    02/03/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Guest First!

    As a Japanese, Tomoaki Ito, the Japanese Chef of Gran Melia Hotel Jakarta started his interest to culinary industry when he was in Indonesia. When we met him at Yoshi Izakaya, Gran Melia Jakarta’s Japanese restaurant, Chef Ito shared his knowledge about the meanings behind details in Japanese food.

    Tell us a bit about your hometown and its traditional food!

    I came from Tokyo. Actually, it’s a bit hard to explain food in Tokyo, because at the moment, everything’s available, from traditional Japanese, to Italian and French food. However, we have our most famous dish, it’s called Edomae sushi. Edo is actually Tokyo’s former name, meanwhile mae means “in front” (referring to Tokyo’s location as bay).Around 200 years ago, we didn’t know chiller nor freezer, so when we caught fish, usually we cut and serve it rightaway. However, we alos had to preserve some of the products with marination using shoyu or vinegar.

    How did you end up working in Indonesia?

    It’s a long story. So, my father was working in a construction company and he had a contract to work in Jakarta, it was around 1993-1994, before Asia’s monetary crisis. At that time, I followed my father and stayed in Sari Pan Pacific Hotel Jakarta (now Sari Pacific Jakarta), because the construction company was a sister company to Sari Pan.I dined frequently in Keyaki, Sari Pan Pacific Hotel Jakarta’s Japanese restaurant. There was a chef there that I was looked up to, his name’s Chef Hayashi, I wanted to be like him. Along with Indonesians, Keyaki’s guests came from many countries, like Germany, America, and when the guests complain, he could stand up and explain while maintaining his pride, and the guests would get it. Back then, Japanese image wasn’t too strong, but he could stand up and said, “if you don’t like it, don’t pay! My food tastes like it should be!”I asked my dad, if I wanted to be like him, what should I do? Finally, I returned to Japan and went to culinary school in Tokyo to earn national license so I can be a chef.

    What sort of dishes did you learn at culinary school?

    Actually culinary college is more about hygiene, sanitation, food poisoning, and basic knowledge about food safety. After that, we learned about cooking knowledge. I had 2 targets, I wanted to be Japanese Chef, and I wanted to work in Jakarta. Finally, I worked in Keyaki before moving here (Yoshi Izakaya, Gran Melia Hotel Jakarta).

    In general, what’s the difference between Keyaki and Yoshi’s concept?

    I felt that Japanese restaurants in any hotels are pretty much the same. We serve various Japanese dishes, whether it’s sushi, teppanyaki, robatayaki, tempura, shabu-shabu, sukiyaki, we have everything on board.

    How do you explain Yoshi Izakaya’s concept?

    It’s a bit difficult, but deep down, I want it to be authentic Japanese, but the job requires me to be flexible. I always want to serve something original, basic, but it appears some customers prefer the more contemporary cuisine. In Yoshi, I’m responsible to create all the menus, if it’s not good, I wouldn’t bother putting it on the list. However, some customers have special requests, outside traditional Japanese, which I think wouldn’t be good. But it’s okay, I always say to them that I can fulfill any requests, but if it’s not good, don’t complain (laugh)!No matter what, guests are our priority. We always do the best, serving fresh food, nice presentation to make the guests happy. If they’re happy, they will return, if not, I’m in trouble. Not just restaurants, I guess in any businesses, guest first!

    Would you mind explaining a bit about the menu that you present?

    I serve Yoshi Goma Tofu. In Japanese, anything similar to mousse, agar-agar, jelly, we call it as tof, even though it’s not made of soybean. I don’t use any soybean in this Goma Tofu, I made it with milk, fresh cream, sesame paste, and then corn starch, cooked in low heat. I serve it to customers without naming the menu, many people guessed it was mozzarella cheese.

    Is this a typical traditional Japanese menu?

    50:50, in Japan, we have similar menu, but I use it using fresh cream. In addition, the process of making traditional Goma Tofu usually takes 1 hour, exhausting isn’t it? But here, we can prepare it in 20 minutes. I call it Yoshi Goma Tofu, it’s our signature menu. Goma Tofu is actually quite flexible, I can serve it as appetizer to dessert, I can also make it in green or pink color.As opposed to French’s course menu that consists of starter, appetizer, soup, main course to dessert, in Japanese cuisine, we don’t know any of it, what does it mean? Everything is main course, and we give 100% in all the dishes.If you follow the Japanese standard, actually the procedure of making the dishes is quite strict, but again, it depends on guests request. However, if you look closely, everything in Japanese cuisine has its own meaning.Let’s take sushi for example, why it should be small, bite-size? Because initially, sushi is intended to be snack, the kind of food you can enjoy while, let say, playing games. Do you have to use chopstick? Not necessarily, you may use bare hand.In addition, the rice in sushi already has its own flavor, and it’s good enough, meanwhile, the sliced fish is basically has nothing in it. Therefore, I recommend you to dip the top part onto the shoyu, you don’t have to turn it around, but of course, you can have it as you like. You can add wasabi, chilly, anything, but some old Japanese chefs might be insulted and get angry. “Why do you put anything else, you don’t believe in me!?” that’s what they’d say.

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  • 02/03/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Super Lucky Chef

    Tadayoshi Motoa aka Teddy, the new Japanese Chef, Food & Beverage Department in Pullman Jakarta Indonesia is in charge to head the legendary Kahyangan Restaurant. To Passion Media, he shared his unique background story, his perspective on Japanese food, and how luck plays important role to his career.

    Tell us a bit about your background!

    I came from Chigasaki, a small city nearby Tokyo. There’s no special, regional food over there, but since we’re near the ocean, we have lots of seafood. Actually, I was an engineer working in Japan, until I met my girlfriend. One day, she had to move to South Africa, so I decided to leave Japan, sold my house, left my job because of her. After 6 months, I came back to Japan and I decided to be a chef when I was 33, because I wanted to travel around the world. I’d say my whole career is super lucky! I began working at a traditional Japanese restaurant. When you see someone said “I’m a sushi chef”, they have around 20 years experience, or at least 15. I didn’t have time, I had to learn everything in short time. I said to my Head Chef to teach me in mere 3 months, but I did quite good.After that, I had to work in a cruise, so I need to think about the menu for the next 2 months and prepare the ingredients. I couldn’t say, “Oh no! I don’t have enough rice!” as we were in the middle of the ocean. Being in the cruise is super beautiful, but super boring at the same time. We had no entertainment, no internet, wifi, TV, newspaper, only blue sky and sea. For most people, their entertainment is the food. I had to find a way to entertain people with my food, including my captain. He was old so I had to make authentic, like, no mistake, traditional Japanese cuisine. That’s good for me because it forced me to learn all the basic. If the captain said I was doing bad, I’m finished! Fortunately, he loved me, so I was safe (laugh)!

    I heard you worked in Denmark before coming to Jakarta?

    Yes. I visited my friend’s birthday at Copenhagen, Denmark. There’s one guy, he’s a Sri Lankan, an owner of a Japanese restaurant that saw me and after some talking, he knew I’m a chef. He invited to me to his restaurant the next day, and he gave me a contract. I was lucky, super lucky! I never worked outside Japan, so my English wasn’t good, but I learned everything in the kitchen. The name of the restaurant is Damindra.

    So, how did you come to Jakarta?

    My girlfriend is working in UN (United Nations), she got a job and asked me, “can we go to Indonesia, or stay here?” We’ve been in Copenhagen for 6 years, we need to more adventure, so I said, “let’s move!” even though I didn’t even know where Jakarta is back then (laugh)! From Copenhagen, I applied for job in some Jakarta’s hotels and restaurants. I wasn’t sure I could land any jobs because my experience is a little bit weird. But actually, I got a job here (Pullman Jakarta Indonesia), crazy! I’m super lucky!

    Kahyangan has been around since 1974, how do you keep up with the legacy?

    It’s a challenge, but if you go to any old Japanese restaurants that has authentic dishes, they just follow the Japanese way, so I do the same thing. Here in Kahyangan, the chefs know the basic, I know the basic, so I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but I don’t think it’s too difficult.

    There’s always contradiction between traditional VS modern, which side are you on?

    I like authentic, but sometimes I want to play. So to me, it’s better to go authentic while leaving some space to allow me to play, because if you go with the fusion, you will get tired because you need to come up with new stuffs frequently. If I make super good, classic Japanese cuisine, everybody will say it’s boring, even the owner. So I had to do something, with the oil, torch it, anything.

    Tell me about your opinion on Japanese’s cooking philosophy.

    Japanese cuisine looks simple, but it has so many details. It’s a 400 years old skill, so we just need to follow everything. It’s some sort of rule that we shouldn’t break. Let’s take sashimi for example. If you see sashimi on plate, there’s nothing, just sliced, raw fish, but it has so many details. People always write “fresh” on the menu, but if you catch a tuna, cut and eat it right away, it tastes terrible, disgusting, no taste, because the amino acid isn’t there. You need to age it for at least 5 days, and before the aging process, you need to take care of everything properly. One mistake and the fish will be spoiled and it will cause big accident because it’s basically raw meat. From the hygiene, the knife, everything is super high level, then you have the sashimi. If I say this story to everyone, it would be too much. For most people, they just want their food to look good, eat, enjoy, right (laugh)?

    Personally, how do you tell the quality of sushi?

    It’s the rice, for sure. You have to cook the rice properly, it should not be mushy, porridge. When you bite, it should spread out in your mouth and mix well with the fish. In Indonesia, I had challenge because of the water, the temperature of the tap water here is quite high, unlike in Denmark or Japan. Cold water is crucial to prepare sushi rice. It may sounds simple, but in Japan, we use water a lot to cook, and we have clean water back there.

    Unlike some certain cuisines, Japanese cuisine is loved by people all over the world. In your opinion, what’s the reason?

    I think because it has mystery behind it. In Japanese culture, we don’t show everything. For example, when someone have tattoos in his body, they hide it behind their cloth, it’s part of the culture. Same thing goes with food, we give the best food all the time, but we’re still hiding something.

    japanese cuisine is... I don’t want to say difficult, but it has so many details, and we tend to hide them. Just like an old chef in a restaurant, he never teaches his trainees, never! If I were the trainee, I have to see how the chef works, all the time. When he said to do the same thing, you’d have to be able to. If you can’t do it, then it’s your fault. He shows how things done, but you have to steal the techniques!Now we have Youtube and other social media, you can see how Japanese chefs do their things, but before that, you have zero chance! I don’t have too much experience. Within my short career, I watched Youtube a lot, I watched everything the whole time and try to do it myself. So, if you ask me about my most important mentor, actually, I don’t have one.

    Do you use any modern technology in the kitchen?

    I use Thermomix when I want to blend oil with some herbs, but other than that, I don’t think so. I love the traditional cooking method.

    Have you ever got bored with authentic Japanese cuisine?

    Never, it’s a never ending journey, it’s something we can never reach. For example, Hanaya Yohei, this guy invented sushi hundred years ago. We just follow his method, but we can’t eat his sushi, we don’t know how it tastes, therefore, it’s an unreachable goal. There’s no such thing as perfect dish, but we always have to try to make one, and we can’t stop practicing for our entire life.

    Tell us a bit about your signature dish!

    It’s called Cripsy Nasi Goreng Roll. When I came to Indonesia, I had lots of Nasi Goreng, I made my own version of Nasi Goreng with Japanese way. I also serve it with foei gras puree, but I’ve rendered most of the fat in it, perhaps it’s the healthiest foei gras! It’s more like a fusion dish, in fact. It’s my first Indonesian Japanese fusion that will be served soon in Kahyangan.

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  • 02/03/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Ladylike Chef

    essica Juwono started her career in accounting until she decided to pursue her passion in pastry and attended a pastry school in Japan. In addition to Japanese pastry, she’s also a florist. Too bad like the popular term on Internet, her look and skills sound pretty much like “wife material” for most men. She returned to Indonesia merely to apply for a working visa in order to work in Tokyo, Japan. However, her meeting with the Indonesian culinary master, William Wongso, opened many ways for her to spend her “idle” times with on various baking demos.

    How did you get into pastry?

    I went to Universitas Parahyangan and studied tax brevet, I even did a part time job in e-commerce company at the finance department. I love numbers and calculations, but it seems that my passion is more in baking. Whenever I bake, I don’t seem to get tired.When I went to college, I made cakes like brownies, chiffon, and others, calling my friends to come over and taste them. My mother noticed my passion and she offered me to go to a pastry school in Japan so I can make living from my hobby. She said that Japanese taste is quite similar to Indonesian one, with much higher level of details. Of course, fortunately, my older sister also lives there.Finally, I went to a language school for a year, then attended a pastry class in Nihon Kashi Senmongakko, Tokyo for 2 years. I learned much about wagashi, Japanese traditional confections, and yogashi, western pastry products such as cake, croissant, etc.

    Did you also work there?

    Yes, I had a part time job at Hugo & Victor, a French chocolate shop that also sells cakes. In Japan, when you graduate from college, you’re not allowed to take a part time job that’s called arubaito. I decided to return to Indonesia because the regulations regarding workforce in Japan are very strict.However, the manager told me that the company was willing to sponsor me to work in Japan, along with their French Head Chef and other Japanese chefs, so I’m the first Indonesian who works at Hugo & Victor Japan, but first, I had to cancel my student visa by checking in at the Indonesian airport in May 2019. Actually, I returned merely to apply for a working visa. It took me 6 months and finally, I managed to work in Japan in January 2020.

    I heard that working in Japan is pretty tough. Is that true?

    Yes, we have to work like a robot. I struggled a lot during the course of my study in Japan. In fact, I was even underestimated, but I never gave up, and eventually, I got what I wanted. My Indonesian friends often say, “you’re lucky to be able to work in Japan!” but in all honesty, not really. As a pastry staff, they even ordered me to mop the floor.

    Wait, you have Javanese accent, Where do you come from?

    I came from Semarang, even though I worked in Japan, attended the university in Bandung for 4 years, my accent can’t seem to go away, on the contrary, my Sundanese friends started to have a Javanese accent (laugh)!

    So, how did you start to do baking demos in Jakarta?

    I came to a food festival in Tokyo and met Om William (Wongso) and Mrs. Santhi (Serad) there. In the beginning, we didn’t know that Santhi’s parents and my parents knew each other. One day, I was making mochi and everyone seemed to like it, and they offered me to teach at a mochi class in Ramurasa. I was lucky to know Om Will, he always encourages me and also helps me with networking.

    Along with pastry, you’re also a florist?

    Yes, I learned about flower arrangements in Jakarta, Singapore, London and Tokyo. I joined a garden style, flower competition in London and managed to get the second place, at the moment I’m also running my own florist brand (Japaris Flower).

    Your hobbies sound very feminine!

    Super feminine, but I’m actually very tomboy, I love playing basket and doing muay thai. Perhaps my mother was so worried that she suggested that I should learn more about feminine skills. Flower arrangement is very interesting because you have to be able to conquer the flowers. If they’re weak, you have to use wires. If they’re strong, you have to massage them. You can manipulate flowers.

    How long do you plan to work in Japan?

    I have working visa for 3 years, but I only plan to spend 1 year there. One thing for sure, I want to build my own pastry brand, probably by starting online business. At the moment, I’m making choux online. It was started when I made choux and my friends seemed to like it, when I posted it on Instagram, the orders kept coming and things got out of hand because I wasn’t too serious to begin with, I never thought I’d have so many orders. I even had to borrow Om Will’s kitchen for the production.

    Why did you choose choux?

    My choux is very Japanese. With the cream and choux, which is so typical of Japanese. Not to mention that in our first six months at school we focused on choux because Japanese really loves it.

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  • 02/03/2020 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Embracing The Traditional Values

    With more than 20 years of experience, Chef Slamet Basuki is known for his skills and dedication for Indonesian sushi business with his restaurant Umaku Sushi. On one fine Saturday afternoon, he shared a story about his trick of the trade with Passion Magazine.

    How did you start your career in F&B?

    I was at the beginning of my six-month wait for my final examinations at a maritime school. During which, I was working part-time at a sushi restaurant in Jakarta. Turns out it was a life-changing opportunity for me. There, I fell in love instantly with Japanese cuisine - especially sushi and sashimi. 

    I was very impressed with the way how the Japanese chef proprietor worked there. Although I started out as a dishwasher, one day the chef joined in to wash the dishes with me! Suddenly I felt very appreciated. He’s a very disciplined person and self-sufficient. Even as an owner, he would still visit the market from time to time to handpick the goods for the restaurant.

    That’s why I examined closely on the way he works. His method of teaching was unlike anywhere else. For instance, he would slow down a bit on what he’s doing and let me take notes. In no time, he’d be telling me to do things he had taught before.

    From my point-of-view that time, this profession as a chef - which was not yet much known like today, was very promising. I can sense it, even though people were not yet into Japanese cuisine. I started out on December 1996 at Sushi Tengoku. After six months working there, I said goodbye to my past and started my career here.

    What happens next?

    The chef had to leave because of the 1998 riot and the management style suddenly changed. I was still working there for next few years, but I was already looking for another opportunity. Even so, I still maintain good relationship with the chef until today. He has always been my personal mentor and I’d ask for his advice from time to time. 

    Then came the opportunity to work at Kyubei Sushi of Hotel Nikko, Jakarta. I brought my working ethos from my days at Sushi Tengoku. For example, I would arrive at work early and did a lot of preparations in the kitchen, but my co-workers were less motivated unfortunately. Until one day, a message arrived from my old customer at Sushi Tengoku.

    This is where the Umaku Sushi story begins, right?

    Yes. One of our regulars back at Sushi Tengoku was this airline captain. He once told me that the sushi I made tastes exactly like the one he had in Osaka. Since his retirement days are near, he told me that one day he wanted to open a sushi restaurant and appoint me as the chef. Can’t believe that time passes by and he’d still remember that promise!

    Finally, the first Umaku Sushi was opened in Cibubur. Many colleagues of mine said that it was a crazy move to give up steady income, service tips, and insurance. I believe that in order to be successful, we need to make bold moves but we still have to remember our responsibilities..

    What were the challenges back then?

    As you can see, we always put up a lot of lanterns on the ceiling as part of our decorations. However, people of that time mistakenly took us as a lantern shop instead! Well, that’s the funny stuff. 

    At first, people were more inclined to eat tempura or udon instead of sushi and sashimi. Well, that was the real challenge, but also understandable, since many of them were not yet familiar with the idea of eating raw fish. So, we started giving them complements and educate them about sushi and sashimi. If the customers are satisfied, the word-of-mouth marketing strategy will work.

    Another challenge for us back then was the suppliers. Not many were willing to travel as far as Cibubur or it’ll be too expensive, so I had to meet them halfway in Blok M. At least twice a week, I would ride my motorcycle downtown, brought a cooler box with me, and carry the fish back to Cibubur. Sushi and sashimi require the freshest fish you can get and that’s how we had to do. Sure, you can freeze the fish, but it would decrease the quality and we don’t want that.

    How do you keep up with the current challenges?

    One thing that’s important is to befriend the suppliers. Many restaurants are failing because they’re not paying their suppliers properly. It’s no wonder if they can’t restock their goods eventually. So instead, they will use lesser quality ingredients. For us, even when the stocks are rare, the suppliers will always prioritize us because of the good relationships. 

    Once in a while, I would also go out on a trip to Japan with the crew to broaden our knowledge about food. While in Japan, I’d try to meet up with fellow chefs from my sushi competition days back in 2015 and discussing many things over dinner. That’s how we try to keep up with what’s current in the sushi world.

    Umaku Sushi’s mission is not all about profit and we are like a close-knit family business. To keep up with our employees annual raise, we’d open another outlet to facilitate that needs. One of the reasons why we open here in Bintaro is because some of the crews live in the neighborhood. They’ve been very loyal for years and would travel every day from here to Cibubur! By opening this outlet, we honor their loyalty by reducing that burden.

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  • mike halim
    28/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Untangling the Beauty of Simplicity

    Kendati usianya masih terbilang muda, perjalanan karir Mike Halim di dunia kuliner tidak bisa dipandang sebelah mata. Pemuda kelahiran Jakarta ini sudah sempat melanglang buana hingga Singapura dan Karibia sebelum memutuskan untuk menetap di Bali dan bekerja di sejumlah restoran bertaraf internasional. Kini, ia menerapkan filosofi ‘simple’ dalam mengelola rumah makannya sendiri; Xiahouse, yang mulai dikenal luas sebagai tempat menyantap mie homemade ala Asia yang sangat lezat dan ‘rumahan’. PASSION menyambangi Xiahouse di bilangan Canggu yang asri dan berbincang hangat dengan Chef Mike sembari menikmati semangkuk beef noodle soupnya yang nikmat.

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  • 08/01/2020 - ​Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Specialized Product

    Tingginya investasi di bisnis restoran atau bakery membuat banyak orang beralih ke produk spesialisasi. Meski namanya mungkin terdengar asing, kita cukup akrab dengan produk-produk tersebut, sebut saja es kopi susu, minuman boba, hingga Roti Boy. Ciri-ciri produk spesialiasi ini sederhana, biasanya mereka hanya menjual 1 jenis produk dengan beberapa

    pilihan varian, kiosnya relatif lebih kecilnamun jumlahnya banyak. Kami bertemu dengan Chef Rahmat Kusnedi untuk membahas kekurangan dan kelebihan bisnis ini.

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  • aston
    08/01/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Wandering Prince

    Parent’s success doesn’t always results in spoiled child, like what happens to Aston Adiwijaya, the owner of Arturo Bake House who was involved in some big bakery names, such as Farel Patisserie Café, Bellamie Boulangerie, and Fortaleza Boulangerie & Patisserie (now Formaggio Coffee & Resto). As the son of Hardy Sambas, owner of PT. Kelston Indonesia, also one of Collata’s chocolate founders, Aston can just sit back and continue his father’s business. 

    However, Aston, who was known as croissant and sour dough specialist, doesn’t seem to enjoy the easy way. He’s willing to face the bitter truth of rascism in Europe, from starting his career as cleaner in Paris, refuging to Iran, and working in Dubai. After building business with partners for 3 times, Aston decided to start his own business and focuses on B2B market.

    I want to confirm one thing, is it true that Kelston is an abbreviation of Keluarga Aston (Aston’s family)?

    Yes (laugh)! My father built the company in 2003.

    Did your father want you to continue his business?

    Probably, but I can’t do something that I don’t understand. Ingredient business (Kelston) is a very specific, it requires food science and technology, meanwhile I only have practical knowledge and skill to make bread.

    You’ve worked in Le Notre, Paris, tell us about it!

    I saw an ad in one of national newspaper about a 6 months short course scholarship to Le Notre, and I applied. From 570 applicants, they only selected 3 people, including me. Two others are fluent in French, meanwhile I couldn’t even speak proper English. You know why they picked me? Because in the interview, I wore an Elvis Presley tie, and the GM of Le Notre idolized Elvis. Basically, they were looking for workers that can be paid under minimum wage. So, after the 6 months short course, we had a deal that said I was willing to be placed in Le Notre’s factory anywhere. That’s the condition for the deal, I didn’t have any money back then (laugh), so I was okay with that!

    Factory? Isn’t Le Notre a pastry school?

    Most people know the school. However, Le Notre’s reputation came not only from its school, they also act as bakery supplier, they even have factories in Middle East, like Kuwait and Bahrain. While in Paris, I worked but not in production.. The people in Europe are quite rascists, they don’t allow outsider to work in production. They placed me as servant who cleans chef’s shoes, trays, and other kitchen equipments.

    At the time, I was working under 3 chefs. 2 out of the 3 are quite kind, one of them is Ivelena Ivanova, a Bulgarian female chef that I really respect. While cleaning, I had my own SOP. From something simple, such as cleaning shoes. I found it useless to clean the shoes when they will be dirty again in the second shift. So, in the first shift, I just cleaned them using vacuum cleaner and dried them. Actually, both chefs paid attention to these kind of things and they ended up promoting me.

    Wait, your job was cleaning the shoes?

    Yes, I was even in a room with 13-14 people. If in Indonesia we rent house or room, I had to rent the bed there. We can had up to 3 people in one bed, because everything was so expensive. Meanwhile, my father owns a company, people said my fate was tragic. Because of my love to the baking world, I was willing to do it, to understand the details of the business. I hadn’t have any experience anyway, even though I’m his son, in front of my father, I don’t have any values. So, I was planning to work abroad to gather experience, at least my father would notice that I’ve done something good.

    How was your father react?

    He wanted me to go home, especially after I sent him the videos of my mess.

    What was the worst thing you had back then?

    The work contract lasted for 3 years, if you break any contract, you will be banned from Europe for some years. Before 3 years, I decided to move to other place and break the contract, so I have to take refuge to Qeshm Island in Iran for 2 weeks to wait for my passport.

    Why did you fall in love with bread?

    Actually, in Le Notre, I took pastry class, but I got bored. To me, making pastry is only about following the recipe, that’s it. What made me fell in love with bread was actually sour dough, to me it was magical, how could a bread rose without yeast. I even got scolded by my chef when I forgot to feed the sour dough, so it’s like having pet actually.

    In bread, we rely a lot on intuition. Actually, we had formula to calculate everything, from the room temperature, flour and water temperature, but you’d spent most of your time if you are to do that. That’s why, even if you use the same recipe, everyone will produces different bread, because the air culture and the number of bacteria in each place is different.

    Then, why did you return to Indonesia?

    I went back to Indonesia and acted as consultant, but I returned to Dubai to work for Jumera Zabeel Saray Hotel. One day my father and uncle called me, “no matter how high your position is, you’d still be working for other people, don’t you want to start your own business?” Finally, I decided to return to Indonesia for good and built Farel Patisserie Café in Bandung with my family. It was the first time I became an entrepreneur.

    After 3 years running, Mrs. Theresia (owner of Prima Rasa) came and asked me to be her consultant for her new boutique bakery, I even proposed the name of the brand. After we built Bellamie Boulangerie, Mrs. Theresia offered me to run the business. I was afraid I couldn’t be professional by handling both brands, so I decided to leave Farel and focused on Bellamie.

    You said you were insulted when you were asked to sell your croissant for Rp 10.000?

    Yes, I was very idealist back then. If I use the food cost formula, ideally my croissant should be sold at Rp 15.000, but now I had to admit that I didn’t understand the business. You can’t just use the food cost to determine the selling price. From Mrs. Theresia, I knew I ignored one important factor, quantity. After some studies, I learned that to bake one or 20 croissants, we needed the same amount of resources: from gas, electricity, to labor cost. When we sell the high volume, affordable products, of course the food cost will follow, but the overhead cost is going nowhere, that’s how we maximized our profit. With Rp 10.000, we could sell up to 500 pcs croissant/day, minimum! We even had some coffee shop owners who bought our croissants and resold them at their places, because we didn’t aim for any B2B market back then. From Bellamie, I moved to Tangerang to build Fortaleza (we prefer to keep the reasons why Aston left the bakeries off the record).

    Some people complained that the products quality in your previous brands dropped as you leave them. Okay, you’re a great baker, but can I say that you failed to build the system?

    That’s what upsets me the most, I failed to convince the business owners not to merely looking at food cost and work method. Until today, I knew some people despised my work method, they said it was too complicated. However, how can you produce good products when you’re not willing to make any sacrifices? There’s a high chance that when I left, they changed the food costing and work method. In business owners perspective, actually it’s a very logical decision: “anything that makes any cost should be removed” and “why go the hard way when we can have the fast way?” But at the end, the product quality suffers. I’m very strict when it comes to quality, if I have a product that doesn’t meet my standard, I won’t hesitate to return it to the kitchen, meanwhile some business owners don’t’ worry about it. 

    From the past 3 partnerships you had, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned?

    When you build a business that’s not yours, or using your own money, at the end of the day, the decision belongs to the investor. So, when you can start your own business, why bother with partnership? I would say I’ve learned my lesson for another partnership. At the moment, I’m building my own business called Arturo, abbreviation for Artisan Tukang Roti (Artisan Baker). I focus on B2B to minimize risks, because when I open an outlet, I’ll spend all of my time there.

    Most Indonesians have the mindset that when you own a business, they expected everything can run automatically.

    That’s the ideal thing, but I’m not quite there yet. Perhaps because I’m over passionate in the things I’m doing. Even in my own house, my kitchen is much bigger than my own bedroom (laugh)!

    How do you define the term “artisan baker”?

    Actually, artisan stands for any products that are made by hand, so why can’t we call common bakers as artisan? To me personally, when you call yourself artisan baker, you admit and respect the products you create as part of art. Because many bakery owners, I don’t have to mention any names, see bread just as bread. Like a painter, or musician who makes song based on personal experience that can make the listeners cry, I’m trying to do the same thing through my products. 

    What’s the antonym of artisan? Industrial?

    Commercial. Commercial bread involves machines. Generally speaking, to me, for artisan baker, they’re thinking ways to make people love their products. On the other hand, commercial bakeries tend to make products that are liked by the market. 

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  • 08/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Hand-Made and Heart(h)-Baked

    Starts from a humble beginning, Joshua Goh has successfully established Bread Basket as one of Bali’s most prominent European authentic Bakery Shop. His business now has expanded into three flagship stores (and counting), and he shows no sign of slowing down. Passion get the chance to speak with the brilliant entrepreneur himself and dig deeper into his thoughts about several fascinating topics; from branding to latest pastry trend, and his worst baking-related disaster (ha!). So enjoy your coffee (and bread), and take a peek to our exclusive interview below!

    What inspires you to start a bakery business?

    First, I saw bread as something that people eat every day. I grew up for 18 years in Australia, and also love to travel around. I saw that bakery is a part of daily life for European people. They tend to visit bakery every day before work, so it inspires me a lot. In Bali, there’s not much ‘homey’ bakery. Back then, most of the bakery is known more for their café,
    and not the pastry creation; which they brought in from other places. In Bread Basket, even though we have other kinds of menu, we are focusing on our bread creation. We made them fresh everyday on the spot and change our menus regularly once every three months. So once again, what inspires me (to open Bread Basket), is first, there’s a need for (European) bakery in Bali, as there are lots of expats living here and I want them to feel home in Bali through our bread creations. 

    So excited to see Bread Basket keeps on expanding! Will we see another store pops out in near future? Do you have any thoughts about ‘branding’?

    We actually planned to open new store every two years on certain areas. That has become our main target. The closest one, on February 2020, we will open a new shop in Padang-Padang area. Now, for branding, I think it is very important, so people know your brand and what you’re focusing (on that brand). We choose the name ‘Bread Basket’ so people can immediately know that we’re in the business of making bread; not just another coffee shop or eatery. There are two methods of branding that we do; through logo and concept, so everything has to be connected; from the social media to printed promotion, it has to come from one main concept.

    Speaking about pastry trend, what do you think about the rise of ‘sourdough’ and healthy bread? And why is it more flourish in Bali than other area of Indonesia? Who do you think it caters to (local or international market)?

    Sourdough trend started from San Francisco. We are actually following this trend ever since we established Bread Basket as a European-style bakery. Well, it’s really hard to explain about sourdough but basically, it is an oldest form of breadmaking technique. Me and my partner, Ita Amelia, studied sourdough technique in Munich, Germany and San Francisco, United State. We brought starters from these two regions to add to our starter collections. Breads made using sourdough technique will definitely be healthier. Some people think breads are high in sugar, but with sourdough, we can reduce the sugar level, depending on how far you wish to use the said technique. Then, the texture will be refined as well; crisp on the outside, but soft on the inside. Here in Bread Basket, since we bring European concept, we mixes white and rye sourdough ingredients. Speaking of trend, commonly people know sour dough only as a part of trend, but only a few that really understand its true meaning. I think sour dough will mostly be enjoyed by expat and Indonesian who have stayed abroad for quite some times. However, more healthy-conscious Indonesian starts to enjoy authentic sourdough bread nowadays.

    Can you share some practical tips to start a culinary business for our readers?

    There are three main things as a business owner to focus on; Strategy, People and System. Let’s talk about the first one, strategy. This one applies for small, medium or large business; where you want to open the business, who’s your target market, how many outlet you’re planning to have, feel free to imagine when we’re establishing our business! The second one: people. For me, what make this business successful is the people who runs it. Until this moment, I’m still directly involved in selecting the people that work in our company. I evaluate them after three months of working. Skill is number two after character and attitude; you can teach new skills to people, but not their character / attitude. Then, it is very important that we equip our staff not only with working skills, but practical skill to improve their personal life as well. We have to care for the things outside of their work as well, and also their wellbeing, so they can strive in the workplace. For me, people is very important; their welfare, their training and their personal life; if we can fulfill these aspects, we will have a solid team to run our business. The third one: system. Here, we are talking about creating an operational system. We can have a great strategy and right people, but without a good and effective. operational system, we would not be able to achieve the company’s vision and goal.

    What are some of the best lessons in entrepreneurship that you have learned so far?

    When we first started Bread Basket, we made Asian bread to follow the current market trend at that time; it was a challenging time for us. And then, we have the opportunity to explore into European bread concept. We believe those opportunity came because we were faithful in making good quality Asian bread in the midst of tough competition. We thrive to build good reputation to our customers and suppliers. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that when we are in a tough situation and looks like there’s no way out of it; don’t take shortcut that might ruin your reputation. Keep moving forward, and stay faithful!

    Can you share to us about your worst baking-related disaster?

    When we first decided to start this bakery business, Bali experience electricity blackout quite often, and it really affect our production process. We only have two or three bakers at that time and it was really hectic when the blackout comes. We have to halt production when the dough is started to overproof, we have to throw away lots of ingredients, and we need to wait until the electricity goes back up. That’s pretty disastrous (laugh). 

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  • Wita Girawati.
    08/01/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Ever Changing Trends

    Like it or not, Internet accelerates everything. A product that’s trending today might be obsolete in the next year. We met Wita Girawati, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta’s Pastry Chef Assistant to dig deeper about this ever changing pastry trend. For example, do you remember cronut that was trending in 2013-2014? How many places are still serving such products? Accidentally, Wita, along with her previous workplace, was the one responsible for introducing the fusion of croissant and donut to Jakarta.

    Please tell us a bit about your initial affair with pastry industry. 

    I always interested in pastry products, from the appealing display, color combination, however, I always failed when I tried to make my own. One day, my cousin who went to tourism school stayed at my house. I saw some of her recipe books on how to make ice cream, chocolate, cake, bread, and it got me thinking, “we actually have this kind of school, amazing!”

    My father also worked in tourism, in F&B and service, to be specific. He let me to go to tourism school, but he wanted me to master the pastry. He thought, if in the end I don’t want to pursue career in this industry, at least, I can start my own business. I consider my father as the most influential figure in my career. From the beginning, he had already warned me that the job is quite challenging, when other can go home already, we still had to serve the dessert to the guests.

    Generally, what’s the current trend in pastry?

    After doing it for some time, I realize that pastry changes so fast. Sometimes, the products that we’ve already made for quite a while are copied by others, and it became a new trend.

    I recall we had the trending cronut. 

    When I was working in Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, we were the one that responsible for introducing the product. When we knew cronut was trending in USA, we tried to come up with our own recipe until we succeeded.

    Did we have similar products before you make it?

    Not as I remembered. Back then, cronut was selling like crazy, from 10.00-16.00 we could sell up to 350 pcs/day

    In your opinion, what makes a trend go big?

    Well, it’s the media and the promotion that we designed, most of the times, both will create the word of mouth. Now, the process is getting even faster thanks to Instagram. When we created a new product, usually we invite some bloggers and the information will spread like wild fire.

    I heard you learned directly from Christophe Rhedon and Gaetan Paris?

    Yes, 6 years ago while I was travelling I took some classes in Lenotre, France that’s related to my career. I took the Christmas course by Christophe Rhedon, meanwhile Gaetan Paris is more to making bread and viennoiserie in traditional way. 

    They’re both MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), what does the title means to you?

    You can’t get the title easily, in fact, the conditions are pretty tough. I heard that in the competition, in addition to making some products, the waste you produce should not exceed certain number. But, the most notable things for me, is that they really respect the tradition in production process, they’re dead serious about it. As people who’s working in the industry, sometimes we took shortcuts, but for them, that’s not an option. 

    Tell us about your daily activities!

    At the moment, I’m focusing on making pastry products for all F&B outlets in Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, from Kempi Deli, Oku Japanese Restaurant, to Paulaner Brauhaus and banquet.

    Kempi Deli is famous for its German bread.

    Yes, the brand Kempinski actually originated from Germany, therefore, we had many German expatriates who work in either the German Embassy, or German companies around Hotel Indonesia. We served some typical German bread like Sour Dough and Pumpernickel that are very “German”. It’s kinda difficult to make any changes in this line of product, if there’s any slight change, the guests will notice. We’re more creative when it comes to other line of products, such as viennoiserie, we even serve sweet bread. 

    What sort of trending products do you have now?

    Some croissants that have two colors and fruit tart that’s using puff pastry is currently popular, but for highly trending product like cronut, I don’t we have such thing at the moment. Some customers demand healthy, vegan products with less sugar. Actually, it’s a bit weird to me, they want dessert but they don’t want it to be sweet, less cream, no butter. I wonder, “why don’t you just buy sliced bread?” But customers tend to love such product, so we have to give them what they want.

    From numerous pastry fields, which one is your favorite?

    As a pastry chef, I need to know everything. However, honestly, I’m not really good at making bread. I don’t know, perhaps because of my small hands, when other people have kneaded 2 dough, I just finished my first one. However, it doesn’t really matter much, as we use many machines in our production.

    What’s the current biggest challenge you’re currently facing?

    Hmm… I have a great team, so I don’t see any significant challenges. Of course, I’m responsible to create new products, but I just have to give 1-2 trainings, and I can leave the rest to my team.

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  • 08/01/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Triple Treats

    Christmas and New Year are definitely the busiest, also the the most interesting moments for hotels, as they usually introduce new, various seasonal products, like what Triyanto Dartono, the Pastry Chef of THE TRIBRATA Darmawangsa Jakarta, do. Coincidentally, the number three is frequently mentioned in the article, from the name of the chef, hotel, to the number of flavor in their signature cake.

    Please tell us a bit about your career!

    I began my career in Hyatt’s property for 8 years, started from Hyatt Aryaduta in 2002, and then moved to Grand Hyatt Dubai until 2010. And then I returned to Jakarta and worked  for JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta until 2014, Grand Hyatt Bali to 2016, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan until 2018, and last, THE TRIBRATA Darmawangsa Jakarta until today. THE TRIBRATA Darmawangsa Jakarta is more to convention center, we also have our latest cake shop, Doux et Doux (read: du e du).

    From various pastry fields, which one do you enjoy the most?

    I’m more to cake as it has more variants and details, we can play with colors, decorations, and tend to be more up to date.

    How do you compare the cake trend back when you started in 2002 with the nowadays trend?

    In 2002, we were more into cream topping and sponge cake. Actually, the basic of pastry didn’t change too much, it’s just we have more variants and flavor explorations now, such as the combination of nuts and fruits. In addition, now we’re more into playing with various textures, from creamy to crunchy

    It is said that Indonesians tend to play safe when it comes to cake flavors?

    Most of the times, however, our customers understand cakes. They know various classic cakes, and here, we serve it with new technique and presentation. At the moment, we have more request of products that are not too sweet, therefore to substitute the flavor intensity, I often introduces new, unpredictable flavors, such as refreshing sour taste from calamansi or yuzu that are combined with crunchy texture from feuilletine.

    Our Christmas cake, Jingle Bell Rock Cake, is the realization of such concept. The cake was inspired from the combination of vanilla and chocolate that I had back in Dubai, it was really amazing! Here, I made some modifications by switching the vanilla with cheese and add some orange notes.

    It seems that the combination of chocolate and cheese only popular in Indonesia, isn’t it?

    Yes, outside Indonesia, such combination is rarely spotted. However, as most Indonesians are familiar with the combination, I decided to replace the vanilla with cheese. And then, why orange? We also have Orange Brownies that’s popular among customers, the flavor combination simply works well for them. To add texture, I added crunchy almond inspired by Magnum ice cream. After I studied it, one of the most sought after feature from the ice cream is its crunchy glazing.

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  • 08/01/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Series of Beautiful Accidents

    “What? An Asian Chef endorsed by both Valrhona and Sosa!?” that’s what we were thinking when we received the invitation of “An Exclusive Afternoon Tea with Justin Lee” which took place in The Writers Bar, Raffles Jakarta on October 3rd 2019. Of course, we wouldn’t dare to miss the rare chance of interviewing the unexpectedly humble pastry chef!

    Started his culinary affair in 2003, the South Korean born Pastry Chef, Justin Lee decided to move to Australia’s Il Centro and Clooney’s New Zealand. After some series of beautiful accidents, Justin turned to pastry, and finally opened his own business, JL Dessert Bar, in Seoul, 2016. His unique concept of refined plated desserts, petit gateaux and wide selections of drinks to pair, has led 2 of the biggest brands in the industry, Valrhona and Sosa, to appoint Justin as the only Ambassador for both brands.

    You started as culinary chef, why did you turn your eyes to pastry?

    Actually, it was an accident. I was an immigrant in New Zealand, and I really wanted to work in a popular restaurant there (Clooney). The Head Chef (Des Harris) said that he only had one empty position, in pastry department, and I accepted it. Actually doing it for a year, actually I was in love with pastry.

    How long have you been working in hot kitchen before switching to pastry?

    10 years, in Italian kitchen, to be more specific. That’s why I can handle any ingredients like protein and vegetable, and apply it to pastry.

    Why did you decided to go back to Korea?

    New Zealand is a great country to visit when you’re travelling, but for living, it’s a bit quiet, especially for pastry chefs. The country only has 4 million people after all, so I decided to go back to Korea and worked in Park Hyatt Busan, returned back to New Zealand to work in Miann, and then I moved back to Korea for good to do my own thing.

    However, actually opening my own shop is also an accident. My younger sister was a barista. One day she came back for a holiday and then she wanted to open a café with me. Coffee is a big thing in Korea, we have coffee shops in every sections of the road, it’s so big! After opened our own shop, she left, and I decided to make it into my own dessert bar (JL Dessert Bar) in 2016.

    What’s the current pastry trend in Korea?

    It’s more to baked stuffs, like madeleine, canele, or éclair. My concept is very few in Korea, not many places focus to pair food with drinks.

    How do you describe your style?

    I would say Korean style, because my style is very unique, you can’t find similar concept anywhere. I can handle every ingredient, except fish. My menu is using lots of mushroom, cheese, and vegetables. Most of the times, I went to supermarket to buy fresh, seasonal ingredients. The “go local” and “farm to table” movements are currently the big thing in Korea, some chefs even have their own farms as well.

    Since I’m an Ambassador for Sosa, I use many molecular ingredients. Actually, we consume these ingredients every day without us realizing, such as in sauce, or ice cream. Most of the molecular ingredients are white powders, and I use them to create textures. One ingredient can even make up to 10 textures. For example, my signature dish “Tomato”, consists of fresh tomato, dried tomato, berries, meringues, fresh basil, basil syrup, basil powder, and parmesan cheese ice cream…

    Sounds very Italian!

    Exactly, it came from my experience of working in Italian restaurant and it was inspired by Italian’s Caprese Salad. Most of the times, I chose 4-5 ingredients, and then, for each ingredient, I can create up to 3-4 textures. With 5 ingredients x 4 textures, I can have up to 20 textures in my products. I also have a list of certain ingredients that pair well with others.

    It seems like a hassle to prepare all those stuffs (laugh)!

    It’s easy once you’re used to it!

    You’re endorsed by both Valrhona and Sosa, what does it means to you, personally?

    When I started pastry, I used Valrhona chocolate and I was so impressed, as every chocolate comes from different terroir. Before that, I only knew white, milk, and dark chocolate. From there, I kept using Valrhona, in Korea as well.

    One day, Valrhona people came to my shop for some business trip, and they’re looking for a chef based in Asia that can handle Valrhona, and Sosa products as well. Valrhona is a French company and Sosa came from Spain, but they belong in the same company since Valrhona acquired Sosa.

    How many chefs are privileged to be the Ambassador for both brands?

    I’m the only one in the world! It started with me doing some baking demos in 3 cities in China temporarily for them, and the customers love it! A shop owner even said that their sales increased 10 times by applying the products that I made in the demo.

    10 times! Seriously!?

    Well, it’s China, what can I say (laugh)! After that, I was officially signed with both companies last August. We had many chefs that become Ambassador for Valrhona, and some chefs for Sosa, but to become Ambassador for both of them, we never have something like this in Asia. I’m very proud and happy, I mean, I was only in the pastry industry for merely 6 years!

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  • 08/01/2020 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    True to Its Artisanal Roots

    Don Bakeshop shows Jakarta that high quality and affordable croissant is for everybody to enjoy without exception. Driven by skills and passion, Chef Dony Muhadi as the owner, shares a story about his business and the mission for the future of Indonesian pastry world.

    Can you share us your background, Chef?

    I studied at NHI, Bandung and specializing myself in pastry since the beginning. In 2007, I moved to The States and was employed as seasonal worker in the F&B industry. I moved around every six months from Florida, Colorado, and Wyoming for work there. Later for around a year, I was working at a cruise ship until I landed in Bali as a Pastry Chef for The Westin Resorts Bali. I was climbing my way up as a cook, demi chef, chef de partie and lastly as a Pastry Chef.

    What happens after Bali?

    I always have a dream to open my own pastry shop one day. After two years in Bali, I decided to resign. However, I couldn’t start the business right away, since I need to raise the capital first. What my wife and I have been doing for the past five years is instead, expanding our clothing business!

    From the profit, I was finally able to finance my own pastry business little by little. From purchasing the mixer, oven, proofer, and building a lab. Finally, this year Don Bakeshop opens in ITC Mall Ambasador. As for the products, Don Bakeshop features a wide variety of baked goods – from croissants, kouign amann, pain au chocolat, and many more.

    And for that past five years, I also did all my homework and research. So, by the time the shop opens, I had figured out already the standards for everything - costing, quality, and the market. I wanted it to be enjoyed by every segment, but that doesn’t mean I compromise the quality. 

    Nowadays even, many still relate croissant as fancy food, but I want to show that it’s affordable and relevant for everybody. That’s why I popularize the Croissant Ceban movement (croissant worth ten thousand rupiahs), but it came with supreme quality.

    With such quality, why did you start your business at a trade center?

    Several of my colleagues were also surprised with my decision to open up a shop at a trade center, instead as a standalone cafe or at premium shopping malls. Honestly speaking, it’s because of  my financial capability. However, since we also own a clothing shop there, we know for a fact that trade centers tend to attract office workers and middle-class customers – the very kind of customers we’re targeting. Turns out it sells well, and I have been receiving good feedbacks, even though it all started as a one-man show – from productions, logistics, and even marketing!

    Aside from your shop there, how about other clienteles?

    Kelapa Gading area has always been my playground and here I’m getting along with many coffee shop owners. I realized that many coffee shops in Jakarta are actually looking for decent pastry to accompany their specialty coffee. With my standards and pricing, Don Bakeshop can provide a solution. Up until this point, I have been supporting several coffee shops here, until eventually this attracts bigger client like Djournal Coffee – to where I supply my products fresh, on daily basis.

    With this movement, what do you wish to accomplish?

    True to what I was saying in the beginning, I never compromise about quality in addition to using premium French butter for my baked goods. How is that possible for me? It’s because I’m selling my croissants only with the slightest margin of profit. However, I want it to be artisanal and not just using the word as a gimmick. Don Bakeshop started out with a mission – to make people enjoy affordable yet quality croissant. In Jakarta, it’s hard to find great croissant, and one that also can be enjoyed by everyone. I would like our products to speak for themselves through the meticulous methods we use in the kitchen and that this is not just about profits. That’s where I can truly show what my passion is and how I can
    educate the market.

    Being realistic with the pricing is also key for to the business. It would be the same as the rest of competition if we’re setting up the same price.

    How many baked goods do you produce on daily basis?

    We are increasing our productivity gradually in hundreds and now reaching around 1,000 per day. It’s challenging to maintain the standards even at that number, because I ensure each of our products is carefully hand rolled and hand shaped. There’s a process that we need to respect, and not just bypassing the steps just to make it quick. That’s a philosophy that derives from how we make our sourdough bread – which will be introduced soon to our lineup.

    What are your next plans with Don Bakeshop?

    We recently just acquired a bigger space at ITC where people can casually sit and enjoy coffee. It wasn’t my intention in the beginning to enter the beverage industry, but coffee and croissant are inseparable. Also, we are really looking forward to finalizing our bigger kitchen and installing the new oven so we can produce more. Lastly, we’re also launching our doughnuts lineup, so be sure to try once it’s available!

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  • 08/01/2020 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Single Focus

    I t’s the most searched American made wine in Wine-Searcher data, and it rankes 7th among the most searched for wines worldwide. Opus One is the dream of 2 great men: Baron Phillippe de Rothschild of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux, and pioneering Napa Valley vintner, Robert Mondavi. Opus One is known to offer uncompromising quality, inspired by both traditional values and innovative ideas, in singular wine.

    Passion Media had the chance to meet with Opus One’s winemaker, Michael Silacci during his visit to Jakarta to talk about the company’s approach, climate change, and his legacy to the next generation of winemakers.

    When I asked some of sommeliers about their personal favorite wines, I expected they’d mention some old world wines, but instead, they said Opus One!

    I think it’s because we just make one wine, actually, two wines. Our second wine is called Overture. It’s a true second wine, so, whatever that doesn’t go into Opus One blend, it’s available for Overture.

    Most wineries have some sort of pyramid model. The top of the pyramid is their top wine, the lower the level, the lower the quality and the price. We have the opposite approach, 85 90% of our grapes go into Opus One, the rest go to Overture. It’s a reflection of our total focus just to make one wine. We see every single lot that we’re working with as potential Opus One, so everything gets the same attention and focus. My target is to make 100% Opus One, but we’re not quite there yet (laugh)!

    Most wineries tend to enamor the old, classic tradition, do you share the same opinion?

    We have a mentality to continually question what we’re doing and find ways to be better. Not to change, just to change, but to change when the change actually makes sense. For example, anyone at Opus One can give an idea, we’ll think about it. Maybe 1 out of 15 suggestions can help us to get better. Because, I believe that… do you drive a car?

    Yes, why?

    So, we have a blind spot where you can’t see. We have things that we see and do really well, but there are many things we don’t understand or see. We need people who are sitting in the back that tell us, “don’t go there, there’s a motorcycle!” That’s true in life. It’s important for us to have many people who see things that others don’t, as part of the team.

    Tell me about Opus One’s “Bordeaux style blend”, what sort of grapes do you actually use?

    80% of the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, 6,5% to Merlot, 6,5% Cabernet Franc, then Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Malbec isn’t used too much anymore in Bordeaux blend, because the climate is changing. We have 4 different state vineyards, and we have yeast that we isolated from each of the 4 vineyards. We can mix or blend the fruit from the vineyard into a tank. We usually do this with different Cabernets from different areas together. However, we also blend into the tank Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, we found out that by putting them together as grapes, they make a better wine. When we tried to blend them as wines, they tend to be a liitle harsh, a little rustic.

    How does the climate change affect the vineyards?

    The most obvious ones would be with rain, how much water the plant has access to, the heat, how do we protect the wine from being damaged by the sun, and then fire. There has been a lot more fire in California in the last few years than before. In fact, we have fire in 2017 near Napa Valley, 2018 and 2019 to the north of Napa.

    If you’re near the fire and the smoke gets on the grapes when they’re young, just finished flowering, just 2-3 months away from harvest, you can get smoky character in the wine. You have to be very careful, it’s unwanted notes. There’s one barrel that’s very popular that give smoky character to the wine, but that’s intentional (laugh)!

    Is it still relevant to compare new world VS old world wines?

    I think you can compare new world VS old world style, because there are wineries in old world that are making new world wines, and vice versa. Especially, with climate change, we see alcohol increasing in Bordeaux wines, and even in Burgundy wines. On the other hand, we see areas in cooler part of California, that are making wines that are more restrained, more old world. If you have tasted old world wines, you might not be able to pick up that Opus One is a new world wine, unless you’re really focusing on it.

    What kind of legacy are you trying to leave for the new generation of winemakers?

    We have interns every year, we challenge them by giving responsibilities that they don’t expect to get. We want to have an exchange of ideas. As a mentor, you fail if you don’t learn more from the person you’re mentoring than they do from you, because you have to listen to them. You have to consider their ideas because sometimes interns can give you ideas that, at first glance, seems kind of strange. Then you think about it, you talk to them and then they actually make sense. These people keep my mind open and accepting new ideas. 

    Okay, how do you want to be remembered then?

    As a winemaker who prefer the pronoun “we” instead of “I”. It’s a teamwork, not me. I want to stress the importance of people to your success. You don’t succeed alone, you succeed because you’re working with other people. There’s collaboration with mutual respect and there’s acknowledgement for their efforts. So I guess I want to remembered as somebody that you almost forget about, because at the end, it’s the wine that’s important. I don’t want to leave fingerprint on the glass, nor footprint on the vineyard.

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  • Chef Marcel
    08/01/2020 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Resplendent Young Gun

    Bermula dari menemani sang nenek ke pasar ketika kecil, Marcel Sumarga menemukan kecintaannya pada dunia memasak dan memutuskan untuk menjadi chef professional kendati tumbuh besar di keluarga pebisnis. Tekad dan kegigihannya pun mengantarkan pria kelahiran Bandung tersebut untuk menjuarai ajang Chef Muda bergengsi serta mewakili Asia ke Eropa. Kini,di usia yang masih terhitung belia, Chef Marcel telah menjadi pemilik sebuah restoran tenar di daerah Sanur, Canvas Bali. Bersama Passion, ia pun berkisah perihal latar belakang karirnya, serta pandangannya terhadap generasi milenial nan kreatif…

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  • djournal House
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Less is More

    For this issue, we really can’t miss Jakob Oetama Manurung’s profile, the Head Bar of Djournal House. It’s a unique outlet that combines coffee shop and cocktail bar into one place. It may seems like a regular coffee shop, but when the sun goes down, the menu board on top of the bar will be opened and you can see bottles of liquor, and suddenly, it’s a cocktail bar!

    Of course, the fact that Jakob is the 2019’s Diageo World Class national champion and represented Indonesia in Diageo World Class Final in Scotland is the main reason why we came here. In this interview, Jakob tells us the story how he won the competition, his mixology style, the differences between coffee and cocktail scene, and the fact that he can’t take too much alcohol.

    I’m interested with Djournal House’s concept, tell us a bit about it!

    Before, I worked in Bali, and I just lived in Jakarta since last November to prepare the opening of Djournal House on March 2019. Before becoming a bartender, I was a barista, so the concept of the place fits me perfectly. Basically, it’s a coffee shop during daytime, but after the sunset, it’s a cocktail bar. It doesn’t mean you can’t order coffee at night or cocktail in the afternoon, it’s more to the different atmosphere and music.

    Tell us about your experience of joining Diageo World Class competition!

    Actually, it’s the second time joining the competition. I just got into cocktail in 2016 at Akademi Bar (Katamama, Seminyak, Bali), then moved to La Brisa. I joined my first Diageo World Class in 2017 and managed to get into the final (top 8). In 2018, World Class wasn’t held in some countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Phillipines, because of the theme “Best of the Best”, they focus on the countries who won. Then in 2019, I joined again and luckily won. Then at the end of last September, I represented Indonesia to compete in Diageo World Class Global in Scotland.

    What made you win the national competition?

    To me, luck, competition is all about luck. I made simple cocktails, like my character. In competition, they gave us 10 minutes, and in the first 5 minutes, I just chatted with the judges. There are better competitors, be it in term of methods, skills, techniques, and experience, after all, I just started in 2016.

    However, when I asked the judges, they said my competitive edge is that I was friendly, humble, and my smile, they’re all very “Indonesia”. They see me as representative of Indonesian hospitality, especially for overseas tourists who visit Indonesia. From the simple attitude, such as offering a refill when their glass were half empty, to offering whether they want to enjoy the drink with ice or no ice.

    Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not “salable” in the Diageo World Class Final in Glasgow, Scotland. They focus on the competition materials and techniques, not to bartender’s daily activities. It was joined by 55 competitiors all over the world, and the winner was a female Singaporean bartender (Bannie Kang). She has such fun personality, and everybody likes her, it’s no wonder she won.

    How do you describe your mixology style?

    I prefer to make something simple. I mean, in 80-90’s, bartender will make gin & tonic within 2 minutes. Now, they can make it in half an hour, or even 1 hour if the place’s busy. The question is, does the cocktail worth the wait? If you can get get similar taste complexity within 2 minutes, why not? 

    And then, my character is that the cocktail I made should be able to be made by other bartenders all around the world, the ingredients are accessible and the taste should accommodate everyone. Of course, the use of local ingredients is trending nowadays, like the use of vetiver. It’s a very aromatic, and readily available ingredient in Indonesia, but in overseas, it’s not too common. 

    As long as it tastes good, that’s enough! Even in final, I didn’t do any shakings, except in speed challenge. In some rounds, I just do some stirring and mixing, no other methods. In finals, we have other competitors who use some citric acid, malic acid, and then bringing their own charcoal, on the other hand, I try to go back to the basic.

    For example, in the Johnnie Walker Black Label Challenge, to complement its smokiness, I mixed 2 brands of sweet vermouth, smoke it, and keep it in the refrigerator to make the classic cocktail, Rob Roy. You need to know the ideal timing to store it, if it’s too long, it will turn sour. If traditionally Rob Roy is made of aromatic bitters, I used 2 bitters: coffee and chocolate.

    It may sounds simple, but there’s many flavor combination that’s hard to imagine. Then I put homemade cookies as garnish. The last one, I asked the judges, “Johnnie Walker and sweet vermouth is already tasted smoky, how can I tell people that it’s smoky? Simple, by putting dry ice!” and the judges laughed, simple isn’t it? The drink was smoky, and it tasted smoky. 

    Since you have background as barista, how do you compare the coffee and cocktail scene?

    I want to change people’s mindset, some baristas think their coffee shouldn’t touch alcohol. On the other hand, some bartenders insist that they don’t want any espresso machines in their bars. When I switched from barista to bartender, I felt I was living in a small can, therefore, I no longer wish to make any boundaries, the most important thing is the drink is good, and the guest is happy.

    What’s the current trending thing in cocktail scene?

    Low ABV (alcohol by volume), perhaps because it’s more acceptable. The idea to get drunk no longer belongs to cocktail bars, but in nightclubs. Conversely, we make cocktails so people can enjoy alcohol. If mojito traditionally uses 45 ml alcohol, we use 30 ml.

    It serves to save cost as well?

    That’s number two (laugh)! Everything will come back to the market’s demand. While working in Djournal House, I have to admit I have hard time to convert people into drinking cocktails. Most customers prefer coffee, it doesn’t mean I’m sad, but I want to offer both. If Jakartans can have coffee at night, why not try our coffee cocktails? It’s just as good. You want black coffee cocktail? We can make it! That’s the challenge, because people are afraid of trying new stuffs.

    What’s your coffee cocktail recommendation in Djournal House?

    If you don’t like strong coffee, try our Classic Espresso Martini, or our signature Whisk Me Up (vanilla infused blended scotch, djournal coffee liquer, lemon eggwhite, djournal coffee bitters) and

    Whisky Espresso Martini (vanilla infused scotch, djournal coffee liqeur, Djakarta roast house blend). However, if you prefer strong coffee, my suggestion would be to take our Aeropress Negroni, that’s really really good!

    In general, how do you tell the quality of a cocktail bar?

    From the bartenders, how welcome are they? In Indonesia, the welcoming bartenders are quite rare.

    Do you mean, they’re not friendly?

    No, on the other hand, if you approach Indonesian bartenders, they’re very welcome, super welcome! The problem is, are they willing to initiate the conversation? Many bartenders have no idea on how to start a conversation, actually it’s quite simple, with questions like, “have you just finished working? What do you usually drink? What sort of sports do you like?” There are many topics to choose without having to go too detailed.

    It’s quite simple actually?

    In fact, this kind of simplicity is difficult. Let’s take an example, if you go to a coffee shop whose barista is your friend, and know your favorite coffee, what’s the chance of you complaining? Compare it to when you visit an unknown coffee shop. There’s no such thing as right or wrong in coffee, but perhaps the place prefer chocolaty notes, while you enjoy nutty coffee. When you’re already comfortable

    with the surrounding, any drinks will taste good. So, my standard to judge a bar’s quality is when I visit the place, I feel happy. The bar is not just a place to get drunk, in fact, I hate to get drunk.

    Really, but you’re a bartender?

    Actually, I’m not really good with alcohol. While working, usually I took one or two sips, that’s it. My friends always say, “what a shame, especially you’re a bartender!” What can I say, I can’t drink too much. So, whenever we had some people start drinking by shot, usually I’d pretend to go to the toilet. For example, when I returned from Scotland, I had 7 shots, from rhum, vodka. For other bartenders, 7 shots are nothing, but to me, I’ve lost my consciousness! (laugh)

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  • lowey
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Subject of Sustainability

    If you think cocktail as some drinks served by flair bartenders to get you drunk on nightclubs, you might be a decade behind. Today, cocktail scene is getting more exciting with the presence of mixologist such as Henry Ale Maraben, Loewy Jakarta’s Mixologist who add some modern twists into the drink. The man has entered various bartending competitions, including one of the most prestigious ones like Diageo World Class and managed to become semi finalist for 3 times, and finalist for 2 times already. 

    Currently, he’s busy tweaking the sustainability concept in his bar using modern cooking equipments, like immersion circulator and rotary evaporator to take cocktail to the next level. Henry is also involved in producing Nusa Tenggara Timur’s interesting local spirit called Sophia. Here’s our interview with the Kupang born mixologist.

    I’m interested with your formal position, “Mixologist”.

    I started my career as Bar Boy in 2005, let’s just say it’s some sort of servant in a bar. And then, we have Junior Bartender who started to make cocktails, but still within very limited exploration space, then we have Bartender, Captain, Supervisor, and then we have Mixologist or Bar Manager. Actually, Mixologist and Bar Manager is quite similar, but in Union Group, we put it into 2 categories: generalist and specialist. Generalist (Bar Manager) mostly deals with managing a bar, doing the paper work, meanwhile specialist like me is more focused on research & development. Actually, our roles are pretty much interchangeable, to some extent.

    When did you start working for Union Group?

    Since 2012, it’s been 7 years. Mostly, I worked in E&O, where I learned so much from Will Meyrick.

    You’ve been working for 14 years already, how do you see the progress of consumer behavior in the industry?

    Put it this way, in 2000’s, the industry is all about nightclubs and cafes, where cocktails such as Illusion, Long Island, and Sex on the Beach gained popularity. However, since 2010 onward, the trend shifted to mixology that’s more about art. The main challenge is how we can make something extra ordinary from ordinary ingredients. At the time, the trend is about sustainability, zero waste, recycle, and using modern equipments such as immersion circulator (for sous vide) and rotary evaporator.

    It sounds much more complicated…

    In the mise en place, yes, but actually it’s much more simple in execution. As opposed to older style cocktails, which has more complicated production process because of some techniques, like layering.

    I was in an era where nightclubs were trending, and we had to make 10 pieces of B52 or Rainbow. As bartenders, we really hate making them as they were quite time consuming. Now, the process of making cocktails is much simpler, even though the preparation is a bit complicated, we’re happy with that. 

    How about the trend among customers?

    We’re campaigning about the sustainability concept, we had to upgrade customers’ the palate and perception. It’s the biggest challenge yet, because most of Indonesians are reluctant to go to the next level, such as introducing savory taste to cocktails, not everyone likes it. However, along the way, you’ll enjoy it, I had similar experience. Look, when you’re a gin drinker and you have a whisky drinking friend, when he offers you whisky, probably you’d refuse in the beginning. However, after having it for 10 times, you’ll love it. So, the process requires quite a long time. 

    Have you entered many mixology competitions?

    Yes, my first one is Finlandia Vodka Cup in 2010. The main benefit of the competition is, you gain popularity, meanwhile, the competition’s pressure is quite something, be it in the actual competition stage or in the preparation phase. You’d be faced with 2 options: making ordinary drinks, or special ones. What usually works is when you have extra ordinary concept, but presents it in ordinary way. There are many points in competition, but most of the times, the biggest one is the personality.

    Personality, please elaborate! 

    Look, most Indonesians judge people (bartenders) from their appearance. Let say you come to a bar and you see, let say, “ugly” bartender, usually your mood will be ruined and you’d underestimate their products. On other hand, people from other countries tend to look at bartender’ personality, how’s his upbringing, eye contact, the way he talks, to the way he stands. I joined many international competitions, and usually, that’s how they judge the competitors, not from appearance, but from personality.

    The next biggest factors would be the taste. At the time, I try to take the customers’ appreciation to the next level by putting some unfamiliar elements. The challenge would be to make them understand what I’m actually doing.

    Then, why don’t you explain the cocktail you’re making for us?

    The name’s Kalamansi Highball. Highball is quite trending lately, it’s a mixture of spirit with non alcoholic drinks, like soda. Calamansi is actually a type of citrus that’s mostly consumed as soft drink in Singapore or Phillipines. Here, I got the calamansi from Bengkulu.

    With sustainability concept in mind, I made citrus stock to minimize waste. When we are to buy lime, most of the times we just take the juice, how about the skin and the other part? From the kitchen, I was inspired to make stock. I boiled the leftover lime that still leave some citrus aroma, and then I did some balancing using sugar and citric acid afterward.

    The fun part lies in the Gin Butterfly Pea that exploit some sous vide technique. In bar, we usually do the infusion technique by putting the drinks on top of hot espresso machine. Normally, we ignore 2 things: alcohol will evaporate in 78oC, and we have some space in the glass for evaporation, as a result the alcohol content will be reduced. With sous vide technique that uses vacuum plastic, the alcohol will have nowhere to go, and I put it in 50oC for 2 hours.

    What are the main benefits of this sustainability stuff?

    Along with zero waste, of course our cost will be greatly reduced. Another example is our Watermelon Candy, normally, we throw away the watermelon skin, but I use it for pickle. I mix the white skin part with apple syrup, and then I sous vide them, you’ll end up with chewy texture of the skin with apple flavor. 

    And for other leftover ingredients, I usually dry them using dehydrator, and served them as garnish. I also use rotary evaporator frequently, actually, it’s a distillation machine that can make new spirit with clean and clear character, therefore, I can make products such as the clear Rhum Thai Tea.

    Generally, how do you describe your mixology style?

    I love to play around with Indonesian flavor. Before Loewy, I spent a long time in E&O, and I learned a lot from Will (Meyrick). What impressed me was, it seems like Will understood more about our local ingredients than the locals, like me. I realized that Indonesia is very rich. For example, in tonic, the main ingredient is quinine. Overseas people produce their tonic using quinine from Bandung, meanwhile we’re having hard time finding the ingredient. And then we have some gins that has Indonesian ingredients as well.

    That’s what I’m trying to do now, taking some local spices and then apply some modern techniques. This way, I can get extra ordinary result from common ingredients.

    How do you compare our local mixology scene with other overseas scenes?

    At the time, the biggest cocktail scene in South East Asia is still in Singapore. The government seems to understand that it’s a big destination point, however, if our government is willing, I’m sure we can be better than them. The problem is, our government tends to over complicate things, from various taxes, paying here and there, to the necessity of maintaining personal relationship with government officials. As a result, finding 1 spirit is quite a challenge. That’s what keeps our cocktail scene from growing.

    I was born in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). At the moment, I work along with the local government to produce a local spirit called Sophia, which was made of distilled molasses water. Actually, once it was prohibited we’re having hard time to control its alcohol content, perhaps because it was made traditionally by the local people.

    Finally, we use refractometer to measure its alcohol content that may reach up to 60-70% ABV. Similar to Cap Tikus, we also want to legally produce Sophia, it’s just we need to keep the ABV in around 40%. Actually, I have blood relationship with the current NTT’s Governor (Viktor Laiskodat), so I had an idea to start idealist project and make a big distillation factory. However, the local government opposed my idea, they said it will kill the local industry.

    Then, what did you do?

    So, we’re making a cooperation that collects the distilled molasses from local people, and then we adjust the alcohol content. Sophia is actually a classic, home style spirit, they use distillation using clay and bamboo that will give unique characteristic. Of course the result will be different if you’re using steel distillation equipments.

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  • Yudhizt
    09/12/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Everflowing Flair

    A fun personality with brilliant talent and imposing appearance to match, Yudhistira a.k.a Yudhizt already gained excellent reputation on national and international bartending scene with his attention to details and penchant of using Indonesian traditional influence in his cocktail creation. With PASSION, the Cocktail Ambassador of Romeos restaurant, Ossotel Legian spills some of his thoughts and stories; from music, piercing, to the last thing that makes him cry.

    Cool piercings! Could you tell us which one is the most memorable? Is there any fascinating backstory behind it?

    Aside from being a bartender, I’m also a body piercer. I run a tattoo and piercing company. One of the most memorable piercing for me is on my backside; I done body suspension before. Another one is the third from the left side of my lower lip, because it was my first ever piercing. Basically, I was scared with needles so it needs more time for me to do this first piercing than the rest. But after that, I become addicted to it (laugh). I have a total of 50 piercings in my entire body.

    We heard that you are also an avid metalhead. Could you name us one each of your most favorite bands from Indonesian and abroad

    Basically I grew up in a rock music scene back in Java. Since I was a child, my family and friends has been listening to rock, metal and any kinds of hard music. One of my favourite band from Indonesia is Deadsquad, because they are technical death metal. From abroad, I love Lamb of God and Suicide Silence. I love any kinds of metal (music)! I also play in a band as guitarist. My band, ‘Angker’, plays Gothic Orchestra genre.

    Tell us a bit about the beginning of your career. When did it start; and how did you usually find inspiration for your cocktail creation?

    Maybe I’ll start by explaining how I become a bartender. So, at first, I always dream to become a chef, but then I met some friends who are flair bartenders and started doing it myself as a hobby. Every time we gather, we would show each other juggling and mixing skills, and participating in competitions together. Then I become more interested in doing it as a profession. At first, I become so cocky and think I was the best bartender in the world just because I can do juggling and flair very well, then after entering the real industry, I realized that I was really nothing, not even a zero! From that moment, I started to study deeper and gain more understanding to become a true professional bartender.

    My inspiration right now often comes from food; especially Indonesian dishes, which I twist accordingly into my own cocktail creation. I made drinks, not food in forms of liquid. For example, if I make a ‘Nasi Tumpeng’ cocktail, that doesn’t mean I only blends the whole ingredients of nasi tumpeng into a juice, but I played with the mix and ratio so the drink contains the said food elements, but still logically enjoyable.

    Tell us about your signature drink menu at Romeos, and can you explain more about the ‘bar chef’ phenomenom?

    The drinks of Romeos are inspired by the daily life around this area, including Indonesian traditional food. Secondly, we are observing our target market. Personally, I threw away all my idealism and willing to adjust with our guest, making a specialty drinks just for them. ‘Bar Chef’ means that we, as a bartender, applying the ingredients and cooking method from the chef in our creation. For example, the most popular cooking method used in cocktail is ‘soufflé’ method, we use it to make new flavor in several spirits and also liquor syrups. When a chef makes a food creation, we as the bartender can make a good pairing for that said dishes, using the collaboration between kitchen and bar ingredients. Through this, we are making an eye-catching gimmick to appeal our guest more.

    If you’re not being a bartender, which profession would you choose?

    Musician. First, because I live in musical environment; my dad, mom, siblings and wife are musicians as well. Being a musician is my lifelong passion, but in industry, I am a professional bartender.

    What was the last thing that makes you cry?

    The last time I cried was at junior high, when I was circumcised…Oh wait, there’s another moment that makes me tearyeyed, is when my first child was born and I chant ‘adzan’ prayer in his ear. That was unforgettable.

    What is the difference between ‘bartender’ and ‘mixologist’, and which of these two that you would use to define your profession?

    Theoretically, Mixologist is a bartender which emphasis more on the ingredients and product; and there’s also Flair Bartender, which focused more on juggling and entertaining skill. But for me personally, it all started as ‘bartender’; someone who works behind a (drinking) bar. So a true bartender must be able to do both. It’s not about right or wrong, but just for me, a bartender has to be able to entertain guest and make them a good drink, even if it’s not 100% on both area.

    Name us one of your most favorite bartender figures, and what cocktail would you like to make for him/her?

    My favorite bartender—he’s actually more a mixologist, is an Indonesian who has make his name abroad and become inspiration for young bartenders all across the country, his name is Agung Prabowo. Coming from Jakarta, he currently owns a bar named ‘The Old Man’. Why did I look up to him that much, because he is one of few Indonesian bartenders who have influence in international scene. If I met him, I would like him to try one of my creations, Lux Luxury. For me, Agung Prabowo represents luxury itself, and also because the drink was inspired by Indonesian (Balinese) sweet treats, laklak. Other reason why I choose this drink because I have a dream that one day, my cocktail will be displayed in the menu of bars worldwide. If I can collaborate with Mr. Agung and see my cocktail served on one of his bar in Hongkong; that would be awesome!

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  • Sebastien Chevallier
    09/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The MOF Baker

    Culinary schools like Academy of Pastry & Culinary Arts (APCA) Indonesia gives Indonesians chance to learn directly from world class Pastry Chefs. In July 2019, APCA Indonesia invited Sebastien Chevallier, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) baker to teach artisan bread, sour dough, and viennoiserie Master Class.

    Sebastien began his career in bakery when he was 15. He took a diploma for 2 years to learn bakery and pastry. After graduated, Sebastien worked in some artisan bakeries before he decided to pursue higher education and became a Professor who focus on teaching. “I love to share my passion and experience to my students,” said Chevallier.

    The title MOF is actually the highest appreciation for a profession for French artist. To get the title, a person is required to enter a competition with very high standards. In the world of competition, Sebastien won the Vice Champion de France de Boulangerie with his team on 2009, however, personally, he won The Best Bread Showpiece award.

    In the next year, he won the same competition and in 2011, Sebastien finally got the title MOF. “I made a big preparation to enter the competition for 2 years, especially preparing my mental state. The title opened a chance for me to work, travel around the world to teach Master Classes, and meet many Chefs,” he explained.

    After MOF, Sebastien thinks the next challenge would be to keep making new product variants. “Workd hard, never stop learning and improving,” he keeps saying to to his students. Sebastien also wrote a book titled “Pain Party” that specifically discussed artistic showpiece with different style approach.

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    09/12/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Ceaseless Exuberrant Innovator

    Mengawali karir di Bali dan menaklukkan kompetisi bergengsi, Melvern Nathaniel mengasah bakatnya di waktu dan tempat yang tepat. Kepada Passion, bartender muda andalan W Bali - Seminyak ini membagikan sejumlah pemikiran cemerlangnya. 

    Muda, bertalenta dan memiliki mental juara, Melvern Nathaniel memiliki segalanya untuk meraih kesuksesan. Sempat menyabet gelar juara kedua di salah satu kompetisi bartender bergengsi, pria kelahiran Jakarta tersebut kini tengah meniti karir sebagai bartender di W Lounge milik W Bali - Seminyak yang prestisius. Passion berbincang dengan Melvern di sela kesibukannya dan membahas sejumlah hal tentang karirnya yang gemilang…

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  • Ingo Oldenburg , grand melia
    08/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Sensational Seafood

    Started his career in Berlin, East Germany back in 1988 (before the German Reunification), Ingo Oldenburg has traveled all around the world, from London, Dubai, Egypt, Shenzhen, before he decided to head Gran Melia Jakarta as Executive Chef in 2017. However, Ingo is no stranger to Indonesia. In 2014, he opened the revamped Pullman Thamrin and stayed there for a year before moving to Phillipines. Here’s our interview with the experienced German born Chef.

    Do you consider yourself as generalist or specialist?

    We have specialist like Italian chef, Chinese chef, but since I’m running the entire hotel, I can’t just be a specialist in particular cuisine because I need to know more than just one special area. But to answer your question, I would say generalist, but of course I have many interest in other cuisines as well. For example, Chinese cuisine, I wouldn’t say I’m a perfect Chinese Chef, but I know what needs to be done. I know Mediteranean cuisines, I love Middle East and Asian cuisine, I’ve been around and I have quite broad knowledge of different cuisines and restaurants.

    Currently, do you have any special interest in specific cuisines?

    I always try to learn more. When I found something interesting I want to know more around it. Of course, I’m trying to go back to my root to see what my grandma has done, in pastry, by looking at my old recipes. Actually, my grandma ran a bake shop back then, but I was born too late to see it. She used to make cakes for me and that’s where my interest on cooking came from.

    Does German people love seafood? Because I don’t see lot of seafood dishes coming from Germany.

    We have lots of seafood, we have sweet water fish from area like Berlin, which is famous for Eel in Green Sauce. And then we have the Baltic Sea and North Sea where we have herring, cod, and salmon. In the southern part, we have trout that’s common in Bavarian cuisine. I would say seafood is a bit regional item in Germany.

    But of course, if you came out from Germany then came to Asia, you’ll have such big varieties. In Germany, the seafood is all imported, it’s not really that fresh, I have to say. The nice thing here is that you can get the fish all fresh. I’m buying my fish from Lombok. One day they were caught, the next day they were delivered. I can get the many varieties, but I never know what I’ll get, anything that the fishermen have.

    Any hard time in adapting with the local supplies?

    Yes, it is different but I worked in China, Middle East, so it’s not challenging to adapt. It’s just you can put more (fish) varieties. Back in Germany, it was quite limited, we only had 3-4 fish on the menu. In here, it’s like 10 times more varieties, you know. Perhaps ,the only place I had nice fish was London. We caught the fish in the evening and the fishermen brought them from Dover, and we’d have dover sole, flounder, it was quite nice.

    What’s your favorite seafood item?

    My favorite one is the cuttlefish, especially the fresh one. Usually, either fried or in black bean sauce, the Chinese way. I like it better than squid or anything else. For the today, I choose 2 dishes that are a little bit out of my background, Seafood Paella and Sous Vide Salmon Mi Cuit.

    Please tell us a bit about your dishes!

    “Mi cuit” is French for half cooked. Usually, we put the fish in oven with low temperature, like 50o C. But 3 years back, people started using sous vide method. So, instead of oven, they put the meat in a vaccum pack and put it into water bath. In oven, you bake it for 15 minutes, but with sous vide, you need longer time. I did the entire salmon with sous vide method. I tried this recipe back in China, actually in one of our Italian restaurant using tuna. Later on, I switched the tuna with salmon, it turned out to be fantastic. The dish has a bit of history with me!

    I love sous vide cooking, it’s very easy, adaptable to preserve the flavor and tenderness of the meat. However, it doesn’t stray too much into molecular cuisine, which can be quite time intensive. You need extra time as it cooks a bit slower. With molecular cuisine, you need people who can apply the technique everyday and the consistency is quite challenging.

    This one is super easy, you marinate it, vaccum packed, which is what we always do in the butchery to maintain quality, put it in water bath, control the temperature and the time frame. In this recipe I put it in 40o C water bath for 1 hour, resulting in soft, butter-like texture, and it preserve the color and everything. With high temperature, the color starts changing, that’s why you’ll see the well-done beef turns gray. However, with sous vide, you can do well done beef, but it’s still pink. Whether it’s chicken or beef, you can later put it on the grill, but you won’t end up with tough meat, it’s juicy!

    The second dish, Seafood Paella, is highlighting a little bit of our Spanish heritage (Melia is actually a Spanish brand), we’re quite known for having good Paella in house. Of course, we’re using seafood from Lombok, such as bamboo lobster, tiger prawn, moon scallop, and cuttlefish.

    What’s the biggest challenge in handling seafood products?

    I think it’s the freshness and the transportation. We’re lucky we’re working with seafood supplier who really cleanse, pack the seafood in ice, and ship it as soon as possible to Jakarta. Timing is crucial as fresh seafood is more tasty! That’s the most important thing about seafood, it should be fresh, not kept too long, sell it within 2-3 days. I always say don’t freeze fish, for safety reason. Especially salmon for sushi, or any raw consumed fish.

    The last question, I heard you have a plan to open a Spanish restaurant?

    Actually, yes

    Actually, you’re not the only one to have similar plan, will Spanish food be the next big thing in Jakarta?

    It could be. The idea of Spanish cuisine, especially tapas, is to have the social dining experience. We can share the small tapas, we can see many different Mediteranean cuisines with such concept. After all, we have fresh seafood and rice, the main staple food here.

    Currently, we have some successful Spanish restaurants here, but we don’t have too many hi-end products here. Not just Pork Iberico, we’ll have more hi end products from Spain. We have good contact with Spanish supplier in Bali who imports directly from Spain. We want people to have hi end experience quality in Spanish cuisine, that’s where we should go, that’s where the opportunity is. Premium tapas, along with wide range of Spanish wine selection! I’m looking forward to opening it.

    When can we expect to see the restaurant?

    Right now, we are looking in mid 2020, but construction has never been on time. I opened and renovated hotels, revamping things, however, the timeframe from construction company is never on time. If they tell it’s on june 2020, I would say 3-6 months from that agenda is more realistic (laugh)!

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  • sofia
    05/12/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Clarified Complexity

    Benny Michael Manurung was one of 8 2019’s Diageo World Class finalists. As one of the best mixology competition in the country, we’re confident, any of the finalists who made it to the final are among the best bartenders in Indonesia. Even though Benny represented Hotel Monopoli at the competition, now, he was assigned as Head Bar of Sofia at The Gunawarman, still part of the Syah Establishments group.

    After drinking cappuccino made by Benny, we also enjoyed 2 of Sofia at The Gunawarman’s signature cocktails that are inspired by the history of cocktail: America’s Golden Age 1800 and Tales of Cocktail 2003. Of course, Benny also presented his signature cocktail that he presented at previous Diageo World Class competition, The Farm. We came to a conclusion: Benny’s cocktail were very

    smooth, even though they looked simple, clear, the taste were quite complex.

    Do all the cocktails here have smooth character like these three?

    We’re more to artisan cocktail. We don’t hesitate to experiment, such as combining creamy cocktails with sour taste, the uncommon ones. However, I deliberately designed them not to be very strong,
    I want guests to enjoy them so when they got home, they don’t just get the drunken sensation. Actually, this smooth character is a actually good point for our sales, guests can enjoy the atmosphere, chilling out, and they’d end up buying more (laugh).

    When did you decide to pursue career as bartender seriously?

    I began as an on call daily worker, then as barback, until I joined Loewy in 2013. Union Group is known to be very strict when it comes to selecting bartenders, they’re dead serious about filtering the knowledge and communication skill of their prospective bartenders. I had a friend who worked as Head Bar, but when he joined Loewy, he had to start all over again as barback. I realized I was genuinely interested to a bartender here.

    There are so many cocktails out there, how did you start learning?

    The first thing to learn is the characteristics of the spirits, then we move one to te DNA of the cocktails, what’s the nature? Sour drink? High ball? Everything has its own formula and rules, so we’re not just making it up. in 2016, I moved to Queens Head because I was attracted to Steve Collins figure who was responsible to manage the bar. During my 1 year there, I learned a lot about classic cocktails from Steve before I moved to Hotel Monopoli.

    What’s the defining line between classic and modern cocktails?

    It’s more to the technique. Cocktails consist of spirit, sugar, and bitters. Then we moved on to Indian era, we knew “punch” that use juice, variation of spices. Along the way, bartenders are getting bored of using the same old ingredients, thus, we started to collaborate with the kitchen to use what’s available there. No wonder, now we have more explorative cocktails that use oils, vegetables, meat, but their DNA is has the classic root.

    What are the best lessons you got from Steve Collins?

    The one I remember the most, I learned a lot about the history of classic cocktails. He gave me a botanical book that explains ways to combine spirits with certain ingredients. I also learned much about modern techniques such as sous vide and clarification.

    You were one of the finalists of 2019’s Diageo World Class, any plans to reenter the competition next year?

    Of course, I’m looking forward to it. 2019 was my first year to reach the final (top 8), while other competitors have been in the final before. I studied from other competitors about presentation to the judges, making scripts. Now, I knew the tricks and I feel I have to join the next one.

    Please explain a bit about the cocktail you present to us, and your mixology style!

    Perhaps because I love cooking and I’ve been discussing a lot with the chefs. I use lots of kitchen ingredients. It’s more to culinary mixology, to me it’s much more interesting as it’s very experimental. My cocktail “The Farm” is based on high ball, I presented it on the 2019’s Diageo World Class final. It was made of Tanqueray no 10, celery, balsamic vinegar, truffle oil, and apple. And then I do the clarification technique.

    Using rotary evaporator?

    No, I use the manual clarification technique using milk, sugar, and lemon. I mixed the ingredients altogether, do some balancing, then put the lemon juice and sugar, and the last one, milk. After that, I use the V60 to filter the sediment and I’d end up with clear liquid. No, I use the manual clarification technique using milk, sugar, and lemon. I mixed the ingredients altogether, do some balancing, then put the lemon juice and sugar, and the last one, milk. After that, I use the V60 to filter the sediments and I’d end up with clear liquid.

    You also made the coffee for us, do bartenders obliged to handle coffee as well?

    I would say, bartender is the most multitasking job in F&B industry. Along with making cocktails, you need to be able to make coffee, giving good recommendation, hosting the guests, do the billing, to escorting the guests to their way out. That’s why we have some bars in Singapore who just hire bartenders, exclusively.

    Some baristas feel that the only responsible only in the coffee section, do you have similar attitude in bartending scene?

    Everyone has his own career achievement, and I don’t there’s someone who want to bartender forever. In certain levels, you need to know other tasks around you. However, naturally bartenders are demanded for multitasking. My current position is the Head Bar, after that, I can be a Bar Manager, or a consultant. I need to know many other things.

    What are your favorite bars?

    From the bars I’ve visited, I had 2: Jigger and Pony, and Manhattan, both are located in Singapore. Actually, I prefer speakeasy bars that are not too busy so we can still enjoy the ambience, like\ Jigger and Pony. Meanwhile in Indonesia, bar is more about entertainment, be it live music or DJ. Of course, Indonesian guests love cocktails, but whenever we have 3-4 people gathering up, they prefer to open bottles, they rarely order cocktails. That’s why, in Indonesia, the speakeasy bar concept doesn’t last too long.

    On the other hand, based on my observation, guests in Singapore prefer to hangout in bars after office hours, just to chill out, sit in the bar, chat with the bartenders, that’s it. For Manhattan, I love their descriptive and narrative menu design. In addition, the bartenders there really mingle with their guests, they chat with them, one by one. Even though the place’s relatively small, it’s very lively. The one I love the most, is that they have a special room to age cocktails in barrels.

    Cocktail aging? Like in wine aging process?

    Yes, let’s take Negroni for example. After making the Negroni, they will do the aging process, let say in sherry barrel for a few months, and then moved it to bourbon barrels. You’ll end up with smoother cocktails, and distinctive barrel aroma. Bourbon barrel will result in sweet, fruity aroma, while sherry will give “rougher” taste, and dried fruit aroma

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  • 22/11/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Polish Passion

    Hyatt is known for their food & beverage philosophy: Food, thoughtfully sourced, carefully served that pays great respect to people, planet, and communities. To continue this philosophy, Grand Hyatt Jakarta appointed a new Executive Chef from Poland, Adam Tomasz Szczechura (we know, it’s difficult to pronounce his last name, we gave up after a few attempts). Chef Adam grew up in Warsaw, Poland, where his parents owned a free-standing restaurant called Staropolska, meaning “Old Poland”. The idea is to bring back the old and authentic taste of Polish cuisine.

    “I never thought of working in another industry because I always knew that I will be a Chef,” said Adam. With over 25 years of cooking experience Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East, he had joined various Hyatt properties such as Hyatt Regency Warsaw, Hyatt Regency Kiev, Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, Park Hyatt Maldives, Hyatt Regency Gurgaon and Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi. Exclusively to Passion Media, the Chef share his knowledge of Polish food, seafood, and his cooking philosophy.

    So, Indonesia is your first Asian country to work?

    Apart from India, I would say yes, but India is a little bit different. So, yes, definitely it’s my first time to visit and work in Indonesia.

    What makes you interested to work here?

    I’ve been here for only 3 months, so it’s a very difficult question. But I’m sure the culinary scene, and the passion for food in Indonesia is very regional as well, you can find lots of diversity.

    Have you been travelling around the country?

    I’ve been only to Bali, but for a very short visit, and that was a mistake, because there’s a lot to see, it’s a huge country after all, with lot of diversity. Today, it’s very difficult to manage my trip because of the distances and so on.

    Do you consider yourself as generalist or specialist?

    Generalist. I think it’s the job requirement. I think the entire world is changing every day, so you can’t be stubborn; you have to be more open minded. Culinary is very creative, it changes constantly so you have to be very flexible and use lot of different techniques.

    Do you have any special interest on certain cuisine?

    Not anymore.

    Not anymore? Please elaborate! 

    We shouldn’t be considered as specialist in particular cuisine because everyone’s taking bits and pieces from many other cuisines, different cooking techniques. Only mother food is constant, everything else is changing. So, people are adapting and it drives your guests behind you because you constantly change yourself, so that’s the thing.

    Please explain a bit about the traditional food in your hometown!

    It’s very different than Indonesian food, we’re a country of potato, four seasons throughout the year. It’s all about simple food, you know. Of course, it’s changing throughout the year because all millennial are coming on the stage and those simple things become more complicated on the plate, while each one of us trying to capture the basic flavors in different ways. We have lots of simple food because Polish people, and the cuisine are very humble and simple, nothing complicated.

    Four seasons give you lots of fruits, vegetables, we also have mountain, sea, and forest. We need to preserve some food for winter and autumn, such as marmalade, preserved juices, and pickles. Because when it’s winter, nothing grows, except for some snowmen on the yard (laugh)!

    How about the traditional seafood dishes?

    We have river, lakes, and seas, so it’s pretty much elaborated as well. It’s very seasonal, sustainable and protected, we have many different preparation method to preserve. We can pickle, smoke it, sometimes we eat it fresh. We also have some fish like halibut and trout that’s totally different than what we have here. That’s why I said Polish cuisine is very regional, it’s different for each region.

    Any difficulties in adapting to local supplies?

    Not at all, I’ve been travelling for many years, so it shouldn’t be difficult. As a Chef, basically you know different approach based on market fish or catch of the day, which is always fresh. We all know salmon, but we have different salmon from all around the world, like from Tasmania, for example. However, the local species is the most unique ones because they’re fresh.

    We source our fish locally from Lombok. We still try to promote the “Catch of the Day” as much as we can because of its freshness. Seafood is all about freshness. That’s the main point, not the complicated cooking techniques, it’s the freshness, the natural flavor of the fish. Everybody knows how good fish tastes like, how the older one tastes like. From chef perspective, yes, that’s the biggest enjoyment, we have constant access to fresh fish and seafood.

    Any personal favorite seafood item to work with?

    No, it depends on the mood. I tell you like this, it’s a little bit different after so many years of cooking, you enjoy many different parameters, freshness is my favorite. You learn as well how the flesh behaves, different bone structures, you have to know how to cook it. As long as its fresh I think everyone can enjoy it. I haven’t found any major issues in dealing with seafood because when you respect the product, you treat it the way you feel on daily basis. Like this dish I’m serving, it has local influence like coconut, sweet, lemoney, and light tasting.

    So, tell us about the dish please!

    The dish is Lobster Tail Poached in Vanilla Olive Oil. It’s basically just slow cooked lobster, infused with vanilla pod and olive oil. I apply sous vide technique with 56o C very gently for 45 minutes so the flesh doesn’t get stressed and it will be infused with the vanilla in a way that’s not too aggressive nor sweet, because the lobster is already sweet, so the vanilla will give it additional kick. We also have some coriander emulsion, coconut cream, and lemon gel to give a touch of bitterness, sourness, and combine everything altogether. I love sous vide for the respect of the cooking and the product. By cooking very slowly, the aroma and the juice stays inside. 

    Where does the recipe originates from?

    I don’t know. You can say it’s my own creation. Because, normally chefs are not cooking things they’re not eating. I like light food. That’s why I said I’m not a specialist in any cuisines, I just collect the techniques, flavors from the past onto my own palate. That’s was kind of signature dish, I would say, that’s what it’s all about. Of course, it’s a very difficult choice as well, because by cooking for more than 20 years, it’s very difficult to choose this single one dish. That’s why I said, it’s based on the mood.

    If you say you love light dish, most of Indonesian dishes is quite heavy. Did you have a hard time adapting?

    Not at all, I also love spicy food, in my previous hotel we also had Indonesian restaurant. I’ve worked in India, which has very rich cuisine as well. As a chef, I think it’s the secret of pleasure of being a chef. Because you travel a lot, you tasted different food, you are exposed to many products, very unique ones that will give you opportunity to use them in the future.

    Do you have any favorite dishes?

    Honestly, many of them. But the biggest challenge is consistency, always. I like Sop Buntut, I like Soto Ayam, I eat them nearly everyday, the simple, homey food. Not complicated, as I have enough complication on the plate, basically, I’m a simple man. By the way, Nasi Goreng is the best dish I ever eat, until now. So yeah, Nasi Goreng, simple food, but good!

    How about the food you dislike, do you have any? Durian maybe?

    Actually, I like durian. Basically, people don’t like what they don’t know. As a chef, I’ve tasted durian a long, long time ago. But back then, I didn’t like oyster, or any seafood when I was 20-25, because I was never exposed to those ingredients. I didn’t even like lobster as well back then.

    If there’s anything I dislike, I don’t like shortcuts. Sometimes people want to make it fast, so they do many shortcuts, and that steals the entire flavor. You know, now they have some sort of magic powder, but our mothers don’t cook like that, definitely! Now, millennials are cooking with powder, which I hate. I think, cooking is not about easy or hard, it’s about passion. That’s the difference between good food and other food. Because, after the powder everything tastes the same, I hate it.

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  • 06/11/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Devout Culinary Clergyman

    A full-time religious leader and prominent chef, Jero Mangku Dalem Suci Gede Yudiawan is not only living two worlds, but also thrive in both as well. PASSION Media get a wonderful chance to meet with the amazing figure in his restaurant, Warung Sunset, where he shares his eclectic wisdom about Balinese spiritual aspect, spills some handy seafood tips, and re-tell the legendary story about that one time he cooked a fantastic meal under alcohol influence. Without further ado, enjoy the interview session below!

    Tell us a bit about your background; what is the most memorable moment from your childhood? Have you always known that you will become a chef growing up?

    Balinese men are no strangers to the world of cooking. Because in our custom; every ritual which involves the masses will require someone to cook; either in religious ceremony or spiritual gathering. Personally, this greatly hones my cooking instinct. My father used to be a “Belawa” or village cook. Every time someone has a special occasion, they will search for a ‘belawa’, who would then be assigned to prepare the dishes for all the guests and the religious offering as well. Ever since in my tender age, I used to follow my father on his ‘belawa’ duty; waking up 5am in the morning and help him preparing the ingredients. Besides, I love to eat, so I always involved in cooking aspect on my growing up period.

    Tell us a bit about your Youtube channel; Cerita Dari Desa, is it only all about cooking, or is there another aspect that you wish to share through it?

    I have returned to my home village, Desa Les on Tejakula, Buleleng for around 4,5 years now, as I have been appointed as ‘Pemangku Adat’ (spiritual leader) there. It was on 17th August 2015. It makes my main duty shifted, from chef to spiritual leader of the people in my village. That is why now you can say that I live in ‘two worlds’: the kitchen and cultural. Basically, I’m still being a servant for the people and these two aspects can walk side by side in harmony. What I did on this business scene is also affected, or granted by the way I lead the people in my religious custom. I feel so blessed by all the prayers, wishes and kindness upon my life, to be someone useful. That’s why through my Youtube channel, I want to lift up the potentials of my village; not only by cooking, but the culture, activity and also its nature surrounding as well. On cooking aspect, I made an open kitchen named ‘Dapur Bali Mula’ in my village, meaning ‘authentic Bali kitchen’. I cook very traditional and classical Balinese menus there for my guests, with ingredients taken from the village itself; about 80% of it. In every dish that I create, including on Warung Sunset, I always try to bring up the potential of my village.

    As a ‘Pemangku’ (Balinese Hindu religious leader), how much of the spiritual aspect affects the way of your cooking?

    A cook can be considered as true priest, because cooking has to be based on feeling. If we have good faith, that means we will have a great feeling as well. For Balinese people, kitchen is a sacred place, because there are five basic elements of universe which intertwines one another in there; fire, wind, earth, water and space. We have to enter the kitchen with strong feeling and good intention, because it also represents our gods and goddess, aside from directly in touch with the said five elements. When we are becoming one with the microcosmos and macrocosmos aspects with good intention, then we will create something useful or beneficial for others. That is why, for Balinese, kitchen is a very important place to be. So you can’t even say anything bad in there, it’s a place to create.

    Name us three traditional Balinese spices that you can’t leave out of your cooking

    Let me tell you a bit story about Balinese spices. It is actually has been thoughtfully created by our ancestor for medicinal purpose, since it’s mainly consist of natural spices. Balinese spice has been scientifically proven to contain healthy substances. Nowadays, most of the benefits are reduced because we started to put foreign elements such as MSG, plants with pesticide and so on. Some of the main ingredients of Balinese spice such as turmeric or galangal have antibiotic and antiseptic benefit. This is why when Balinese slaughter cows or pigs, we always put galangal on the blood container to kill the virus. We can cook and consume that raw blood because it has been neutralized by the spice.

    Can you share some handy tips to grill fish or seafood in traditional way? Our readers would love to know!

    I happen to born on a coastal area, and that makes me have some knowledge about fish produce. When we talk about cooking fish, for me, the most important thing is the base ingredients itself. If we want to grill, we have to find fish type which is suitable for that cooking method; usually those with thin-shape, not oval or round. Coral fish are great for grilling, such as snapper and barramundi. These fishes have stronger scent, but also thicker, savory taste, because they get enough sunlight. It’s different with those fishes which live in deeper part of the Ocean; they have darker tone and move around much often, making the fat level on their body higher. The elastic texture of deep-water fish meat makes them an excellent ingredient for batter or dough. For me, you don’t have to put any kinds of additional sauce whatsoever when grilling a fresh fish. That way, you will get the natural taste and texture; moist and everything. You can use the sauce as dip on side, but not while grilling.

    Can you recall the most memorable moment in your career so far?  The weirdest one, if you have!

    There was a moment back in Jogja, when I cooked under the influence. I was totally drunk! I don’t even know the ingredient and process; just followed my feeling all the way. All I remember was creating a crab-based dish, but I forgot the rest. I called it ‘Kepiting Saus Mabuk’ (drunken sauce crab). To this moment, all of my friends who are lucky enough to taste it still ask me to make it again; they said it was crazy good. But unfortunately I couldn’t replicate the dish. I can’t remember at all (laugh)!

    What is your favorite non-meat dish to cook?

    Back in my village, I used to make a dish called ‘Sayur Belo’ok’; it’s similar to Manadonese tinutuan porridge. The main ingredients are Balinese spice, pumpkin leaves, coconut milk and eaten with traditional style popcorn. It’s my most favorite vegan meal. Occasionally, someone who loves fish or seafood can add ‘kuah pindang’ (spicy Balinese fish broth) to it, but that’s it. It mainly consists of mixed vegetables, dice-chopped cassava, and nuts. You can add as much fresh vegetables as you want, especially on harvest season!

    What is ‘happiness’ according to you?

    Happiness is when my creation can be enjoyed by many others, and I achieve perfection in life through the way of giving.

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  • St james
    06/11/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Giant Within

    Don’t feel too bad if you don’t know yet, in fact, we also knew the fact not too long time ago. Hankook Ceramic, one of the most prestigious ceramic tableware manufacturer was built on 1991. Since then, the company has been producing many brand names such as Lenox, Mikasa (USA), Villeroy & Boch (Germany), ARC International (France), iittala (Finland), Narumi (Japan), Marks & Spencer (UK), Zen (Korea), and of course, Saint James.

    Originally, we are invited to interview the Director of Hankook Ceramic Indonesia Kim Young Joo, also the daughter of the Chairman, Sung-Soo Kim. However, after some reschedule, we had the chance to interview the very humble Chairman with over 50 years of experience in ceramic. We came to the largest facility in the world for single ceramic factory, also a Saint James Factory Outlet in Cikupa, Tangerang. It’s a place where women, especially housewives, will go crazy as the place’s offering special discounted price (women, tableware, discount, a dangerous combination indeed, we’ve warned you). We were listening to SungSoo Kim’s story while enjoying a very nice Americano from Saint James Café (they use Tanamera’s coffee, they have a good taste in coffee).

    Let’s go back to the beginning, before Hankook Ceramic, what did you do? 

    In Korea, I started ceramic engineering in university and I had a Phd as well. I learned on tableware manufacturing, and one of the focus was ceramic, including chinaware, glassware, cement to semi conductor. Actually, tableware has a long history, in Korea, maybe it’s 100 years already, but I brought the technology to Indonesia 30 years ago. We started this tableware making, especially in fine china, bone china, and special technology. This is our only factory in the world, and we’re making all the products inside, and now we sell it in more than 50 countries in the world.

    Actually, Zen is the biggest ceramic brand in Korea. Zen actually stands for zenith, eco friendly, and nature. When we started here, we also use the name Saint James, but we only produce in small quantity and supply it to 5 star hotels, and some big companies.

    Now, I want to show our product line to Indonesian customers, that’s why we open factory outlet here since 2 years ago. We also have some outlets in some Indonesia retail shop in malls. Everyday, we have 50-60 visitors from communities, we took them by our buses for factory tour on how to make our tableware, and then they can have a talk, discussion, shop here with special discounted price.

    Back then, why did you choose Indonesia?

    Compared to other countries, Indonesia has big population, compared to Korea, which only has around 40 million populations. In Korea and Japan, all the factory staffs are too old, in here, we have many very young manpower! With such high technology, we only hire 1.000 local employees and only 10 of them are Koreans, which I plan to reduce further step by step (laugh)! I want to use all Indonesian staffs!

    In addition, Indonesia also has good condition for manufacturing. For firing this ceramic tableware, we have to fire it 3 times, the last one was for decoration purpose. The firing temperature is up to 1.250o C, therefore, we need loads of energy source, and in Indonesia, we can use natural gas that’s very economical.

    If you’re known with the name Zen in Korea, why use another name here? Why Saint James?

    We can use certain names in some countries, but in Indonesia, other people registered the name “Zen” before us. We didn’t care, because when I started here, I wanted to multiple brands anyway. The idea of using the name Saint James came from our consultant from England. It’s a famous name in Bible, it’s the name of the world famous street in London, also the name of the world famous church. The name is already familiar with many people, especially in western countries, and she suggested it as the best brand name for our tableware.

    All of our products have international certification. You know America’s FDA (The Food and Drug Administration, a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services)? All kinds of food related products must meet their condition if you want to enter American market, especially the state Californa, the test was 10 time more difficult than FDA’s test. However, our material and everything passed FDA and California’s test, that’s why we can export our products to all around the world.

    Even though you focused more on export market in the beginning, I heard today you start to focus also on Indonesian market?

    Yes, compared to 10 years earlier, Indonesia has grown around 5 times. Now, we’re selling around 100.000 pieces/month in Indonesia, maybe in the future, it will be 10 times bigger than today. It’s growing fast, I’m sure we’ll need 1.000.000 pieces every month soon, trust me, I have 50 years of experience in this ceramic industry!

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  • dilmah
    02/11/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Blood is Thicker Than Water

    Dilmah’s Ti21 competition was held on August 19th-20th 2019 in Pullman Hotel Thamrin Jakarta. Passion Media had the chance to do an exclusive interview with Dilmah Tea’s CEO, Dilhan C. Fernando, the first born son of Merrill J. Fernando, founder of Dilmah’s Tea (now you know where the “Dil” from Dilmah came from). Dilhan told us his philosophical view on tea, Dilmah’s principles, being in a family business, accompanied by a glass of very aromatic Gin cocktail made out of Dilmah’s Jasmine Green Tea by Tomek Malek (4 times World Flair Association’s champion, also a judge for Ti21). We don’t know if it’s the tea or Dilhan’s enthusiasm, but talking to him seemed to give us energy, simply just by listening to him talking.

    I know it’s a tough question, but, what’s your favorite Dilmah Tea flavor?

    You know, the tea that you choose should be related to the moment of the day, it should be related to your mood, and what you’re eating at the time. For example at this point, it’s been a warm day, it’s beautiful (evening), the lights are down, now is not the time, for example for a breakfast tea. Now is the time to have something a little softer, that’s why I asked Tomek (Malek) to make us a little cocktail.

    And this is the wonderful thing about tea, it’s so wonderfully versatile. The whole reason why my colleagues and I have come here this time, is to try to explain that aspect of tea. Typically, when you go to any place, they will ask you what kind of tea you’ll have, black tea, green tea, oolong? But, it’s completely unrelated to your circumstances. But, really, the tea that you take at afternoon should be completely different that you have in the evening. It’s like when you have your breakfast, the food is different to what you have on dinner.

    If you’re having salad at lunch, the idea is you need a tea that complements the salad. If it’s salad that’s cheese based, you’ll have oolong tea. If it’s citrus based,
    you’ll have high grown, light, black tea. If it’s salad with smoked chicken, maybe black tea, something stronger. So the idea is really, as much as possible to build

    an experience. Very often people ask me what’s my favorite tea, to be honest, it depends on the moment, the mood, what we’re eating, and so on, many factors. That would be my very complicated answer to a very simple question (laugh)!

    How about the functional aspects of tea?

    Tea has beautiful functional aspects. It’s a palate cleanser, it emulsifies fat, and it helps to balance blood sugar level. But, first of all, tea was discovered as medicine if you go back 5.000 years ago. Today, tea is enjoying the resurgence again because of these medicinal values, it’s good for 22 types of cancer, it’s good for heart disease, it protects against stroke, dementia, diabetes, stress, strengthens your immune system. By 2050, WHO expects that dementia will be the biggest cause of premature mortality. Currently in the west, the biggest cause of premature mortality is stress, and in the east, it’s diabetes. What is there not to like about tea?

    That’s an incredibly powerful sets of statement, but if you look beyond that, you have the fact that our tea is handpicked, it’s made in a very traditional, artisanal way, and in doing that, the whole process is designed to respect what the nature has put into the leaves. Nature influences the leaf, the enzymes within the leaf, and there’s nothing a man can do, to change that. So if you have bad weather, bad soil, you can’t do anything to improve the tea, it’s done. You have to throw it out, that’s what we do. It is the nature that defines whether the tea is good or not.

    For us, it’s particularly the beauty in tea, because as tea maker, it’s something that is sacred, in a way, as it is influenced by nature. Therefore, because of the combination of those the fact that tea is good for health and it’s the work of nature, it is more relevant for 21st century than any other beverage.

    Tea has a very unique ability to bring people together. Whether we’re friends for life, family, or just met for the first time, having that cup of tea, it symbolizes companionship. Those are really the factors that led my father to devote his life to tea. He’s going to be 90 next year, and he has spent 70 years in tea.

    How hard is it to introduce the concept?

    It’s difficult in a sense that we’ve been doing it for a few years. But, once you got somebody who wants to help, for example, tomorrow and the day after, we’ll have 23 culinary teams, 40 professionals who are coming. Once you understand the concept, you can never go to anything else, they become the ambassador of the idea. Because, nothing that is so natural, so beautiful, like tea, and it should really not be just enjoyed as a cup without any thoughts, it should really be an experience.

    When your father start the company, how old are you?

    I was 4 years of age.

    How did you start to get involved with the company?

    There are 3 things that my father wanted to do: first is to focus on taste, second on the nature goodness & wellness, the third one is the purpose. When he started the business, he only had 18 employees. Today our family has grown, we have almost 36.000 workers. We believe business has an ethical purpose, which meant that he build the business with the staffs as family. The same benefit extend globally, across Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Vietnam with  certain causes that we’re very passionate about. We saw the human side to it, so when my brother (Malik J. Fernando) and I, joined the business, it was because we understood the purpose.

    That’s the most powerful thing for us. Naturally, you get drawn in to the business. My father never says, “son, you have to come back!” I was in England most of my life, I went to London School of Economics, and at the end, my and my brother got a very very good job offer. But, our hearts, will always be here, simply because of the human side of this business. 

    What’s the best and worst things about being in family business?

    It has lots and lots of ups and downs. If you’re not careful, family business can put a strain on family life. The more siblings you have, the more difficult it gets. For me, it’s just my brother and I, so in our case, it’s not too complicated, but in the next generation, my brother has 2 daughters, I have 2 boys and a girl. There are 5 of us, it will be even more complicated! The thing is, when you sit around the table, and go to our differences, it can easily be resolved.

    I don’t think that’s the problem for us, but looking at family business around the world, they tend to focus so much on what they have done in the past, that they forget they need to adapt. Typically, family business have a very strong founder, most founders have to be strong because, by nature. they had a tough time. My father fought against the system, he was the first tea grower to offer his tea directly to consumer, it wasn’t allowed at that time. It was a heck of a fight and it took him 38 years, so, he’s a very strong personality.

    The problem happens now, as we look around and see what massive technological, marketing communication, logistic and all these changes happening, many family businesses forget that they need to change, they need to evolve. They’re so loyal and worried about upsetting the founder that they don’t want to change, but if you don’t change, you die. Sometimes, families try to brush everything under the carpet and pretend there’s no problem, but it’s not possible.

    That’s the worst part, how about the best ones?

    The good part, as family, we can sit on the table and we just go ahead and do something. Why I’m saying that? In our business, we have 10% of outside share holders. In the 1970’s, when the Colombo stock exchange was established, they asked my father to list because they wanted tea company. We’re the first tea company listed in the Colombo stock exchange.

    Those outside shareholders, look at our account and asked, “why are you giving 1 billion, 2 billion to charity? This is ridiculous!” As family we can stand together and say, “no, that’s our decision, we control 90% of the company. We don’t believe business should be extractive and there’s nothing you can do about it!” It’s not that we’re doing anything bad to them, but we’re establishing the principle that a business has an obligation to benefit the environment, because we benefit from the environment. You can’t make great tea from bad environment. We have our climate change center, we have taken our tea plantation rewilded, we have jungles, we have planted almost 2 million trees. Commercially, none of these make sense! So, the positive side of family business, is actually a huge positive that outweigh all the negatives.

    When you saying something about “adapting”, what exactly did you do differently from your father?

    When I came to Dilmah, there were invariably many conflicts because my father said, “this is it! You must learn my way and do it this way!” But then, as time went on, my father and I developed an understanding. I made many mistakes, I remember soon after university, I launched a range of Dilmah Sweets, basically it’s Dilmah’s caramels, bon bon, sweets. It was very profitable but after a while, we abandoned it because my father told me an important principle.

    When you set up any business, you need to understand its implicity. My father told me that integrity is the most important thing. Integrity means that if you offer something to a customer, you need to be able to put your hand in your heart say, “I know my product and it’s  he best product of its kind!” If I tell my customer that I’m giving you a really good sweet, I have to know my sweets and I didn’t, I knew tea. I learned this, and then I moved on to a stage, where we came to, as you called it “adaptation”, but I would say “harmony”.

    He said, “these are the principles that I built my business on: integrity, ethic, good taste, freshness, etc. Whatever you do, don’t try to change any of those, but rather, build on them”. I understood that my father had built the business on certain fundamentals, those are sacred and cannot be compromised.

    In approximately 2003 we launched a line called T-series, which is a designer line of gourmet tea for new generation that went back to single estate tea. It was a different time, people didn’t appreciate gourmet, premium and so on. Today, everybody wants to know where the wine and the cheese came from, but in 2003 nobody cared, it was like, ”give me cheddar, the cheapest one and I’m good with it!” Specialty was very niche.

    What I did in that line of designer tea for young people is completely different design, very colorful, because at the time, tea was very traditional. I took my father’s concept and went one step further, from single origin to single estate, and put it into very colorful, youthful, funky designs.

    How did he respond to that?

    He was okay, he was not very happy, but he wasn’t unhappy either (laugh)! In fact, he and I went to Shanghai and we saw the incredible change has happened, and he finally understood what I’m doing. Recently, we have Elixir of Ceylon Tea, which is a tea extract using hand picked Ceylon tea leaves and extracted it in a
    very unique, patented process over 24 hours period. The point is, again, even with tea extract that is designed for bartender and mixology to make cocktail, we are respecting the founding principles and values or tea.

    So whatever we do, gastronomy, mixology, it will always be done to honor, rather than compromise, the founding principles. I think that’s the basis of the “adaptation” that we have undergone. The principles that my father laid down from 1950’s, those core principles are honored today, as much as it was back then, but expressed in a very different way.

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  • Lucas
    30/10/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Greatness Awaits at Park Hyatt Jakarta

    The soon-to-be opened Park Hyatt Jakarta will be the next big thing for the capital city. Passion was able to get the early scoop by conversing with the hotel’s very own executive chef, Mr Lucas Curcio Perez. Here’s a story about his rich experience as a chef and his vision for the hotel’s F&B concept.

    How did you start your career as a chef?

    I am from Argentina. I started studying and did my internship with Accor at Sofitel Buenos Aires when I was 17 or 18 years old. They eventually hired me full time and I worked there for a few years. Next, I moved to Jersey Island, part of Channel Islands, and worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant. The French chef there, a man of iron discipline, encouraged me to learn more through traveling.

    A year later, I moved back home as a part of pre-opening team for the first Pullman hotel in Latin America. When I reached the age of 25, I decided to open my own restaurant.

    Can you tell us about your own restaurant, Chef?

    It was a small, yet very successful venture but only lasted for a while. The name was Honor y Causa, and it’s an homage for everyone, family, and teachers who had been supporting us. Food magazines nominated us as the best newcomer of the year and me as the best young chef. Unfortunately, the split of partnership made it hard for me to maintain the business on the long run.

    What happened next?

    Next I was appointed as a chef at Four Seasons in Carmelo, Uruguay for almost two years. Afterwards I was offered by the owner of the hotel for a position as the F&B director at an exclusive lodging named Narbona, still in Carmelo. It has only a few rooms, a restaurant, and an event space for 500 people. Within 5 kilometers of land, we also have a dairy factory that produces our own cheese and milk and another small hotel. 

    Afterwards, I joined Hyatt’s The Unbound Collection – the first one in Latin America. That was my first contact with Hyatt and for them, food is very important and I started a good network there. A few months later, I moved to Bogota in Colombia to work for Four Seasons Casa Medina – an iconic hotel in the city.

    I heard that you had a gig in Spain as well, Chef.

    Yes, after a while, I moved to Spain. A good friend of mine recommended me to swap his place as a chef for this Michelinstarred restaurant since he’s leaving. However, Michelin-starred restaurant has never been a thing for me since I’d like to cook soulful food, which is not necessarily fancy.

    Later on, I was joining this F&B group in Girona, not far from Barcelona, that owns 26 establishments. Fifteen of them are full restaurants, with five coffee shops, and six bakeries. Here, we created a concept of two-restaurants-in-one. For example, we have this rice and fish theme. So on one side, we offered rice and fish in Japanese way - like sushi. Meanwhile the other side was rice and fish the Catalan way. Same products, cooked differently. It was a big hit and the restaurant was always crowded.

    Let’s talk about being the Executive Chef of Park Hyatt Jakarta and what you will introduce to us there.

    At Park Hyatt, we have this concept on how to make dining more fun. We want to deliver something unique and also an immersive dining experience. Rather than saying we have signature dishes, we’d like the people to spread out the words about which dish that they like. But of course, we will recommend chef’s choices as well. We’d like to give good value for money approach but that doesn’t mean it’s downright cheap. The good value for money that we offer is that when you get the bill, you say oh, I had an amazing experience here. Food was fantastic, service was top notch, and okay, I’d like to be back here again next week because of the good experience and value.

    We will have several restaurants in the hotel. For the international restaurant, we will be introducing live kitchens focusing the best from Indonesian and Spanish cuisines. We will have a Conservatory area that consists of different themes. You can start your day at the library – it’s like a coworking space with full F&B service. We will also have a living room concept with light meals, and also a patisserie. Lastly, we will have a Japanese restaurant overlooking the sunset and Monas from the 36th and 37th floors.

    I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful! Last question, during your recent ‘Four Hands’ Collaboration event with Chef Mauro Santarelli of Grand Hyatt Jakarta, you introduced to us the wonderful chicken dish Catalan-style. Can you tell us about it?

    The chicken is roasted with onions, tomatoes, raisins, and spinach. We use only free range, organic chicken and not the broiler. The chicken skin is chopped and used for the croquette. The croquette itself consists of shredded chicken thigh with raisins, figs, and pine nuts. To make it moist, we incorporate a bit of the reduced jus cooked with chicken bones inside the croquette.

    Next, we steam the chicken breast with the bone until the right temperature. So when we serve it a la minute, it will be cooked nicely and not dry. We will then glaze the chicken breast with some butter, spices, pine nuts, raisins and served with puree and the jus.

    I have emotional ties with the dish since my grandparents used to cook it. When I went to Spain, I realized that it was not just my grandparents’ cooking, but it’s a national dish of Catalonia. There, it is usually reserved for family gatherings and festivities. I’d like introduce this dish for our guests at Park Hyatt Jakarta.

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  • 30/10/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Three Stars, Zero Limit

    Selepas mengawali karir di restoran ternama sejumlah negara; di bawah bimbingan sejumlah spesialis fine dining legendaris pula, Oscar Wijaya kemudian memutuskan untuk melanjutkan kiprahnya di Indonesia bersama restoran prestisius Ju-ma-na milik Banyan Tree Resort Bali. Seperti apakah sepak terjang sosok tinggi besar nan bersahaja ini? Dan apa impian terbesar yang hendak ia realisasikan? PASSION duduk dan berbincang bersama sang chef muda kelahiran Palembang sembari menikmati seporsi 200 Days Grain Fed Beef and Foie Gras racikannya yang luar biasa nikmat…

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  • kopitoko
    14/10/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Focus. Flow. Family

    Family is the most invaluable treasure, and Rendy Febriano Sukardi understands that really well. His coffee establishment, Kopitoko, was built solely from that philosophy, and now has flourished into three different branches in Sanur, Ubud and Seminyak. Embracing the warm vibe of family and his expertise in coffee roasting, it is safe to say that the future shines bright for the young coffeepreneur. Here’s his exclusive interview with PASSION…

    Tell us about your background. When did you first fall in love with coffee? Was it given that you’d work with coffee for a living, or have you ever consider other careers?

    My background is actually as a 3D animator. Usually, as you know, the rendering process took all night long to finish, and I definitely need coffee to stay awake. Then I decided to start taking step in coffee business because my wife and sister-in-law want to do business as well; my wife Putri has a handcrafted bag brand, and my sister-in-law, Dyah, was a pottery maker, and we all love coffee. I began to really focus in coffee since three years ago. 

    To be honest, I never plan to start a coffee business, everything just go with the flow. We study it from scratch, observe the opportunity, and then our (first) customers gave us positive feedback; then we decided to be more focused. Every aspects in Kopitoko are family-based, from the ceramic (furniture), interior design, coffee, to food are made by ourselves.

    What is your favorite aspect of operating a coffee café and roastery?

    My background is related with art, and in coffee, as art, we have to use feeling a lot. I spent one year to learn everything about roastery, so the process is really not as easy as much people think. You have to use feeling to make coffee. Things I like the most from the process is when the end result is good, especially for others. We don’t want to sell our product halfheartedly; customer’s happiness is our satisfactory. 

    When did you first establish Kopitoko? And what is your vision for the brand in the future?

    Good question! Kopitoko established in 2016. Of course we really want to develop in the future, but right now, we want to focus in three of our branches first. We don’t want to open up another store but compromise the quality; not just the coffee, but we want to make the best out of the food as well. We are happy because now customers come to Kopitoko not only for the coffee, but also out homemade sandwich. There two are things that we want to improve the most in the future.

    What’s your preferred brewing method? And which part of roasting process that you think is the most important?

    Personally, my favorite brewing method is basic espresso, classic pure flavor without any peculiar mixes. Then, on the roasting process, the most important thing for me is the coffee bean’s quality. If the base ingredients are already good, the next steps will be easy, but if not, it will be a bit tricky on the roasting process.

    With the rise of prominent coffee establishments in Bali; café and roaster alike, how would you say Kopitoko is different from the rest? What do you wish to convey to your customers?

    In Kopitoko, we want to give our overall best; from the interior design of our store, food, coffee, we put extra effort to create a warm, family vibe with our customers, especially between the barista and them. There are plenty of our customers who ended up becoming close friend. Kopitoko is not a mere business, but something born out from the things that we love, as a family.

    Do you have any favorite blends or origins? What do you think about Indonesia coffee bean in general?

    Personally, I really like our own house blend, which consists of Indonesia’s indigenous coffee beans mix; Bali and Aceh. These are the beans that we try to focus in Kopitoko, and so far, our customers give their good feedback as well. Specifically, we use Kintamani and Gayo beans, with a balanced blend of chocolate and fruity flavors; not too strong but not too weak, so everyone can drink it conveniently. I think Indonesia is one of the best coffee producers in the world, and really capable of competing in international level.

    Do you have any plan for the rest of 2019 for Kopitoko?

    Our closest plan this year is developing Kopitoko’s own roastery. Slowly, we want to enter the supplier scene and supplying our coffee to other places of business. Hopefully throughout the rest of 2019, we can start to mass-produce our coffee for supply purpose.

    What advice would you give for someone looking to get into roasting?

    If you wish to enter coffee business, really get into it from the beginning. This is not a cheap investment, and need a quite amount of budget. Nowadays, there are so many competitors around; and the customers are getting smarter to choose quality coffee. The point is, only when you are truly passionate that your coffee business can run well. At first, Kopitoko didn’t have its own roastery, because I didn’t feel confident to do it. It needs about one year for me to learn about roastery before I decided to opens it on my business. I didn’t plan for that at all, again, everything just ‘go with the flow’! The equipment to do the roastery are also cost quite a penny, so I have to save money little by little to buy them all (laugh).

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  • expat
    14/10/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Champion’s Coffeepreneur

    When Shae Macnamara first planned to do specialty coffee business in Indonesia, almost everyone seems to shun the novel idea. Two establishments and 300 retailer clients later, it is safe to say that he has proven his doubters wrong. Now, the founder of Expat. Roasters brand is ready to expand his brainchild even further through education, mentoring and creating local champions. We are so happy to sat and chat with Shae about his incredible achievements, biggest challenges, to some of latest coffee trend he’d hope to avoid.

    You’ve done a fantastic work establishing Expat. Roasters; what inspires you to start this project, and what is the biggest challenge that you’ve faced so far?

    When I was in Australia, five or six years ago, we already have a developed coffee industry, so I started looking to different nations around the world that have a coffee-drinking culture, but the specialty coffee is not as advanced as Australia. Indonesia have this great coffee culture where people drink it to stay up all night long, and with such a big population of middle-class, people really starting to think coffee as an affordable luxury. So I was thinking to provide that aspect through beautiful product which people can have either every day or every month; whenever they wanted to. 

    I think there are always challenges coming into a market as foreigner to do business, getting to understand and immersed deep in the country’s culture, and that’s what happens to me in Indonesia. So I started with ‘open door policy’ on our roastery and café; people are welcome to come, learn and experience our coffee. Those who come would share their knowledge as well. I think in Indonesia people(who do business) tend to have closed-door policy, keeping all the ‘secret’ for themselves, but now, after three years doing our method of business, people are starting to opens up as well, understanding collaboration and working together rather individually. I believe if we all work together, we can actually grow the industry bigger and we all get the support we need as well. 

    How do you pick your bean in general? Any practical tips you could share for our readers to pick the good coffee bean from the bad one?

    There are several technical forms to use when choosing coffee; such as cupping protocol, q-grading style, etc. It’s important for the industry to havebenchmark for things, but for me, I would like to think about what is the average person wants to drink, and how do we make it better than what they’re already drinking. I find that sometimes the coffee that we like will be different from what average Indonesian like, for example. So I always tell to our baristas when they’re making coffee or creating blends that it’s not about us, but it’s about what we believe the market wants; something that would make their day better when they drink it in the morning

    For the practical tips, I would say that in coffee, you can see the defects and its condition from its green bean form. It’s actually a bit hard for average person to grasp, but just know this: if its looks strange, it’s strange (laugh). The shape, the color are some of the good starting points. In Expat. Roasters, when we roast, we’d try to get the most of the core product; highlighting the farmer’s work, not manipulating the flavor too much, but brings out its best. It’s pretty much the same with cooking fish; you can use cheap fish that’s been grown in dirty water, and even the best chef can only do so much with that fish, but if the main ingredient is already beautiful, all you have to do is brings out the best of it.

    What is the latest trend in coffee that catches your attention in a good way, and which one you think that we should avoid?

    I think the biggest thing in trend that makes difference today is processing methods. Five or six years ago, in Bali, all you can get is washed bean methods, but now, here we can buy fully washed, dry ferment, honey-process, natural-process. What’s happening now is the farm already understand how the get the best of each variety of coffee bean. There’s also a lot of controlled fermentation now, we’re learning a lot from wine industry.

    Trends that I think we should avoid is dark-roast or light-roast, especially in espresso, you’ve have to had a balancedroast. These methods have become a trend, but I hope we are moving away from it fast. Too light especially is not good for everyone; you’re getting a grassy, grain and super high acid in flavor—really sour. Of course we want to have some taste of acidity in coffee, but when it taste like lemon, that’s bad (laugh). The fermented fruit taste supposed to be the accent, not the body. It’s like when you squeeze lemon on a steak, but when the meat itself is sour, it’s not good!

    One of Expat. Roaster’s Roaster, Sermy Samma has just won prestigious award in IRC (Indonesia Roasting Competition) 2019, could you elaborate about the process to this proud achievement?

    It was amazing indeed! For me, competition is really important within Expat. Roasters culture as a family and business. In 2016, I myself have compete and won several competition in Australia, and once went through world stage to become the fourth best. I have also been appointed as judge in several competitions as well. So when I first came to Indonesia, I really want to have Indonesian champion in my business, but I didn’t want to just hire a rock star from Jakarta, get them to work for me and won competition. What we’re trying to do is develop our star from the ground-up and make sure they have all the skills and bring it back to their day to day career. So with Sermy, I said to him that he should join the competition because I think he’s ready. Then I spoke to Aidan (Broderick—Expat. Roasters’s Head of Coffee) to mentor him, and Aidan said the same, so all we did was refine his skills a little bit. So Sermy went to the competition in Jakarta and we’re lucky enough for him to have the right set of skill, experience, and knowledge to came out as a first place.

    I believe no competition ever won by one person; it’s also the company who support the champion, the coach, other staffs who has to work extra shift to cover while he was training and practicing, marketing team who organize everything, there’s a lot going on in a competition process!

    What do you think about Indonesia coffee bean in general, and could you name two of your most favorites variant?

    Back in Australia, when I said that I want to do all-Indonesian coffee blends and be as good as specialty coffees around the world, everyone laughed at me. They said ‘Shae, it’s too one-dimensional’, ‘too hard’, ‘inconsistent’, and all kinds of negative comments. But then we did it, right? It’s so satisfying to prove them wrong (laugh). For me personally, I’ve got a lot of favorite Bali coffees. In Australia, if we want to have a good single origin, I have to fly and get it from Costa Rica— that’s about 45 hours later to the coffee farm! But here, in Bali, I just jump on a bike in the morning and get to the farm by breakfast. We’re blessed to live here and have easy access to those coffee beans. Bali coffee is one of my favorite; especially Kintamani’s natural variant. I think the West Java’s Frinsa Estate beans are great as well. They are one of the most innovative farmers in Indonesia. I can’t speak highly enough about them as people, because they give back to the community and do a lot of amazing things in term of technique and sustainability.

    What’s next for Expat. Roasters; Any near-future project that we should anticipate?

    We have to do something in Jakarta. We got some wholesale customer already based in Jakarta from 300 in total, so what we want to do is fly some of our trainers around Indonesia for educational purpose. But I think we have to set up a training and education space in Jakarta beforehand. I have to do that soon!

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  • Juno
    11/10/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Of Cat and Coffee

    From hundreds of coffee roasters in Jakarta, it’s very difficult for us to pick just one as source to represent the home roaster. This time, we rely on instinct, we were looking for a roaster that has unique marketing campaign and design, able to produce good quality coffee, and widely known in coffee communities. We ended up with Juno and The Coffee Company. We visited the roaster in East Jakarta and discussed with the founder, Mikael Teguhjaya, along with some of his cats, and we asked him an important question:

    How many cats do you have?

    Actually, the number of cats is confidential, because we have so many (lol)! I have some cats, all with their own names. Actually, they were rescued cats

    You mean, street cats? I thought they were breed cats, they have beautiful hair…

    They’re all mutts, perhaps it’s the food, and they’re always stay at home. I actually have 4 dogs, but for cats, I can’t tell you (lol)!

    Okay, let’s talk about the beginning of your coffee journey.

    I loved coffee for quite a long time, it’s Just I enjoyed it with milk and sugar. When I went for honey moon in Phuket, I mistook my coffee with a caucasian’s, it was bitter. Then I asked him, why didn’t he put some sugar in it? “Putting sugar will ruin its overall taste,” he said. From there, I started to have interest in coffee and finally I took coffee class in A Bunch of Caffeine Dealer (ABCD) Coffee on 2014.

    At first, I knew Hendri Kurniawan in ABCD Coffee, Pasar Santa and we talked about Keep Cup instead. I was unfamiliar with ABCD’s concept of pay as you like, V60 coffee, then they have some imported bean such as Nylon, Coffee Collective, Geisha, Bourbon, Catura. Not long after that, they opened coffee class in 2014 and I was in the 5th batch, I think now they already have hundreds of batch.

    In that class, there were only 3 students and thankfully, Hendri himself taught us, along with Ve (Handojo). We tasted coffee with interesting notes, it was floral, ginger, cinnamon. When Hendri asked our purpose to join the class, since the investment wasn’t cheap, my mind went blank for a while. My friend said we intended to open our own coffee shop.

    Then, why didn’t you take that route?

    I didn’t proceed because I couldn’t find the way. In addition to high rental price, when I managed to find an investor, I didn’t feel any chemistry. A friend offered my to join him in opening a coffee shop in Yogyakarta, which now becomes Hayati. But I had to refuse because I run my own business in Jakarta.

    What sort of business?

    I run a commercial photo and video for advertising called Penta Studio. My wife, Peny Pujiati, is a commercial photographer, she worked in branding consultant company as graphic designer. Finally, we built Penta Studio while also running Juno The Coffee Company.

    How did you start Juno?

    I’ve always wanted to contribute in coffee industry, luckily I found my idealism in the roastery business. 3 weeks prior to 2016’s Jakarta Coffee Week that was held in Hype, PIK, I told Hendri that I wanted to start my own roastery and wanted to take part in the event. He said, “why not? Go ahead!” Actually, Juno was a rushed, risky project. Because if we didn’t take a shot, I don’t think we would even start.

    I didn’t even have my own roasting machine, so I have to rent in other people’s roastery. I didn’t have a clue of how complicated the single origin and the process, I also didn’t know how the coffee should taste. But I enjoyed the challenge, roasting was quite something! At the time, we didn’t even have any name, so my wife proposed one of my cat’s name, Juno.

    Actually, is it a feminine or masculine name?

    Juno is actually a female name, it’s the name of a Greek Goddess. So, whenever we found a guy called “Bang Juno”, my wife often laughs.

    I started to buy green bean from traders, do our own branding and packaging, fortunately we had warm welcome from customers. On our first day, 80% of our coffee were sold out, I never expected such high enthusiasm for a new roaster. In addition, ABCD Coffee is very supportive, they have great networking. Jakarta Coffee Week is the place to look for coffee, some of my friends from Smith and Smoking Barrell were also sold out.

    This seems like a tough question for a roaster, but, what makes you different than any other roasteries?

    Perhaps not in term of branding, but I believe every coffee bean, roaster, even coffee shop has its own fans. Some of our customers swore by our bean, they can’t even enjoy coffee from other roasteries. Roasteries not only rely on flavor notes, we also have bond with customers. The thing is, most of our customers are cat lovers.

    I guess I can say your “cat” marketing is a success.

    I agree, because we use big blue logo of a cat’s head. Even when I met coffee lovers like Cubung (Wisang Kopi), Cindy and Rendy (Smith), Om Jason (Ombe Koffie), we didn’t talk about coffee, but it was cat instead. In term of taste, it’s similar to fried race case. We served the same rice which is fried, served with predictable spices, but everone has their own cooking method, and it results in different flavor.

    I bought your coffee, if I remember correctly, you have many beans with light, fruity profile. Do you deliberately focus on filter roast?

    In the beginning yes, due to the limitation, we didn’t have a roasting machine back then. If you want to create espresso roast when you still roast in other people’s roaster, it would be very complicated. Until today, we offer more filter roast variants, perhaps up to 20. But since last year, we started to serve espresso roast, and we try to keep the supply consistent.

    What’s your strategy to market Juno?

    The chance from events like Jakarta Coffee Week is huge. I got many B2B clients from there. Once I brewed a cup of coffee for visitors, and then I had someone who want to order 30 kg of it, and we signed a 6 months contract rightaway. Mostly, people know Juno from mouth to mouth.

    One of the most frequent activities we had is cupping, fortunately I got some help from Ve who introduced Juno to ABCD’s partner coffee shops and to home brewers. Because of cupping, people realized our presence, even big brands like Hario asked us to host events together. We also sell our product online through Instagram and Tokopedia, I love to interact directly with clients.

    For those who doesn’t know Juno yet, which bean do you recommend?

    Our best seller for local bean is the Java Haluna, for imported bean, try Ethiopia Sidamo. Ethiopian coffee has its distinctive character and texture in your mouth, floral notes, I really love Ethiopian filter coffee. Meanwhile for Java Haluna, the bean comes from Mount Halu, West Java with yellow honey process. I love the coffee because it makes the roasting process relatively easy, compared to other honey process bean.

    What sort of notes do your customers love?

    Most coffee drinkers love sweet notes, with funky fermentation, a bit thick, although, honestly, I don’t really enjoy that sort of profile. For example is the coffee with natural process, which has distinctive jackfruit notes. Every time we do cupping sessions, we always have people who love that kind of notes. Therefore, when I offered Gayo Wine, it will be fun gimmick for customers. Today, I don’t offer it anymore, because I think the fermentation is a bit over.

    You’re selling the products directly to customers, how difficult is it interacting with the so called “almighty netizen”?

    Actually, it’s all about how you react, seriously. If we make mistake, just admit it, even when the mistake doesn’t come from us, we didn’t have to insist. We have many customers who don’t know how to do manual brew properly, from ration of coffee:water, to the choice of mineral water. To make it simple, I recommend them to start with 1:15 ratio, 90-93o C temperature, for 2 minutes 30 seconds. When they use Amidis, I recommend them to try use Purelife (Nestle), then they can actually taste the difference. It’s interesting, that’s why I often interacting with customers.

    Do you think the use of the term “specialty” still relevant today?

    I don’t even dare to claim myself as specialty coffee roaster. It’s very complicated, and in the end, the term becomes gimmick because people don’t understand it. Some people claim, “we’re specialty because we treat our V60 coffee very carefully”, that’s not the point. It’s more to how you understand the source of your coffee, you do direct trade, and you know exactly the processing. It would be even better if you go there and make your own contract with the farmers, I think, that’s specialty. If the coffee win an auction or COE (Cup of Excellence) it would be a plus.

    Industry coffee is very interesting, seriously. We have many new equipments in each production stage, baristas invent new brewing methods, as a roaster, we have many new coffee processing. To me, selling coffee will never die, you’ll survive.

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  • 02/10/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Coffee Connector

    I t’s always interesting to see new coffee shops as the downstream of coffee business. However, knowing the upstream business is also as exciting, especially when you have the chance to meet people like Franky Angkawijaya, founder of Esperto Barista Course. Started off as hospitality student, the man took a different turn when he worked in cosmetic business before he emerged as one of the biggest player in the coffee industry

    Tell us about your introduction to coffee industry.

    My first encounter was in July 97, I was a barista in a café in Sydney. At the time, I was going to hospitality school and I got permit to work for 20 hours, legally. That was my first job, far before coffee is hype, simply just because I love drinking coffee, the café was near my house, they just opened and need people.

    Do you still remember the café’s name?

    Gloria, I’ll never forget that! After working for half year, I was back at school, and then worked in hotel’s F&B sector, banquet, room service and restaurant. However, every morning I always have Hazelnut Latte, my favorite drink, from some sort of wandering coffee shop cart or bicycle, I didn’t even know how they managed to put an espresso machine on that vehicle.

    After returning to Indonesia, I was planning to run coffee business, but I had an offer to sell cosmetic and supplement under the brand of Fancl, which actually, completely different thing from my passion. However, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse, or, I wasn’t allowed to refuse to be exact.

    What do you mean?

    The company was owned by my father in law. So after I got back from Australia, I was directed what should I do, but it was good, because I learned so much about networking, retail, advertising, and marketing. But I was always yearning to do coffee business, at that time, Starbucks just got in (to Indonesia). Finally I decided to leave Fancl after 6 years.

    So you started your coffee business?

    I built iPool Billiard & Beer in Pantai Mutiara, and then one of my uncle’s partner who just returned from Australia. He had been running coffee business in Australia for 11 years, and then he have me an offer, “Franky, there’s a coffee brand that wants to enter Indonesia and they’re looking for a distributor, would you do it?” What a a coincidence! I want to do that, finally we started to import espresso machine and Schibello roasted bean from Sydney.

    After 3 years, I decided to open a barista school, Esperto. At that time, coffee culture wasn’t as developed as now, when you wanted to penetrate the market, you needed to come to clients, gave them trainings and taught their baristas, for free. As time goes by, some clients are taking it for granted.

    Didn’t you make any deal upfront, like how many training you’d give?

    There’s no problem with training, but sometimes they became ungrateful. Whenever they encountered troubles, they thought, “just call, they needed us anyway.” Which is….quite unethical, because however, you need to appreciate other people’s time, because you can never have it back. Finally we opened our first barista school in Senayan Trade Center (STC). Although at first we opened it for our clients, after a while we opened ourselves to public, in order to survive.

    Do you remember the time you started Esperto?

    August 18th 2009, there’s no way I forget it, because this August 18th, we’ll turn 10. Actually, our class in STC was in some kiosk, then I decided to move to a new place in Wisma Geha, Menteng, before we finally moved here, in Kebon Jeruk.

    Along with Esperto, you also act as roastery, since when?

    We started 7 years ago. Back then, along with the escalating value of Australian dollar, the rules and regulations are getting more complicated. We always comply to all the rules, but somehow, they won’t make it any easier on us. All this burdens became cost, as a result our selling price wasn’t as competitive as before, finally we decided to locally roast our bean in order to survive. We always have a plan to have our own roastery, but 2012 was the trigger. From there, we’ve been running espresso machine distribution with Conti (until now), barista school, and roastery.

    You’ve been in the business for almost 14 years, you’ve been through Starbucks, specialty coffee era, and now the ice coffee milk trend. What sort of adjustments do you make?

    We don’t see it as changes, more to trend addition. Now, we have more middle class than ever, so, similar to a cone, people are trying to cater the middle and low class. We’ve been doing business in the middle up segment, but in coffee, actually we can go anywhere. So instead of change, we’re just trying to cater the needs of the triangle, what do they call it in school?

    Maslow Hierarchy?

    Yes, Maslow! I’m really bad with school (lol)! We focus more on B2B, maintaining clients, giving them inputs, but the most important thing is to ensure that our trust, and clients’ trust to us never lose, not even a bit, that’s what we’re trying to maintain. From the products’ know-how, after sales service, let’s just say, clients should know that when they do business with us, they can have good sleep.

    Of course the situation was different from before 2010, where customers weren’t that informed about brands of machines.

    Actually, most of them have no idea, until now. They might know some famous brand names, but they don’t understand the features and specifications. We had way too many customers like that. It’s a challenge for us, and it shows that the market is not mature enough. Put it this way, which one will you choose, Ferrari or GT-R (Nissan)?

    Hmmm, it depends on what will I do with those…

    For racing purpose?


    Correct, For me, business is a competition, a race. Other people might perceive espresso machine for just showing offs with branded stuffs, but I focus more on specifications, because business is a war. In term of function, GT-R is faster than Ferrari, even faster than Porsche. That’s how I see it, business is a war, automatically, you need tools that will actually help you win the war.

    In addition to B2B, I heard you’re one of Monolog Coffee owners?

    Yes, you can say that…it’s something I wasn’t allowed to refuse. My partner is actually my childhood friend, he needed a coffee specialist that he can rely on. So, I act to manage their coffee division from the beginning until today. Along with Monolog, Mono group also runs other restaurant business, such as De Luca, House of Yuen, Olivier, and Garcon. I handle all the coffee in those outlets

    What’s the biggest challenge in coffee’s B2B business? Educating? Maintaining clients?

    Both are very challenging because the competition is very, very tough, and people would do anything just to win, I wouldn’t even mention any of them here. Therefore, if people ask me the meaning of Esperto, it actually stands for Educating, Sincere, Passionate, Expert, Reliable, Trustworthy, and always think Onward

    So it’s an abbreviation!

    On the other hand, we try to be honest. Because to us, it’s not just about the money, it’s about trust. So we try to give as much information as we can to clients, it’s up to them whether they will end up as our clients or not, we believe they will make their own wise decision. Look, when you’re really good at one thing, you don’t have to worry, people will look for you. Indonesia is actually very big, domestically speaking, our market is enough, we still have much space that can be filled.

    Do you mean other region, apart from Jakarta?

    We’re talking about Indonesia, right? Indonesia, from end to end is enormous. Even in Jakarta, there are still big opportunities. If you’ve been to (South) Korea, whenever you go, you’ll see coffee shops, we’re not quite there yet, not even close.

    I heard Kaesang (son of President Jokowi) took class in Esperto before running his own business (Ternakopi)?

    Actually, we installed the coffee machine in the State Palace, and it was right in front of Mr. Jokowi’s private room. The problem is, not everyone can operate the machine, therefore, I offered Kaesang to take the class. Actually, Mr. Triawan Munaf and Mrs. Mari Elka Pangestu also took class in Esperto. Mr. Triawan even make a joke, “Kaesang also took coffee class? The difference is, he becomes a coffee entrepreneur, I become a connoisseur.” We also have many hotel owners and coffee shops that learn coffee in Esperto.

    President Jokowi seems to put special attention to coffee

    Yes, because coffee is very accessible. Coffee is like…brings people together, ice breaker! We can have men, women, the price is ranging from the lowest to the most expensive. The thing is, coffee from certain region, can be connected with other culture of the region, from local fabric, musical instruments, traditional foods. Coffee is the best entry point to have multiplier effect.

    Do you also make your own espresso machine?

    Yes, it’s called Asterion. We used to think, with so many brands of premium machines and they can be sold with ease, we started to think of new ideas. Most coffee machine sellers seem to underestimate after sales service. However, talking is the easiest thing to do, realizing it is another matter. Therefore, instead of just talking, we make a super sophisticated machine with our own technology, so Asterion was created. With this machine, whenever people began to doubt our after sales service, it’s like saying, “look, we’re capable of making our own machine. If we can build it from scratch, maintenance should be much easier!”

    What are Asterion’s main features?

    We have longer soft infuse process, longer than any of the machines available on the market. We also have multi boilers, people who love to tweak their machines will get maximum result because they can set their own temperature. Then we have the manual piston, which means you can play with the pressure bar, starting from 3 bar, then to 5, 9, 12, whatever. Finally, Asterion’s steaming is very smooth, even a beginner can get that silky milk texture effortlessly.

    The name actually comes from Hades’s strongest Underworld army, so we expect the machine to be robust. So far, thank God, we have no issue. To be honest, Conti’s principal thought we copied their design. After coming to our workshop, they were amazed, and said, “Crazy! You’re right, the design is different!” Since we started the Asterion project 5 years ago, we spent 3 years to create the design, a year for trial, and we just released it this year. Actually, we do the launching last year, while it was tested in Monolog. But the good thing about placing it in Monolog is, it’s a good place to test the durability and performance of Asterion, with Monolog’s high volume sales.

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  • 30/09/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Tale from the Farm

    If there’s someone who can explain the coffee production process from the farm, perhaps Derby Sumule is the right person to meet. The owner of Coffeewar (Kemang) told us his story of how an urban person has to live in remote coffee farms to ensure the production process meets the specification of the end user. Although he acted as green bean trader, at this moment Derby admit he’s focusing on his new role as Co-founder and Chief of Farmer Empowerment of Seeds, the first digital coffee traceability application with blockchain technology and using QR Coffee in Indonesia. With only scan, you can trace the whole coffee production process from downstream to upstream. In the future, the app will also turn into a special marketplace platform for the coffee industry

    Please explain a bit about the production process in the coffee farm

    On average, coffee farmers in Indonesia sell their coffee as parchment coffee to middlemen or collectors. Usually, they pick the coffee cherry, peel off the pulp, ferment it, wash, and let it dry for 2- 3 days and then sell it. Nowadays, some farmers also sell the cherry coffee, it’s a quite fast way for them to get some cash.

    Just mention the price so we know the actual number.

    Each region has different price, but for example, in Flores Bajawa, coffee cherry is worth Rp. 7.000-7.500/kg (2018’s price), meanwhile to get 1 kg of green bean coffee, you need approximately 6,2 kg of coffee cherry. In other words, the basic price of green bean may reach Rp. 46.500.

    From there, you need to add the fruit shrinkage, labor cost, production equipments, profits, etc. After that, middlemen will sell the coffee to exporter, to roasteries in Jakarta or other cities. In other places, such as in Toraja, middlemen will travel around the market and village to buy coffee from farmers as wet coffee parchment, the price is ranging from Rp 18.000-20.000/litre (2018’s price). The price is changing overtime, and it will be 3 to 4 times (depending on quality) to convert it into kilogram. The middlemen will proceed the process into “asalan” coffee (15% water content, 15% defect) or into grade 1 green bean coffee, according to order. We always think middleman as evil person who screws farmers’ life, in reality, that’s not the case.

    When the middlemen travel around from village to market, the transportation and the processing cost are on them. It’s a cost that will be added to the green bean selling price. The green bean price of Bajawa coffee varies from Rp 80.000- 85.000/kg, not including shipping fee. That will be the price for traders or roasteries. Not to mention other risks faced by traders during shipping, extreme weather or total loss. Most of the times, people never realize there are big efforts behind all the production process.

    I knew you as an expert in coffee processing.

    That’s not accurate.

    So what’s the title of your job?

    In the beginning, I knew an Australian coffee researcher who needed research assistant in 2010. Then, I, as an urban person came to the mountains and forests to live along with farmers to see and monitor the coffee production process there. Then, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) or any institutions who wants to conduct research in Indonesia are required to have local vendor, at that time, they use the service of Coffee and Cocoa Research Center in Jember, but you can also team up with ITB or IPB.

    They use my service as a research assistant in Enrekang, South Sulawesi. What we’re actually doing is buyer linkage, we organize the whole process from purchasing, post harvest processing, setting up areas, actually it’s the exact same thing like what I do now with Seeds, it’s just that I’m doing it in digital platform. Back then, we partnered with 2 Australian
    companies: one act as importer and another as end user. The term expert of coffee processing is a simplification, I’m just a research assistant. Basically, I had to stay with farmers for a few weeks and I had to monitor the whole production process from farm to the end product will meet the requirements of end customers.

    I heard the local farm productivity is relatively low, what’s the cause?

    If we’re talking about the production volume of the land per hectare, Indonesia is relatively low indeed. In Flores, they can produce 400-600 kg/hectare, meanwhile, the best one is in Gayo that can reach 800kg – 1 ton/hectare. Most Indonesian farmers grow rice, horticultural plants, coffee, clove, chocolate, etc

    Most of Indonesian farmers are not monoculture (the practice of growing a single crop at a time), because this concept is riskier, when the crop failure, they’ll have no income. There are some exceptions, such as Gayo farm is monoculture farm. Farming culture in Indonesia is quite different from other countries.

    Let’s take Enrekang farmers for example, they also plant some clove, cocoa, and horticultural plants to maintain their income. Most horticultural plants can be harvested within 2-3 months, meanwhile for plants such as coffee, chocolate, and clove, can only be harvested once a year. Why do we have such low production rate? Because, not all farmers are willing to give special treatment to their farms.

    Special farm treatment, what do you mean?

    Look, ideally, a hectare land should have 1.600 coffee trees with 1,5 x 1,5m space among them. Basically, coffee trees are stressed out during dry season, and during rainy season, they will absorb lots of nutrition. If you don’t regularly trim the tree, you’ll have new shoots and branches, with less fertilizer coffee trees wouldn’t be in good condition, we also need to maintain the tree height around 1,6 m. You also need to trim the weeds around the trees.

    In Flores and Toraja farms, the trees are too high, there are also other trees, such as bamboos that stand between coffee trees and the sunlight, it actually halt the photosynthesis process, and as a result, the yield wouldn’t be optimum. However, if you go to monoculture coffee farm in Gayo, they’re willing to give extra care, the height of the trees are all the same, around 1,6 m.

    How can Gayo has monoculture farm?

    The coffee farm above equator line can be harvested 2 times per year, usually in March and October, such in Gayo and North Sumatra coffee farm. On the other hand, the farm in East Indonesia can only have 1 harvest per year. In addition, farmers in Gayo and North Sumatra has larger ownership of the land.

    Why the price of Indonesian bean keeps increasing from year to year?

    For local market, it’s correct. Actually, from quite a long time, Indonesian coffee price is always above the global coffee price, because our basic price is already high, we can’t deny it. The global coffee price is around 97.75 cent/pound (Bloomberg)

    If the global price is low, why our local coffee price keeps escalating?

    Because of the local consumption keeps increasing. You can see for yourself, we have so many new coffee shops and roasters. Of course, the price will follow, now coffee is a trendy thing, it seems everyone’s doing coffee business. The escalating price has also caused some producers focus only to domestic market, because of its higher price, compared to the export.

    In one of coffee auction in South East Asia, the price for Indonesian coffee is around $10/kg, compared to other coffee which are ranging form $6-7. Therefore, now we have many coffee shops and roasters that prefer to use imported bean, like from Brazil or Ethiopia, because of the sufficient demand.

    The question would be, if the price keeps escalating, do the farmers have better life?

    It’s a bit difficult to talk about the issue, as livelihood has its own standards and I never conduct any research on that matter. However, I did a buyer linkage project in Sulawesi, what we actually see, is that their livelihood doesn’t get better. Farmers aren’t automatically get rich, because they don’t have too many products. So the conclusion is, of course, the farmers have positive impact because of the escalating price, but about getting rich, I don’t think so.

    Who enjoys the rise of Indonesian coffee price the most?

    According to a research I read, roasters are the one who enjoy the biggest margin. Of course, we have so many closed down coffee shops, and roastery business isn’t as easy as it seems. Many roasters aren’t conducting feasibility study. For example, how can you reach BEP when you buy roasting machine worth Rp 1,2 billion when you only roast 50 kg -100kg coffee per month? You need to calculate the depreciation and some other things.

    Why did you quit the green bean trading business?

    I want to focus in this digital technology. It will be crucial, because my dream is, from all the journey I had in the past, I’m looking for a way to give back to the farmers. If Seeds is growing according to plan, we’ll have feature to tip the farmer. So, when you love coffee from certain farmers, you can give them tip, directly, exactly like we have in Go-Jek or Grab. How many people are willing to give a tip? Based on our research, there are so many. The number may depend on those who want to give the tip, but we’ll have the 360 effect, farmers supply the bean to downstream, while downstream can give the money back to the farmers.

    President Jokowi seems to give special attention to coffee. Have you seen the realization?

    From the last time we met, I haven’t seen any implementations. It’s good to give some production equipments to farmers, as long as, they meet the farmers’ needs. Don’t give farmers roasting machines, I mean, what for?

    Does it actually happen?

    Many times, it happens for quite a while. Imagine, a group of farmers in 1.400 metres above mean sea level on the foot of Mount Latimojong, South Sulawesi received a roasting machine with 10 kg capacity, that’s huge! It happened in 2007-2008. Roasting has its own discipline, it’s not as simple as turning green bean into roasted bean. You know what happened? I saw lumps of jet black coffee bean laying down there, because actually, after roasting, the fan broke down, and they have the self-roasting process and the coffee beans were over roasted

    We need to re-evaluate the objective of giving such equipments, do they actually need them? Perhaps they need pulper machine or huller that can be connected to diesel machine. What’s the use of roasting machine for farmers when they’re having hard time to access electricity and gas?

    However, I still believe that we need to maintain the current production chain, from farmer, middleman, exporter, roastery, and café. When you think of a middleman, you’d think about a person who lend money to farmers with high interest rate, along with threatening bodyguards if the farmers failed to pay the loan. It’s an old narration that’s been around for a long time. However, from many farms I’ve visited, the reality isn’t like that, what often happens is the contrary.

    It’s a real story of a woman from Surabaya who wanted to trade commodities in Flores, perhaps because she was born and raised there. She also has courage and capital to do trading business. Then, she built warehouse, but it was abandoned soon after. The story was, a village with 50 farmers received down payment from the woman so they would sell their products to her. You know what happened next? After getting the payment, the farmers sold their products to other people because the lack of relationship. Then, what can the woman do? Did she bring any bodyguards? The bodyguards would also be member of the very same village.

    Smarter middlemen will go another route. For example, when the farmers need fertilizer, they would give them. Or when the farmers’ children went to school, you can give them the uniform, so they feel indebted. Without strong relationship, middleman may actually dies.

    So middleman isn’t necessarily evil?

    Middlemen play some important roles, they can help farmers, such as when they need some loan or other things, they are partners in some ways. If middlemen weren’t good to farmers, it would be difficult for them to get coffee from the farmers.

    From your story, coffee production in farm sounds very complicated. On the other hand, we have many coffee shops and roasters who claimed that they do direct trade. Is it actually that easy to do so?

    It is complicated. Look, direct trade is a gimmick that can raise the selling price, even though they don’t necessarily understand what they’re talking about. We have farmers who have production equipments, and farmers who don’t have one, the end result would be different. The products from farmers are not necessarily ready to use. When coffee shop or roaster requests farmer to process coffee with certain specification, are they willing to provide the necessary equipment? I don’t think so

    This recent trend is not without Problem. In reality, a sporadic growth of smallholder farms, along with a similar growth of cafes in the cities, has created uncoordinated coffee supply chains with inconsistent product quality and quantity. In the end, this situation backfires on farmers’ reputation, creating distrusts among actors and compromised coffee prices

    Coffee shop and roaster that demands certain green bean spec from farmer and producer is a common story, I wouldn’t mention any brands. We have some stories when the products are ready, the buyers cancelled their order. And then we have coffee shop which only buy 10 kgs, what should the farmers do with the rest of the products? Actually, what are you trying to save the farmers from? What happens is, you actually exploited farmers job.

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  • irvan helmi anomali
    30/09/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Staying True to Local Coffee

    There are not too many coffee shop brands that can be considered as catalyst for the development of Indonesia’s coffee industry. Some of them are Starbucks that came in 2002, One Fifteenth Coffee in 2012, and of course, Anomali Coffee in 2007. Far before the term “third wave coffee” was popularized in 2012, Anomali has become the pioneer to campaign for Indonesia’s specialty coffee. We met Irvan Helmi, one of Anomali Coffee’s founder to discuss about the development of Anomali Coffee as a group, the coffee market situation, to his perspective on coffee shop’s role which is irreplaceable by the invasion of ice coffee milk brands out there.

    When you started Anomali Coffee in 2007, how was the industry situation back then?

    At that time, we already have some cafes, but there hasn’t been one strong message about Indonesia coffee. Therefore, in 2007, we realized the potention, if we focus on it, it will be buzzing. We had many inspirations, from Starbucks, because without it, we can’t sell coffee… not can’t, but possible wouldn’t have been able to sell like now.

    Apart from it, we also have some local brands that started earlier, such as Casswell Coffee, or Bakoel Koffie. However, there’s no single brand that inspired us totally, because no one is doing what we wanted to do. We always want to curate local coffee, that’s why we came up with the idea of “Kopi Asli Indonesia”, right from the beginning.

    Which one was established first, the coffee shop or the roaster?

    The funny thing is, since our inception, we never claim ourselves as coffee shop or roaster, but our function is to curate coffee. Of course, we had the idea of starting roaster, but we’d never known whether we’ll be roasted bean supplier, or café owner. Everything’s just flow, and we had café, also the roastery. Our first outlet was located in Senopati Street no 35, but now it moved to Senopati 19, just across some few houses

    So, you didn’t have any specific business format back then?

    I wouldn’t say not specific. Look, we understand what we wanted, but we didn’t want to limit ourselves. If the term specific that you refer is to become, let say, a coffee shop, does that means we can’t be a roastery? Distributor or importer of coffee equipments? Selling ice coffee milk? Whichever routes we took, our mission is to be Indonesian coffee curator

    Starting business in 2007 when coffee wasn’t as popular as now, do you think it was the right moment, or is it premature?

    Right, because thanks God we grew so fast, we even reached BEP in less than a year. Actually, we were quite surprised, but that’s all I can say.

    That’s the best indicator! Clean and clear! Now let’s talk about the roastery, which market do you focus on?

    We supply to some big groups that we can’t mention. At the moment, our biggest income is still coming from cafes, not the roasted bean. However, if you refer to market segments, do we really have to pick one, let say A, B, or C segment? We never think like that, it’s way too complicated. We just want to stay true, when you want good coffee, there’s a certain price point, and whoever appreciate it (our coffee), you’re welcome. Because, when we aim for certain market segment, we limit ourselves.

    In term of products, what makes Anomali Coffee bean different than the other?

    You can’t think that way, I guess other roasters will be having difficult times to define it also. We never think Anomali bean needs to have certain character, what we see is the potentialities of each coffee bean. If some beans are better off with dark roast, that’s what we’ll do. Therefore, I cant answer your question.

    Lately, the local coffee bean is rising, both in popularity and the price, what’s the cause?

    Actually it’s not a sudden thing, but it has happened since the last 3-4 years. One of the causes is the local farmer’s productivity is not too high. Let’s say the world’s average coffee farm can produce 1 ton of green bean coffee from 1-hectare land, in Indonesia, the average is 500 kg.

    I’ll give you a simple analogy, before online ojek, a conventional ojek driver will charge you Rp 25.000, minimum, even for a short distance. Now, since the online apps, he has no problem to get Rp 12.000 for the same route, but in one day, he can get more orders, up to 20 orders. People often confused the tariffs and the total income. Clearly, they are 2 different things.

    Then, for coffee, if the price is going up, is it a good thing for farmers? Not necessarily, we need to check their income. If the price of 1 kg coffe is Rp 150.000 but the farmers only get 10% of it, are they happy? I don’t think so. Then what if it’s Rp 60.000 but they can get Rp 6-8 million per month? They’ll be happier. However, I have to admit our productivity is still low, that’s why the price keeps rising.

    Apart from that, the local and export market are fighting for local bean. In 2018, our export is having 38% decline, that’s huge. On the other hand, during the past 10 years, our local market grows to 248%, almost 2,5 time, that’s crazy.

    I heard the Brazillian bean cost less than local bean, let say from Aceh.

    Very far. For decent quality Arabica Aceh bean, Rp 85.000 (green bean) is considered as affordable, meanwhile you can have the Brazillian counterpart for Rp 36.000/kg.

    What’s the cause?

    I’ll ask you back, according to you, Brazil’s productivity is high or low?

    Well, it should be high.

    Correct. Brazil can produce 2 tons per hectare, which means 4 times more than Indonesia. We’re talking about Arabica bean here. Therefore, they can get lower selling price, and then, are the Brazillian farmers prosperous? They’re rich!

    Media friends, don’t limit yourself to writing solely about selling price. For example, coffee price should be high (for farmers to be prosperous), it means the journalist is lacking knowledge. What you need to see, is with Rp 36.000/kg, Brazillian farmers are rich, it’s all about the income.

    Okay, now for the last 12 years, what’s the biggest change in Anomali Coffee?

    The biggest one would be on the way we think as a group, it’s completely different than when we just had Anomali Coffee. Now we have other business entities, the first one is Anomali Coffee, and then we have PT. Kopi Asli Indonesia which acts as trader, import and distribution of coffee equipment, selling roasted bean to hotel, resto, café. The point is, we had some innovations and industrial activities in PT. Kopi Asli Indonesia. The third one, we also have Indonesia Coffee Academy, our coffee school brand. We also have other brand like Kopi Segede Gaban, if you’ve heard of it

    Then, how do you adapt to the market? What’s the impact of specialty coffee trend and ice coffee milk trend to Anomali?

    So far, not too much, it’s just now we have some sort of campaign that says that good coffee doesn’t have to be expensive, do you think it’s good or bad? For us, it’s very good, but coffee shops that sells their coffee over Rp 20.000, like Anomali whose average price is Rp 30.000, we must realize that customers demand for than just a cup of coffee.

    The simple question would be, why people come to coffee shops? Is it necessariy to drink coffee? Perhaps they just want to chat, hangout, work, or to hold meeting. There are so many social roles answered by a café, that’s what the customers are paying for, and that’s exactly what can’t ice coffee milk provide. If we realize (as coffee shop) that we have social functions in society, we’ll survive. But when you start to mock ice coffee milk as “cheap”, “not good”, they’ll suffer.

    In your opinion, is the use of “specialty” term still relevant? As we know, many coffee shops that claim themselves as specialty don’t necessarily serve specialty grade coffee.

    To me it will always be relevant no matter when. Saying our product is good while claiming others were bad, lying, is it only happening in coffee industry? Other products such as clothing, silk, even carpet are also having the same issue. Does saying negative things about Turkish carpet ruin its reputation completely? The key is in customers, we need to educate them so they’re able to tell difference between real and fake Turkish carpet. This kind of thing will always be there, don’t worry about it.

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  • Deep Look Crk Pastry
    19/09/2019 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Opportunity in Pastry & Bakery

    Every field in F&B industry has its own era, however, according to Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, at the moment pastry and bakery will give you bigger opportunity than any other F&B sectors. Of course, you might feel an opinion that’s coming from a Pastry Chef about his own field wouldn’t be too objective, but as the President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), of course Chef Rahmat have some facts that will strengthen his opinion.

    What’s your assessment about the latest situation in F&B industry?

    Now we already have so many players in F&B industry. Of course, my opinion needs to be supported with more valid data, but generally speaking, and from the development that happens in associations, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and chefs, at the moment the biggest growth happens in pastry and bakery industry.

    There are many big investors from contractors, interior designers, and businessmen who enter the food business. It’s just in hot kitchen field, there are things that’s a bit hard to modify. For example, Chinese restaurant’s format tend to be similar to each other, we haven’t seen anyone who can develop it into some sort of gift, like what often happen in pastry & bakery industry.

    Why did you say pastry & bakery is more prospective than the hot kitchen?

    The business can be developed in many more ways because it can be taken away, in other word, the chance for growth is bigger. As example, Roti O, it’s a very sexy business. They’re available in almost all airports, stations. The outlets might be small, but they have great number, spread across many regions. Although they only sell 1 kind of product, but it seems everyone’s carrying their products home, just like Beard Papa which sells choux. I haven’t seen anyone from airport who got home carrying, let say, Soto Lamongan? Satay?

    For pastry products, you don’t have to finish it in one go, you can break them into pieces, or you can keep them in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, for food like Lontong Cap Gomeh, you need to finish it in one seating.

    Pastry & bakery industry is quite interesting, we can measure everything, from traffic, packaging, even to the production process. We always measure how many products can be made out of a batch of dough, then we’ll know how much we’ll earn, everything can be monitored. We also work with recipe, meanwhile hot kitchen tend to rely on feeling, instinct. In pastry, the recipe will tell you exactly the duration of the mixing,, baking in oven, the required temperature.

    We’re talking about product characteristic just now, in the upstream, the number producers in pastry & bakery keeps increasing. Let’s take flour for example, we used to know Bogasari only, now we have man new players such as Sri Boga, Lumbung, Eastern Pearl Flour Mills, Pundi Kencana, and Bungasari. Not to mention manufacturers of other products, like chocolate and dairy product.

    How about the opportunity in hot kitchen?

    Hot kitchen field also has many opportunities, if you know how to present it. We need some groundbreaking ideas, let say nasi kuning in compartments and then vacuum packed. When you want to eat it, you just need to reheat it. The innovation may come from the packaging only.

    On the other hand, in pastry industry, every market segment, from children, teens, housewives love to post their pastry activities in social media. Making cupcakes, or decorating cakes is fun things to do, so we have more people interested in the industry. No wonder we have so many new players, be it offline or online. However, if we don’t direct this growth well, there will be saturated soon enough.

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  • Wiliam wongso
    19/09/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    The Neverending Quest to Promote Indonesian Cuisine

    Passion meets William Wongso, an energetic figure who tirelessly promotes our country’s cuisine in international level for many years now. He shares the story of his endeavors and how we can make our Indonesian cuisine greater than ever.

    Care to share some highlights from your recent travel in Indonesia?

    I was asked to participate as a jury for this epic rendang competition held in Padang. I’m quite curious with the technicalities since it involves teams from 33 provinces all over Indonesia! Not just that, the competition also involves local students and home cooks from West Sumatra as well.

    I was asked to participate as a jury for this epic rendang competition held in Padang. I’m quite curious with the technicalities since it involves teams from 33 provinces all over Indonesia! Not just that, the competition also involves local students and home cooks from West Sumatra as well.

    Despite the huge potential we have, why is Indonesian cuisine struggling to be known internationally?

    One of the most popular issues regarding Indonesian cuisine abroad is the availability of our restaurants. It’s in contrast when you’re comparing it with, for example, the plethora of Thai restaurants we can find in foreign countries. It takes years for them to finally be known and they’re now reaping the benefits. Thai cuisine took of internationally after the country had dedicated a lot of resources to introduce it abroad.

    However in our case, it’s riskier. What most likely to happen is if we’re not investing wholeheartedly in this kind of venture, then there’s a high chance that in 6 months the restaurants will close. Quite surprisingly however, the latest international hype is Vietnamese cuisine. A question arises next, how come they’re more successful than us while the government’s not specifically doing what the Thai did back then?

    How curious! What about it, Oom Will?

    Indonesia is a generally a peaceful country. There was never a huge conflict here that forced its people to migrate for safety abroad. Unlike Vietnam for example, a whole village may migrated abroad and communities then established in American cities. This created a steady demand for ingredients from their original country. That’s why their culinary culture are more developed and gradually accepted by the locals.

    As a comparison, we have over 130,000 Indonesians scattered in all over The States. Meanwhile, apart from other places in USA, there’s this whole 130,000 Vietnamese people currently living in San Jose alone, just an hour trip outside of San Francisco. A few years back, the city even had a Vietnamese vice mayor.

    The same case might happen again in future Germany. We might witness the rise of Syrian cuisine there since many refugees have been fleeing the war-torn country. This I remember 40 years ago when I first visited Germany. I had my share of street-style doner kebabs back then when it was only to cater Turkish workers. Now, Turkish fine dining restaurants can be found in many places in Germany and even as far as Vienna, Austria.

    What is the strategy you’d like to propose regarding this?

    We must realize that it’s not easy to inspire Westerners to cook Indonesian food on daily basis at home. It’s the same with us, we don’t cook Western food that often as well, right? So, we need to create a nuance within their own dishes by incorporating our flavors!

    For example, if we’re teaching them the recipe of soto ayam, they will think many times to actually cook it. But, how about if we teach the French to infuse soto ayam flavors into their pot-au-feu? It’s more applicable to them, right?

    Quite recently, I visited Namibia. I had this rare opportunity to cook with game meats there and our team grilled it the Indonesian way - by applying kecap manis and our style of marination. The locals were all raving about it and asked me where they can buy these. Unfortunately they can’t of course, since we don’t have a trade route there for our ingredients.

    Learning from these examples, we can actually create a huge economic value for our country by establishing an export route for our ingredients. This way, we can support our restaurants to creating authentic flavors and cementing our culture overseas.

    Surely we can still find similiar ingredients as a substitute abroad, right?

    I suspect that Thai and Vietnamese cuisines use the hybrid ingredients and the flavors taste different when compared with our authentic spices. That’s why the taste of our food affected as well. The export will help to fill this gap and also helps our restaurants to compete.

    For example, Indonesian dishes usually require extensive preparations and this will cost the business a lot in terms of time, manpower, and money. By providing them with authentic, processed ingredients, they may save up to 40% of their cost!

    Last question, where are you heading next for your food diplomacy events?

    I will be heading to South Korea this September for a cooking competition between our migrant workers there. Next in October, I will be heading to Budapest and cook for an event. We’re adopting the strategy that I have mentioned before by creating a dish like foie gras combined with rujak Aceh - instead of using the usual sauces. We will also cook roti jala with gulai, nasi minyak Batanghari, and for desserts – kue lumpur with banana filling and cendol sauce or the serabi gulung filled with jackfruits.

    Afterwards, I will be heading to Atlanta and support this event at WIN Indonesian Grill & Gastrobar, a brand new restaurant. Then, it’s Paris, Rome, South Korea again, and finally at the end of this year – a culinary tour in India.

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  • herman tan
    19/09/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    3 Lessons fromThe Iron Man Chef

    On August 10th 2019, Association of Culinary Professionals (ACP) Indonesia invited Chef Heman Tan as a speaker for an event called “Basic Cooking Chinese Cuisine” in Modena Experience Center, Jakarta. The chef taught the students about Chinese cooking, but more importantly, gave them motivation based on his own story. It’s a story of how a bullied young boy, smoked drugs, suffering dyslexia, half deaf, becomes a 4 books author, a famous chef, owner of Iron Supper Club, a triathlon athlete, and an award winning ceramist.

    Why people call me Iron Man Chef? Some people say that’s because Chef Heman loves to do ironman race. In this opportunity, I will tell you no! My Iron Man Chef means I came from a very difficult way. Today, you know me as the founder of Iron Supper Club, a professional chef, and a ceramic artist. How difficult it was before I reach today

    When I was young, about Primary 3 (age 8-9), I’m half deaf, which means when I’m talking to you, I can only use my right ear to talk to you. If you stand at my left side, I can’t hear you. I’m also a dyslexic, it was a terrible experience for me, because I can’t read.

    I was always being bullied and I dropped out from school because I can’t study properly. I still remember when I was in school, when I studied Chinese, because I didn’t know what to do, my teacher took an eraser, threw it at me and said, “Go die ah! If you can success, I will chop my head down!” So these are my early days of my childhood. And because of all this experience, people started to reject me, I felt helpless, nobody loves me, even my parents can’t accept me.

    At age 12 years old, I started to smoke drug. And because of it, I went to rehabilitation center. Over time, I tried to conquer my journey. One of the points that I want to share with you is, ask yourself, “do you believe in yourself ?”

    Believe in Yourself

    Do you believe in yourself? That you can make it right now, schooling, and another 20 years, can you make it? I want to share with you about the ironman race. In this race, you need to swim 3,9 km, cycle for 180 km, and run for 42 km. How long did it take for me from start to finish? The first time, I completed in 11 hours, after that, because of some injury I completed it in 15 hours.

    Why am I sharing you this example? In ironman race, if you don’t believe in yourself and train properly, you’ll never complete the race. Some people ask me, “is there any shortcuts?” I tell them, no shortcut, because I train everyday. Every morning, I do 10-18 km run, because if I don’t do that, I’ll never finish the race. Believe me, never!

    Your journey is the same, if you say you want to be Chef, an F&B Manager, if you don’t study hard and train properly, you will never be successful. So working hard is very important, so does working wise. And for the young chefs, understanding ingredients is very important.

    Know the Rule and Break it

    The second lessons I want to share with you is know the rule and break it. You’ve learned how to fry sunny side up egg properly, then one day your boss tell you, “I don’t want sunny side up, I want something beyond it.” What can you do? You need to break the rule.

    Do you know escargot? It’s one of my favorite dish. When I worked in a restaurant, my boss told me escargot is the restaurant’s signature, I can’t touch nor change it! However, this naughty boy here, change the escargot presentation.

    In traditional cooking, you take out the escargot’s shell, sautee with garlic and butter, put it back to its shell, go to oven, come out, before you serve to customer you flambe it. I do the other way, I told my boss, that I would bring the flambe outside of the kitchen and flambe it in front of the customers. My boss told me I can’t do that, it’s very dangerous!

    Did I break the rule? Of course, I know the basic but I break the rule. Breaking the rules allow you to be more creative. Whenever I present this dish in my restaurant in Singapore, everybody takes out their camera and post it on Instagram. Today, my boss is happily serving this dish in his restaurant.

    3 years later, because I love escargot so much, I started to ask myself, “can I do another version of escargot?” And this is the version that I do, it’s called “The Garden of Escargot” and it was awarded by Cuisine & Wine Asia Magazine. So again, knowing the rule and break the rule. Today, if you happen to visit Singapore, come to my restaurant and enjoy The Garden of Escargot. And because of my love to ceramic, I even designed and made the ceramic!

    Who knows about Chinese New Year dish called Pen Cai? We put so many ingredients together and we eat together in Chinese New Year. However, this dish requires around 10-12 people, sometimes it’s very difficult to find that many people. So, I created Pen Cai that can be enjoyed personally. I’m still holding my basic, but I broke the rule.

    Make Failure Your Friend

    The last one, is don’t be afraid, make failure your friend. I have failed many many times, even until today. But as journey goes on I tell myself, “I should not be afraid of failure!” Because when you start to afraid of failure, you will never be successful. Failure comes to you, every time. Who can tell me that he or she never failed before? You know why failure comes? Because it challenges you and it makes you a better person.

    Back when I was a young boy with dyslexia, because I couldn’t study properly, the only thing I think I can do, is to be a chef, to be a cook, so I go to a school in Singapore called Shatec. When I go to the school, the school rejected me because I wasn’t qualified to be in the school. I walked out and cried. You know why I cried? Because to me, it was my last chance, and the school rejected me.

    I remember clearly when I cried and walked out from the school, I told myself, “I’m not only want to be a chef, I want to be a very famous chef!” After that, I worked very very hard in my 20 years to be a chef. And thank God, now I’m a 4 books author, I have my own restaurant, I have my own TV channel. I want to share with you, live is never easy, just keep on working to pursue your dream.

    Michelin star has come around the world and one of the journalist asked me, “Chef, if today your restaurant is not a Michelin star restaurant, do you still pursue your dream?” I looked at him, and I told him, “yes! Because I love cooking!”

    How I can survive until today, is simply because I love to serve people. So ladies and gentleman, if you want to be a Chef, you must learn to serve people. If you don’t like to serve people, you can’t be in this industry. Because, our day to day work, we cook for people.

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  • Vincent Bourdin
    19/09/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    A New Affair of Pastry, Mixology,and Music

    During the 2019’s Indonesia Pastry Cup event in Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts (APCA) Indonesia, Alam Sutera on July 14th 2019, Vincent Bourdin was appointed as one of the judge for the national selection. We met the Founder and Director at APC-Productions Pte Ltd to dig deeper about Asian Pastry Cup (APC) and their next project, Asian Pastry Week, and his plan to inject some fun in the serious pastry business, involving pastry chefs, mixologysts, and DJs.

    Tell me about APC Production, is it part of Valrhona?

    No. APC-Productions Pte Ltd is my company, registered in Singapore, and this is a company which is here to promote pastry through organization of competition and events. So, it is an independent company from Valrhona. APC production is me, and Valrhona is Valrhona.

    How long has it been established?

    APC-Productions Pte Ltd is technically close to 10 years.

    Tell us about this Asian Pastry Week.

    We started first by the organization of Asian Pastry Cup, which is, of course, the qualification round for all the countries in Asia to go participate in World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France. From there, we move to accommodate other competitions, like C3 (Chef, Chocolate, Competition), which is chocolate plated dessert competition which APC Production is organizing and producing.

    Plus, last year we had Global Starchefs Pastry Show where I asked all the top gun chefs, like the winner of World Pastry Cup, or MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), sometimes both, like my friend Philippe Rigollot, to come and instead of just judging, they were there to do a magic show, with a lot of music and fun to do a big demonstration. So the chefs work together, sometimes do their own, to make about 2 hours show with lot of fun. We’’ll also have a new element which I bring in, it’s gonna be new next year. It’s a challenge where we bring together pastry chef, mixologist and DJ.

    Very interesting, I never heard of it!

    It’s a new concept because I think that today’s pastry is a very serious business. I’ve been in this business for 35 years, but we have to keep up to date. The very serious competition like we do for Asian Pastry Cup and C3, are competitions which take times, and sometimes the people wants to have more image and taste. So I combine this new way of communicating pastry with social media, fun and enthusiasm, with music, mixologist and pastry chef.

    So, the concept is, every team would have 10-12 minutes with everything ready made, except for the mixologist, of course. But pastry chefs would have their mise en place and put the elements together, mixologists have to do some cocktail and mocktail, and the DJ will make the ambience. Each team has 10 minutes to make maximum noise and a very spectacular service. 10 minutes only! It’s a show, and a challenge as well. But there are some judgments for the best pairing, best combination, and the best altogether combination among the three. So it’s the very first time in the world we combine these 3 elements together!

    When will we have the event?

    During the Asian Pastry Week, at Food Hotel Asia (FHA) in 3rd-6th March 2020, Singapore. Asian Pastry Week is happening within one specific hall in FHA. Of course FHA has their own competition, but now, we’ll take half of the hall, which is around 1.500m2, to do our own event.

    So, which nations will be there?

    The first competition is the Asian Pastry Cup, and there will be 12 countries in Asia including Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries. 12 nations will come for the very first 2 days at the Asian Pastry Cup, then the third day, we have this C3 for morning and at the afternoon, we’ll have cocktail, the pastry chef and music, closed with massive party. Then on the 4th day morning, because the show is closing in the afternoon, we do that Global Starchefs Pastry Show with 6 or 8 top gun chefs, that’s why we call it Star chefs.

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  • Darryl Loandy
    18/09/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Meticulous Barista

    Suburnya bisnis per-kopi-an di Pulau Bali membuka jalan bagi hadirnya sederet sosok muda berbakat seperti Darryl Loandy. Bukan hanya jago meracik kopi, barista andalan Bare Bottle Kuta tersebut juga mengeksplorasi khasanah bidangnya lebih jauh dan kini telah menciptakan brand jug (wadah tuang susu untuk latte art) nya sendiri. PASSION mendapat kesempatan untuk berbincang hangat sang pemuda sembari menikmati Iced Capuccino nikmat racikannya.

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  • 29/08/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Herb Guru

    Throughout his vibrant career in Ubud, Bali, Chef Arif has developed award-winning menus for health and wellness spas and holds weekly herbal medicine and cooking classes at the acclaimed Sayuri Healing Food Café, as well as headlining the prestigious Ubud Food Festival and Ubud Writer and Readers Festival to impart his incredible knowledge about ‘jamu’ concoction. Each year, he also returns to Java to tour several cities where he presents workshops and cooking classes for local people, encouraging them to use the healthy ingredients on their surroundings. PASSION get the chance to spoke with the man himself and discuss about lots of things; from kombucha, turmeric to misconception about ‘jamu’ he wish he could tell everyone.

    You were known as an award-winning raw food chef before establishing ‘Djamoekoe’. What inspired you then? And what are the biggest challenges that you have overcome so far?

    Well, I still hold monthly raw and vegan cooking classes at Sayuri restaurant, one of Bali’s most renowned healthy eating places, so I haven’t abandoned my love of cooking at all. I love creating food, and one of my business’ next steps is to introduce healthy snacks and small bites as product lines for my customers. We’re all really excited about it. Back when I was working in kitchens, my raw food was based on the same principles I brought to Djamoekoe – fresh local ingredients used to create modern dishes based on ancient Ayurvedic diet principles. So, the transition across to running Djamoekoe hasn’t been too difficult at all from a creative point of view. However, neither me or my business partner Mark had any idea what a hard journey it would be, to start a business from scratch with a small budget, limited resources and a niche product that hadn’t been market tested. There’s been quite a few tough times – and a few nasty arguments behind the scenes! But I’m sure most small business people would say the same.

    Luckily, we found the original jamu product quickly found an audience. It remains by far our best selling product despite us now stocking hundreds of great things in our store, and some of our customers today have been with us from the start. And, the challenges and problems are quickly forgotten because the experience has been such a wonderful adventure. We have so many happy customers, suppliers and resellers and some of them have become good friends, and so I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Through ‘Djamoekoe’, you gain a lot of enthusiasm from Western and abroad market. Was that always been the part of your plan? What about domestic market?

    My original plan for the business didn’t involve the Western market at all. I despair at the diets of most Indonesians, who eat almost nothing but instant noodle and fried food. My dream was to reintroduce Indonesians to the wealth of produce around them and to make healthier choices – and also to celebrate our nation’s culinary heritage. But it wasn’t a business model that could succeed, since brewing the jamu I do, which contains no sugar or flavors, requires the best quality ingredients and takes time, and I just couldn’t sell it for a price that most local people could afford. But the Western market loved it from the start, so I switched in my mind to having Westerners discover and celebrate Indonesian healthy eating traditions.

    But now, with the business healthy and grown, I’ve taken some family land in my home area of Java, and we’re beginning to plant crops as well as install some heavy equipment there to prepare for large scale production. This will cut down on costs without compromising quality and our goal is to have our products in supermarkets all over Java, where local people shop. So, my dream will come full circle after all.

    What is the most common misconception about ‘jamu’ that you wish to tell everyone?

    That one glass won’t change your life. Living in Bali, there’s a lot of people – locals and Westerners - who want a quick fix, and sadly, enough shady operators who cater to that at huge profit. Jamu is a great way to get healthier – but only if you drink it regularly, and make other healthy choices, not just drink jamu to make up for the pizza you ate last night. A good balanced diet starts with jamu but continues through the day with better choices. You can have something junky if you like, you don’t have to become obsessive about it, but choosing to regularly drink jamu rather than, say, Coca-Cola, is a good way to retrain your appetite towards healthier living. It’s all about balance, and consistency – hence our wide product range of teas and honeys and even organic cosmetics. One healthy drink isn’t going to make a difference to you if the rest of your diet is garbage. You have to start adding more good stuff, and phasing out the bad stuff as much as you can. We don’t make false promises at Djamoekoe. We’re just here for people who want to start making healthier choices.

    Can you explain about ‘kombucha’ in general, and what differs it from Indonesian traditional ‘jamu’ concoction?

    Jamu is a brewed drink, offering a range of benefits to different parts of the body, depending on the jamu you choose. Kombucha is a fermented beverage, based on tea, which means it’s full of very healthy probiotics that are great for your gut health. Kombucha rebalances your intestinal flora and this helps your health in so many ways – bad stomach and intestinal health is a silent killer, and kombucha is a great way to keep your system squeaky clean. Also, kombucha originates in China in ancient times and spread first to Russia and Japan. Today, it’s the big trend in healthy drinks in most countries around the world. We have twelve flavors, all brewed on the premises.

    Most of your ‘jamu’ concoction is made of turmeric as base ingredient. Could you elaborate more about it?

    Well turmeric is our business’ gold. We source the finest turmeric rhizomes and also sell the highest quality powdered gold turmeric as a grocery item. Turmeric is a key ingredient in several of our non-jamu products, including a couple of our teas, and our bestselling Kickstarter digestive aid. Though we have one Jamu, “Coco Loe” that is based on Aloe Vera, mint and coconut water and doesn’t contain any turmeric at all, all the other flavours do and I suppose that’s because of my traditional learning and also my understanding of just what a versatile and powerful ingredient turmeric is. If you travel to India, you won’t find a kitchen without turmeric. It’s similar in Indonesia. Turmeric and its many variants (turmeric, or curcuma, is part of the ginger family) are a world that any healthy chef would love to explore.

    What can we expect from Djamoekoe in the future? Any plan to open dedicated ‘Djamoekoe’ establishment anywhere soon?

    Shh! It’s a big secret. No seriously, there’s plenty in Djamoekoe’s future including our move into Java as I talked about already, but we are taking it step by step. Like all good things – including good food – it needs time to come together. Watch this space. But in the meantime, anybody is welcome to order from sending us an email or a Facebook message – we have customers all over the world.

    What did you usually do in your spare time?

    No small business owner has any real spare time (laugh). If I do have an hour or two, I love to spend time with my pet dogs, and working in my garden.

    Is there any kind of ‘jamu’ concoction that you would suggest people to drink daily? Please explain the benefit as well!

    A basic “Kunyit Asem” is a great general jamu, good for cooling down the body and reducing inflammation. It helps recovery from illness, and also prevents illness from developing in the body. And like I said, you do need to drink it daily – get into the habit. A small glass in the morning, or at lunch, every day, is the best way to consume jamu. Your body will thank you for it.

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  • 29/08/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Home of Pastry Geeks

    Malaysia shook the world when they won 2019’s World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France. In the best pastry competition in the world, Malaysia is able to defeat other favorite countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Japan. Behind Malaysia’s gold, we have Niklesh Sharma the founder of Academy of Pastry Arts (APCA) Malaysia, where the members of the Malaysia team works and learn from. Here’s a story about a man with a great vision: to spread the culture and passion of pastry throughout Asia.

    I heard from Jean Francois Arnaud (JFA) that you share the same vision, what’s your vision?

    Chef Arnaud is the finest Pastry Chef in the world. All other Pastry Chefs that come to my school always said, JFA is different. The way he thinks about pastry, he doesn’t think like a businessman, he thinks like a pastry chef, how to grow the pastry chefs, he’s all about teaching.

    We both have a vision that Asia’s (pastry industry) level should grow. And it can only grows when we have people who are much better than us, they come to us, we learn form them, practice the skill and then we give the knowledge to students. It’s a cycle that doesn’t stop.

    Our vision is very clear, to spread the culture of pastry, to as many Pastry Chefs in as many countries as you can, and to motivate the younger generations who want to became pastry chefs, work in the industry, or pastry entrepreneurs.

    I assume this is some sort of idealist project.

    Yes, because we’re all pastry chefs, we’re not businessmen.

    Does it contradict the business aspect of the school?

    Yeah, lot of times. If I operate the school like a businessman, then I try to cut cost in many place, but we don’t do that.

    For a competition people will see the chocolate and sugar display, right? But they don’t understand how much time the chefs have been practicing, how much time it needed for Chefs from Malaysia or anybody else to come to Indonesia to train them. It’s money, it’s cost, you don’t have to do that, but we know that we should, it’s the only way to grow up.

    We give some students one month free training in our headquarter in Malaysia, of course they have to pay for their own accommodation but the training is free. APCA Malaysia is the best pastry school, I’d say in Asia, and one of the top 5 pastry schools in the world. We want students to learn from the best pastry champions from the World Pastry Cup, these are costly things. Competition looks like easy, until you know how much money we have to fund them.

    Malaysia won the 2019’s World Pastry Cup, and the competitors are APCA’s instructors.

    The 3 chefs who were part of the team (Tan Wei Loon, Otto Tay, and Loi Ming Ai) are part of the academy, they’re my family. I know Tan very well, he’s the first Pastry Chef who work in APCA Malaysia from day one. And then Ming Ai, he’s my student, he graduated from APCA and work in China, came back and join the academy as Assistant Pastry Chef.

    APCA is not a 9 to 5 school. We open from 8 o’clock in the morning to 5,30,and after 6 o’clock, everybody practices until 9-11, because they all want to grow up. The place is pretty much open for anybody in the school to practice, in fact, we encourage them to practice. That’s the kind of culture we develop. It started in Malaysia, spread out to India, Philippines, and Indonesia. It’s kind of funny to see that we have people from our school represent each of their own country (for international competitions), but actually it’s a healthy, good thing, it means that we’re doing something correct, to be able to be the best in each of country.

    What makes APCA different to any other pastry schools?

    As I’ve said before, we’re not a 9 to 5 school, we have a strong, healthy learning culture that motivates each other. We’re also the only pastry school with the highest number of Master Chefs, be it chocolatiers, bakers, pastry chefs, sugar guys from all around the world. There’s no other schools in the world which invite so many chefs to teach. We conduct approximately 40 Master Classes per year, 25 of them are held in Malaysia, and the rest are in other countries.

    How do you get to know these guys and invite them to teach in your schools?

    Oh, they’re friends. They’re like family, you just have to call them. In fact, if we don’t call them, they’ll ask, ”why I’m not coming to Asia Pastry Forum?” or “how come you don’t invite me this time?” They help us to grow.

    You just opened APCA in Indonesia in January 2019. How is it so far?

    It will be fantastic school for Indonesia, I don’t think there will be any other pastry schools that will be able to touch it, as far as teaching standard and exposure is concerned. It will exactly follow Malaysia standard, it’s a same passion, vision, structure, motivation, everything’s the same, only the country is changing. It’s a beautiful stuff, it’s something you start in Malaysia and then people wondered, “how come the same culture can be spread to India, Phillipines, Indonesia?”

    How do you standardize it?

    We don’t, we just try to talk to each other. Every chef who joins here has to at least spend at least 1-2 months in Malaysia where they’re able to see the culture, behavior, and how the school operate. Although we have some schools, we are literally one, we’re interconnecting kind of thing.

    What’s your ultimate goal for APCA?

    There’s no ultimate goal, I’m just enjoying it as it is. I’m just happy to know something which I started 9 years ago, is able to win the heart of chefs like JFA and many other. The passion we share, our principles are able to replicate it into different countries. I guess, that’s the ultimate goal. We don’t need to have, let say, 50 schools in Asia.Trust me, this is the way it works. It’s not about how many schools you have. I always look at one school as one country, APCA Indonesia means development of Pastry Chefs in Indonesia.

    However, APCA Indonesia’s is not complete without the support of Mr. William Chuang (owner of PT. Freyabadi Indotama) and Louis Tanuhadi (APCA Indonesia’s Director), because I can’t open the school from Malaysia, someone has to be here. Just look at Louis, he might be 50 something years old, but the passion he has is similar to a kid, we need that kind of motivation.

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  • JFA
    29/08/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Sitting on Top of the World

    Whenever you mention the name “JFA” among Pastry Chefs, you’ll see amazement and respect on their face. Since getting his Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in 2000, Jean Francois Arnaud has travelled around the world to share his knowledge on pastry. Fortunately, he’s stationed in Malaysia, therefore, his figure is quite popular among Pastry Chefs in Asia. Here’s an interview with the Frenchman, referred as “the best Pastry Chef in the world” by Niklesh Sharma, founder of APCA (Academy of Pastry & Culinary Arts).

    How did you start your career?

    It’s a long story, I was born to a family of Pastry Chef, my grandfather is a Pastry Chef, and he taught pastry to my father. I started to learn pastry very young, whether it’s before school, after school, during holiday, I went to kitchen everyday. After all, we’re living in the pastry shop, so if you want to see your father, you need to go to kitchen. I lived in south part of France, close to Bordeaux. After that, I wanted to see what’s happening outside my hometown, so I worked outside and started to know competitions.

    Did you work at hotels?

    Most of Pastry Chefs in France started their career in pastry shops, after that you can move to hotels, ice cream business, or other pastry affiliated business. Pastry shop industry was developing fast, in small cities you can have 3-5 shops, meanwhile in big cities, you can see pastry shops every 200 m.

    Do you have special interest in pastry?

    It’s sugar for me. I really like sugar, it’s like the artistic part of pastry. I also love chocolate, but sugar is more colorful, shiny. My father used to go to Paris every year to see exhibitions, that’s when I started to be interested in competitions and aim for the highest competition. I won the title MOF in 2000, it was a lot of work.

    How did you get the title?

    MOF is a competition, the highest level of competition. You need start by entering the selection, that was held in 3-4 different places in France. Only around 20 competitors are selected that can go to the final. From 20, sometimes we only have 2-4 new MOFs, sometimes only 1. When I got the title in 2000, there were 4 of us.

    Wait, you got the MOF in first try? That’s quite something!

    Yes. Not so amazing, as I prepared it for a long time. I was already focused on MOF, I wait until I’m ready for the competition. My boss was also an MOF, he told me in 1995, “You need to go for the competition!” Back then, I said no, because I had to take care of the shop first. I prepared everything until I was ready in 1999.

    I think it’s important for people to enter a competition, it needs to be coming from themselves. You can’t push other people to go, it will take much longer. If someone wants to go for it, he will push himself and work harder, because it will take lots of efforts. Be it in Indonesia, Malaysia, or France, it’s all the same.

    Do you have any special preparation time for the MOF competition?

    From the moment you decide you want to enter the competition, everyday will be like a competition, every day! Because you already wanted to win, you need to prepare yourself. When I did my daily jobs, it’s like practice for the competition.There are 3 points in competition: the way you work, the taste, and the artistic part. If you have competition ahead, you need to think everything, from working clean, to be very creative.

    Among those 3 factors, which one is the most challenging?

    I think every chef has his own specialty that’s stronger than other, some are more artistic, some are better in taste. It’s about finding a balance of this 3 parts in every competition.

    What happened after you won the competition?

    After you get the title you need to share the knowledge, it’s part of the title’s responsibility. So, from this moment in 2001, I started to teach in Asia, from Malaysia and then move on to different countries around to teach classes, from 3 day classes, 1 week classes, and it continues until today.

    You work for companies or you have your own company?

     I have my own consultancy business, but I also work for other companies as part of my business.

    How did you get involved with APCA?

    I met the founder, Niklesh Sharma in 2013, not a long time ago. He was just opened APCA in Malaysia and I felt his philosophy is the same as mine. He wants to elevate the level of young people’s knowledge, with more focus on European, western pastry. After a lot of talking, my company decided to permanently join the academy, but I only do the concepting. I joined in 2014 and I see this guy and the teachers in APCA going up ever since, the way they work, enjoy themselves, until they won the World Pastry Cup.

    Malaysia managed to raise its competition level in relatively short years. What actually happen in those years?

    What happened is, these guys, Tan Wei Loon, Otto Tay, Loi Ming Ai were very passionate and focused for the competition, they just want to win, they practice, collect information, knowledge and everything, and then work, work, work until they win. They’re teachers in APCA in for 6-7 years, they prepared themselves and entered the competition 3 times from 2013. There are no other teams in World Pastry Cup that join the competition for 3 times with the same team member.

    What’s your role in the competition? Are you mentoring them?

    For me, I was one of them. I always work around them, from the beginning I work in this place. Everything they wanted to know, everything I could share, I’d gave it to them, from finding the ingredients, tasting, finding the right temperature to consume the product, and we’re always trying to get better.

    What’s the current trend in pastry industry?

    In Europe, there’s no really new things coming up, it’s still the classic choux pastry, éclair, however, if you compare this classics with the classics 10 years, 20 years ago, they’re different. There’s evolution in taste, the sweetness is different, we are going more natural, healthy, and we try to cut more calories.

    In Indonesia, the level of sweetness is similar to Europe, but if you go to China and Japan, we cut the sugar consumption much further. We also try to use as much natural ingredients as possible, from the selection of the ingredients and the coloring. Cutting calories has been very trending for the past 3-4 years.

    I’ve talked with Amaury Guichon, he predicted that one day, pastry will be a luxury product, do you agree?

    Yes it is, the problem is real. When you want to create something, you put more effort in researching the texture, the ingredients, the decoration and it is not cheap. In France, we have basic pastry and elevated pastry. We might have 1 or 2 pastry shops that are really high level, and then we have the classic pastry shop that serves products in bigger portion, less fine, but the taste is still very good. You can’t eat elevated pastry everyday, it would be too expensive.

    Even in Paris, the elevated pastry shops actually don’t make a lot of money, unless they develop other business around it, like opening cafes. In France, we have different business model than Asia. Here, you can have pastry shop and café in one place, but in France, pastry shop is pastry shop, where you buy the products, go home and enjoy them, there’s no café.

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  • Chef hendra malena
    29/08/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Pinnacle of Dedication

    Expertise comes from dedication and experience, and that’s what Chef Hendra Malena brings to Golfer’s Lounge & Terrace; the culinary facility of Bali National Golf Club (BNGC) Nusa Dua. With illustrious career that spans for almost three decades and counting, he is more than ready to take the mantle and make the culinary venue flourish through his finest renditions of International cuisine. PASSION gets a wonderful chance to spoke with the Chairman of ICA (Indonesia Chef Association) Bali Chapter about various interesting topics; from his routine, greatest achievement so far, to plan in the future. Peek into his mind through our interview below...

    Tell us about your daily routine, and what is a ‘perfect day’ according to you?

    My daily activity in the kitchen involves creating the menu. We try to make something special according to the guests request as well. Then we manage the kitchen properly; from food quality, belongings, ingredients, and we report the result of our operational to our General Manager. A ‘perfect day’ for me is when a big group (of guest) feels happy and satisfied with the great food. We often get large group of VVIP guest from government institution; including the President and Vice President.

    As a Chairman of ICA Bali Chapter, what would be your main responsibility, and do you have any vision about the island’s culinary scene in general?

    I have been a Chairman of ICA Bali Chapter since 2017 and will still be in this role until 2020. There are three things that have been instructed by (ICA) President to me: make good leadership, preserve the traditional culinary and transfer the knowledge to juniors. We have 7 regencies in Bali, and we also assigned ‘Pengurus Cabang’ or branch executive on each regencies with the duty to maintain the local food of Bali, give trainings about product knowledge, hygiene sanitation, and many more. We also do various form of events to maintain local food’s quality; one of it is called “Gemar Makan Ikan”, a seafood cooking competition held in collaboration with regional government. ICA sent some of our members to be judge on that event.

    As for the vision, we have internal rule to keep and improve the product knowledge, especially for the local food. My own personal vision would be making traditional local food with international presentation.

    As the Executive Chef of The MAJ & Nusa Dua, what do you wish to implement through your cooking creation?

    When I first came to work here in 2015, the menu is pretty basic, consisting mostly of Western food and golfer’s ‘fast food’ dishes. But the owner and General Manager didn’t really like it. So I discussed with them to create something fresh. I ended up adding Asian influence to the Western one, and also improve the presentation and taste into a semi fine-dining concept. After I did that, both the owner and GM are so satisfied and happy. I feel so happy as well because they later changed my status to ‘permanent staff’; I’m the first one to be a permanent staff amongst all the head of department on this establishment so far!

    What is ICA’s current activity? Any project that you would like to share?

    We are currently planning to create ‘Hari Chef Nasional’ or Indonesian National Chef Day. So, on 24th January every year, we will create a huge one-day event where all provinces in Indonesia gather and showcase their diverse culture in form of food creation. In Bali scale, we still support some of the island’s largest festival; namely Nusa Dua Fiesta, Denpasar Festival, Lovina Festival, Tanah Lot Festival and Ulun Danu Festival. On the upcoming 24th August, we will collaborate with a big surfing competition and commence our own food competition during the event. Then, on September, we are preparing to do something big on this year’s Nusa Dua Fiesta

    Name us some important traits that you think someone should have to be a successful professional chef?

    First and foremost, a good professional chef should have a deep understanding about the ‘food cost control’. This is so important, because if the food cost is too high, the GM of the establishment you are working on will be nervous. Secondly, the chef also needs to have the skill to maintain quality and standard presentation. Third, we as chef should be communicative to the guest during their dining session. Sometime, the guest might complain about the cooking, so we have to apology, make the new one and keep them happy.

    What is your greatest career achievement so far?

    Actually I got my greatest achievement in 27 years of career here (at Bali Golf National Club). As I mentioned before, when I first came here, the owner is not happy with the restaurant. Then he gives me a great challenge: Gain success in three months with my project, and he will give me bonus. Long story short, I got hefty amount of bonus. I’m very happy in that moment.

    Amazing! So what did you actually do in those three months?

    In that period, I took no DO (Day-Offs), no holiday, I work every day to renew the menus and maintain the presentation. For three months straight I do what all staffs do; walk like them, work with them, and in the same time teaching them to keep up with my standard. The biggest challenge is because it is not a pre-opening, this restaurant has been running for years before I came and try to reshape the whole menu.

    What are your hopes for the future?

    In the future, I want to open my own restaurant; with a semi fine-dining concept. Maybe in the next three years, we’ll see.

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  • Mandif
    28/08/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Marvelous Instigator

    After a successful attempt to introduce his original take of high-end culinary venue in the island of Bali through Teatro Gastroteque Seminyak, Mandif Warokka immediately expanded his wings by establishing his second standalone restaurant, Blanco par Mandif in rural Ubud. Now, aside from running two prestigious eateries, the Biak-born chef / entrepreneur is ready to impart his comprehensive knowledge to young, enthusiast cooks and help them fulfill their potential. Here’s some of his delightful story..

    Tell us about your childhood. Could you recall the first-ever dish that you cooked by yourself?

    I spent most of my childhood in Manado, North Sulawesi. As we all (Indonesian) know, Manado people loves two things: eat and shopping. I am amongst those who love to eat. Ever since I was a child, my mum always cooks at home, and I’m helping her out in the kitchen. In our family tradition, there has to be a lot of dishes on the table when its dinner time. The first ever dish that I cooked was Bubur Manado, because it is so easy; just mix the entire ingredient together!

    In-between your bustling career, you are known to successfully mentor several young talented chef for international championship; any memorable moment that you can share with our readers?

    Training the staff from zero until they become champion is something that both unforgettable and priceless. I trained them until they cry sometimes. There were also moments when we have to stay up all night long to get the best result. These kinds of things are really memorable for me.

    Tell us one thing that you wish you knew before starting a career as professional chef.

    At first, I thought being a chef is something simple; even easier than office work. But then after I plunged into the field, being the chef is complex. We are obliged to use all of our senses and really adept in the art of cooking; not to mention the management aspect.

    What’s the main difference between Teatro Gastroteque and Blanco par Mandif? What do you wish to convey through your culinary creations in latter establishment?

    The difference is apparent in those restaurants’ concept. Teatro tend to serve French dishes with Japanese touch; meanwhile Blanco par Mandif serves modern Indonesian cuisine.

    As local-born people, of course we understand more about Indonesia dishes than those who comes from abroad. Indonesian cooking is so vibrant with unique flavor which comes from many indigenous spices used as the ingredients. I really hope that Indonesian food can be the master in its own country and famous all over the world through modern style. Through Blanco par Mandif, I introduce Indonesian food with modern and unique way.

    As a successful professional chef, what is your vision for Indonesia’s F&B scene in general? Have you ever planning to become a full-fledge educator after you done your career in the kitchen?

    Indonesia culinary has to move towards a better form, like some other countries such as Thailand, Hong Kong or New Zealand. Nowadays, these countries have become the center of spotlight in international food scene.

    As for the plan to teach full-time, I am moving towards there; bot formally, but rather just sharing my knowledge and experience in culinary world through modern media; such as Youtube, or also speak on campuses. I am also preparing a culinary book aimed especially towards young trainee chefs who are still learning.

    Share with us a bit about ‘Ruang Tamu’. What inspires you to establish the artisan bar? And what’s your most favorite kind of cocktails? Share at least two

     I made Ruang Tamu with a concept of basic guest rooms on regular house. In Blanco par Mandif, before the guest arrived at the dining venue, they will walk pass the Ruang Tamu bar first. My favorite types of cocktail in Ruang Tamu are White Negroni and Mandif Gin Fizz.

    What is the most recent food trend that catches your attention; and which one that you would avoid?

    Food trend nowadays are not only selling the product, but the value and reason as well; such as ‘locally produced’ or ‘healthy food’ for example. I tend to avoid trend where foods are made without any message whatsoever.

    Last, handy piece of advice for enthusiast young chef out there?

    For all young chefs out there, or those who wish to have a career as chef, never stop learning!

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  • chef ragil
    28/08/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    An Origin Story

    Since established in 2016, Ragil Imam Wibowo is an identical figure to Nusa Gastronomy, a fine dining restaurant which pioneered the returning trend of Indonesian cuisine. However, what we don’t realize, is that he has created many restaurant brands that are close to us: from Sambal Tomat, Dixie, Mahi-Mahi, Warung Pasta, Segarra, Locarasa, and the latest one, Nusa’s “younger sister”, Spicy Geg. Here’s our interview about the origin, approach, to the philosophy of Chef Ragil’s in running his business.

    When did you start an affair with culinary world?

    Since I was a child, I just can’t stop eating, I eat 10 times a day. When I was 5-10, I acted as Executive Chef and order my maid to cook fried rice and insant noodle to my liking. So, I always wanted to have my own restaurant.

    Where did you go to college?

    I went to Balai Pendidikan dan Latihan Pariwisata (BPLP), Bandung, or commonly known as NHI (National Hotel Institute) majoring in Food Production. At the time, BPLP was the only place that focused in producing food, meanwhile, other tourism school would learn hotel industry in general, from managing rooms, front office, which I don’t really enjoy. Back then, we have new hotels every month in Jakarta. I chose to work in new hotels because I want to learn the system. I need to know the things I should prepare to set up my own restaurant.

    After that, I also worked in TGI Fridays in 93, located in Ascott, Jakarta, in warehouse department to learn about storing, purchasing, ordering, everything. This is the most crucial part for restaurant as people often cheat here, I don’t want to be fooled by my own staffs in the future. My career grew too fast, after working for 6 months, I was offered a Kitchen Manager position, a position which normally belongs to people over age 40’s, and I decided to quit.

    Too fast? Wasn’t it a good thing?

    Basically, when you grow too fast before maturing, you’ll fall just as fast. As I still wanted to learn about culinary, I moved to Grand Hyatt, Jakarta, and worked there since 96. My career also developed quite fast, I got 2 promotions within a year, this time I accept it, because I’m more comfortable as a chef. Everything went well until we had the 98’s riot, hotel industry was suffering. If we had around 1.000-1.500 guests per day in Grand Café (Grand Hyatt’s outlet), we could have no guest, at all.

    And then came the celebrity’s food stall trend. When I tried the foods, I thought, “the foods are messy, how come the place is so busy? I feel I can do much better!” Finally, I gathered 10 people and we collected Rp 10 million to start our own food stall called Sambal Tomat. Back then, regular food stalls would sell pecel lele, but we already served fried calamari, BBQ ribs, hainam rice. In the beginning we do the business in one of my friend’s house, behind Jalan Senopati, before we decided to move to Barito, in front of Hotel Mahakam. After a year, even though the place was quite busy, our profit is only Rp 1 million, perhaps the value is similar to Rp 10 million today.

    We got an offer to make our own café in Kafe Tenda Semanggi. I gathered 20 people and we collected Rp 40 million, but actually, we spent Rp 45 million to build a café called Dixie. Because of our unique building, we became the talk of the town. In merely 6 months, we reached BEP and had euphoria, very typical for youths.

    Did you still work at the hotel?

    Yes, since I opened Sambal Tomat to Dixie, my daily routine was working in Grand Hyatt form 7.00 in the morning, finished at 19.00-20.00, I stood by at the stall to 02.00 in the morning, go home to Pamulang, and on 04.30, I had to go to work again. I did that for 5 years. Actually, I just wanted to have 1 Dixie outlets in one city, but due to demands, finally we have 9 outlets, spread across to Yogyakarta. To focus in business, I decided to leave hotel industry in 2003.

    Then, we had the idea to build a beach club that could attract people in Jakarta. At that time, we moved our office to Jalan Antasari. With bigger place, we opened a seafood restaurant in 2004 called Mahi-Mahi, because back then, South Jakarta hadn’t have any proper seafood restaurant. We even brought sand to bring the experience of dining on a beach, until a representative from PT. Jaya Ancol came and said, “why bother playing sand here? You’d better set up a place in real beach.”

    After surveyed the Pantai Karnaval, Ancol, we noticed Jimbaran, a seafood restaurant that was established there. To avoid direct confrontation, we proposed the idea of a beach club that we had before. Ancol management’s people laughed at us, “who would come? It’s too fancy to have this kind of place in Ancol!” For the picture illustration, we put some Porsche and Ferrari.

    You’re talking about the story of Segarra Beach Club?

    Yes. Finally, Segarra was established in August 2007, we made a sunset party called Sunday’s that had massive success. We aimed to have 3.000 visitors, but actually, 6.500 people came. Of course, the people in Ancol management were happy, as the placed was never filled with hipsters before. Among the guests, some people came in Porsche and Ferrari, we took photos, and sent them to Mr. Budi Karya (the current Minister of Transportation), he was the Director of PT. Jaya Ancol back then.

    How about the origin story of Warung Pasta?

    I’ve been a fan of pasta since I was a child, but in Jakarta, there hasn’t been any pasta place that serve affordable, but proper pasta. After Dixie outlet in Kemang suffered loss for 5 years, we decided to close it down and open Warung Pasta in October 2006. The loss for 5 years is replaced by Warung Pasta for merely 1,5 years. Until today, Warung Pasta is my most profitable brand, because in addition to large number of outlets, it has high volume sales

    How do you handle such large number of business?

    Actually, in a glimpse it might look confusing, but if you have strong team, there would be no problem. The most important thing is to build a central kitchen to produce all the sauce, spice, and main ingredients.

    How about Nusa Gastronomy?

    In 2016, we were thinking to build an Indonesian restaurant with our own style. Initially, we held some pop up dinners under the name of Maharasa Indonesia that involved many figures, such as Chef Adzan Tri Budiman, Helianti Hilman (Javara), and Lisa Virgiano (Kaum). Basically, we were presenting rare Indonesian cuisines based on research. I recalled to hold the pop up dinner in Dia Lo Gue, Kemang, and Akili Museum in Kedoya. We held the event for 3 days, and some people are upset because they didn’t get a chance to attend it. From there, we were thinking of having a permanent place, that will become Nusa Gastronomy.

    What’s the idea behind it?

    I hosted TV shows and travelled Indonesia for quite a while. In each trip, I always go to traditional markets. I found many good, but forgotten ingredients, in a sense that, the supply is much bigger than the demand. The initial idea was to introduce those ingredients to the chefs in Jakarta. With such quality, why don’t we make something that’s 100% Indonesia? Because, honestly, getting ingredients from Aceh is much more difficult than getting the ones from France.

    Actually, the problem is, they don’t have networking. When I met people in traditional markets, I taught them to send goods to Jakarta. As long as they have bank accounts and profitable, they’d do it. It was difficult in the beginning, especially with the lack of trust, to overcome it, I paid for the goods cash, even before they arrived.

    I went to traditional markets and found some exotic ingredients that I don’t understand how to use them. When ask the people, there was always someone who joined the conversation and willing to teach me how to cook them, actually people in village are much more welcome. I learned so much about some nearly extinct recipes. Most of them are taught among families, the problem is, by default, Indonesians don’t like to write, so there was no documentation and they were ceased to exist.

    Wait, you can travel often and conduct researches, didn’t you involved in any operational aspects of your business?

    In the beginning I designed my business to be as professional as possible so it doesn’t rely on my presence, and it took time. I built system, going through staff changes until I pulled myself into production and research department. When you run restaurant business, basically you’re doing man business. You have to deal with employees and customers, and in reality, there’s very little problems in products. In my office, we have relatively no major drama because I prefer to employ staffs that I educate from zero. I rarely took someone who already know what they’re doing. I had many elementary school graduates, to street thugs, most of the times, they’re more loyal.

    Do you see Nusa as an idealistic project?

    Yes, there’s no other way. If not idealistic, Nusa will never take shape. That’s my philosophy. One thing that makes me sad, is when we’re talking about Indonesian food, people always say that the presentation is suck. It was a big reason for me to present Nusa as fine dining. I want to prove that Indonesian can be as good, but we need to redesign everything

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  • 28/08/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Bridging Generation Gap

    Born from a father who’s also a chef, has a long history of working in hotel industry abroad, returned to Indonesia to start his own business, also his own TV show, Chandra Yudasswara’s story might be a dream for those who work in F&B industry. You might know his figure from his TV program Chef’s Table, but this time, we’ll dig deeper about one of the most challenging things in restaurant business: adapting with the changes.

    Your father (Achmad Dien Solihin) is also a chef, how does the fact affects you?

    His influence is not about knowledge in food, because he always knows recipes will keep on evolving. It’s more to the philosophy, character, how to build good personality as a chef, how to handle staffs. Those kind of things are more important because basically, those who want to have career in the kitchen should have strong mental, good discipline, know how to earn trust, also to give trust to others.

    You worked abroad for quite a while, how do you compare the situation there with Indonesia?

    Yes, I worked for years in hotel industry abroad, the longest one was in Middle East, Dubai to be specific. However, nowadays chef’s life tends to be much softer because the knowledge in culinary industry is getting more accessible. We have many people who learn culinary from the Internet.

    Back then, when you want to learn a recipe, you have to be good to the Chef. There was no Google! You have to ask directly to the Chef, and then he might hand you a copy of the recipe, or he allowed you to take note, that’s all you have. If you weren’t being nice, don’t expect the Chef to share, you’ll end up peeling potatoes for the rest of your shift.

    How does it relate to the “softer life”?

    Because of the easier, wider access to the information, our bargaining power as a Chef is declining, am I right? I’m just being honest with you. Even, you might know something from the Internet that the Chef doesn’t know.

    Of course, we still have organizational structure, from Executive Chef, Sous Chef, Demi Chef, we still stick to it. However, like I said before, people are getting more spoiled because they think they can get anything, without working together with the Chef. Even though, there are lot of things that Google can’t teach, such as discipline, work ethics, experience, especially when you’re faced with problems, how to deal with the damage control. You can only learn from experienced people.

    As a Chef, what’s your specialization?

    Since I got into the industry in 97, I never stay in one department continuously, because basically, I’m a kepo (curious) person. Usually, I set target, I’d be learning pastry for a year, move on to bakery next year, then to Chinese food, etc. At the end, I knew all the basic. Not all Executive Chefs understand pastry, but I do. Perhaps not enough (mastery), but enough for me to execute the whole concept of a restaurant.

    Okay then, what’s your current interest?

    More to local flairs, because there’s still lot of things I haven’t known yet. For the last 15 years, I was more into western cuisine, so these days, I want to learn more about local food.

    Why did you decide to return to Indonesia?

    Because my initial target to work abroad is just 15 years, however, actually I spent almost 17 years. Finally I decided to stop and start my own thing. In 2010, me and my friends started Kampus in Menara BridgingGeneration GapThroughout his career, Chandra Yudasswara lives between 2 completely generations, and he has to deal with the “softer” millennials.Word: FX FellyPhoto: Edwin, and then I opened Negev, Bacco, Domicile in Surabaya, and 6 Portable outlets throughout Indonesia. Currently, I’m collaborating with Camden group to create a new concept.

    On my observation, all of the restaurants serve western food.

    Yes, but I’ve injected a lot of local flairs.

    People knew you from TV show, Chef’s Table. Tell us a bit about it.

    The owner of Net TV dined in my restaurant. We got to know each other and he asked me to make a culinary TV program, finally we started Chef’s Table in 2014, and we had so many episodes. Our initial objective was to make something that people never see before, we wanted to created fine dining cuisines with ingredients that are hard to get, and people can only watch, but can’t copy. Along the way, people complained and they asked us to make simpler food. We’re always open for those kind of feedbacks.

    From hundreds of episodes, are there any memorable ones?

    There are lot of memorable moments, as the program progressed, making some adjustments and changes from our initial concept, but the chance to meet new people, that’s the most important thing for me.

    Talking about fine dining, now people are more into casual dining, do you agree?

    Sure, because the customers are dominated by generation Y (millennials). Their priority is living in comfort zone, and they’re willing to do extra effort to achieve it. If the 3 basic needs were clothing, food, shelter, now’s different. Millennials are prioritizing to buy more (Internet) quota, having coffee in coffee shops, dine out, travelling, but most of them don’t have houses, they prefer renting, as long as they can enjoy life.

    It should be good for you and F&B industry, shouldn’t it?

    Of course, but still, millennials are a market segment with entry level buying power. In number, their salary’s ranging from Rp 3,5 - 6 million, but they want to have fun every week, be it to malls, cafes. Imagine, someone with Rp 4 million salary may spend more than Rp 2 million just for F&B consumption, but of course they are quite calculative.

    If you target older generation, one of the benefits is they’re clearly have higher buying power. Usually, they have settled down, have everything on their hand, and they’re willing to pay extra. At the moment, restaurants can be divided into 3 categories: high, medium, and low..

    Which one is your target?

    Medium. High end market is dominated with mature people over 35, meanwhile, millennials in their early 20, even though they have lower buying power, they have higher dine out frequency, am I right? Do you realize, older generation will go to a fancy place, and become a regular there, however, with lower dining frequency. There will be an era where the millennial will level up.

    Your challenge would be to serve quality dish, but still affordable?

    Yes, we need to calculate. All of my restaurants are medium class, not a single fine dining, because I don’t see the market. If you look at this place (Portable Grill & Shabu, Gading Serpong) from outside, you’d assume it would be expensive, but actually, our food starts from Rp 35.000 and above. I have to admit, this outlet is quite challenging, even the sales here is lower than Portable in Samarinda. Because even though it’s small city, our target audience is a city, meanwhile Gading Serpong acts more like a satellite town.

    I heard your dream was to be a restaurateur, how many % have you achieve it?

    Let’s say 60%. I always wanted to make a consistent concept, that’s open for everyone, for all segments...

    You mean, like fast food chain?

    No, actually it’s segmented. I want something bigger than that, if possible something that’s similar to warteg, so I can have 100-200 outlets, more to volume.

    Interesting, most people would aim for higher market?

    That’s the big cake, it’s irreplaceable.

    From numerous Chef’s tasks, which one is the most challenging?

    Dealing with staffs, it happens not only Indonesia, but all over the world. For the past 2 years, we have too many new restaurants, so the employees think they can get new job in other place immediately. As a result, they tend not to take things seriously in their jobs, whenever they dislike one thing, they will leave rightaway.

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  • Stefu
    28/08/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Stefu Saga

    Chances are, if you’re working in F&B industry, you’d have known the man, Stefu Santoso, Executive Chef of Aprez Catering, also the President of Association of Culinary Professionals (ACP). In the midst of his bustle to prepare 2019’s Salon Culinaire, Chef Stefu spared a moment to talk about the beginning of his career, his journey for almost 20 years with his mentor, Gilles Marx, the hype of Indonesian cuisine, and his activities with ACP.

    Your career in this culinary industry, is it your dream, or did it happen accidentally?

    It would say it’s a coincidence. When I was in high school, my parents’ economy wasn’t so good to fund “normal” college, I mean in Management or Accounting Faculty, because that was what my friends chose. Finally, my uncle suggested me to take tourism, because the study didn’t take too long, only 2-3 years and I could work straightaway. I went to Pusat Pengembangan Pariwisata Atma Jaya.

    From there, I went to Singapore for training for 6 months, and I worked for the first time in a coffee shop in Menara Peninsula, I remembered it was in 98, when the riot happened. After that, I moved to Park Lane and met Gilles Marx (Chef Founder Amuz) in 2000 and worked there for approximately 10 years.

    At the time I started as Commis 1 in Riva (Park Lane’s fine dining outlet). I was surprised because the service in fine dining was completely different from my experience of working in coffee shop. In coffee shop, whenever we got an order, I tried to prepare it as fast as possible, meanwhile in fine dining, you can’t do that as the food was sent course by course, and it was all managed by the chef at the frontline

    in addition, there were so much ingredients that I didn’t understand, from vast array of cheese, beef, various fish, foei gras, truffle, they were all new for me. Finally, I became an Executive Chef in Park Lane until 2010 Gilles opened Amuz and asked me to join, around 1 year after it opened.

    What is it between you and Gilles? You’ve worked together for almost 20 years!

    Nothing, really. But I was fortunate to be able to work in Park Lane and met Gilles who became my mentor, also my boss, he thought me lot of things about fine dining, and other stuffs, not just about cooking. In addition, Gilles is not a typically fussy person, except when he talked about product, as it closely related to his image to the guests.

    Are you the type of person who tends to follow certain figure than the company?

    Whenever I moved, I look at those two things, with whom I work with, and how’s the company. If you just look at the figure while the company wasn’t so good, you’ll have problems, because we need continuity, in term of salary.

    What’s your most memorable moment with Gilles?

    Once, I helped Gilles to prepare set menu for HAPA (Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards Award, where he won an award. Each chef had to prepare 1 signature dish. Because it was in Malaysia, and he was only allowed to bring 1 staff to help him, Gilles designed the menu as simple as possible. Preparing set menu for 600 people wasn’t an a walk in the park.

    The problem is, the kitchen was actually a certified halal kitchen, meanwhile Gilles prepared steak that use red wine. Gilles only had me to prepare everything, from mashed potato, vegetables, and the beef. We had to communicate with the local chef to prepare the ingredients, because we only came 1 day before the event. We also had to ensure that the food was delivered according to our standard. 

    We had many fine dining restaurants closed down, is this the end of fine dining era?

    The survivability of a restaurant is determined by many factors. Actually, restaurant is a bit complicated business, you can’t just start something, and after it was running, you can leave. You have to focus to monitor because the business is tightly related to service, product, and human resource. You can’t just make something delicious and you’ll have success, there are other things, such as management, interpersonal communication, etc. Most restaurants fell because those things.

    Of course, each restaurant has its own target market. Fine dining is required for those who demand high quality food to entertain international guests or VIPs. However, the hype is on places that serve Indonesian food, whatever the format: fine dining, bistro, café, or simple restaurants. Be it Manado, Makassar, to Padang restaurant that actually has been established since 1973, but it’s just happening nowadays.

    Is there anybody who designs such trend?

    Food trend is like a wheel, it will roll down and get back up again. There were times when western food was king, then we moved to Chinese food, coincidentally, now it’s time for Indonesian food. The trend is actually difficult to predict, once we had people predicting molecular gastronomy and sous vide cooking will be trending, but in reality, they weren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

    The success of local food is also helped by social media, which expose anything that’s related to local culinary. Perhaps our economy situation isn’t so good, so travelling abroad isn’t as accessible as it was, and what happened is, we turn our head to local food, and we found that we have great resources. We started to feel proud of our local food and the foreigners came to have a taste of Indonesian cuisine.

    Not just local food, but also for unique local ingredients. For example, Kaum popularizes pepper from Bangka, jamur Plawan, and then we have Chef Ragil who exposes local scallop. People also start exposing food from other regions such as Toraja, Papua, Sulawesi, Makassar.

    From restaurant owners perspective, the hype of Indonesian also caused by the availability and affordability of the ingredients. We had one Indonesian fine dining restaurant that serves carp, grilled chicken, and long satay.

    Which means low cost, big margin?

    Yes, they never have to worry about supply. Meanwhile, restaurants that serve western food often worry, can they have their imported cheese or ham this month?

    I heard Aprez now has become the group’s (PT. API Metra Boga) breadwinner?

    Not necessarily. The core of the group’s business is till Amuz Gourmet, it’s just when Amuz grew fast, we created Aprez to support, not to compete each other. Once, we had Amuz Gourmet with its French style serves Kambing Guling and Nasi Goreng. The customers are confused, to avoid such thing, we made different brand. There were times when Aprez’s revenue is much bigger than Amuz, vice versa.

    Now let’s talk about your role as President of ACP. Before becoming a President, you were a Vice President right? When Vindex Tengker was the President?

    Yes. It’s my third period as President of ACP. It looks like I was a Vice President to Vindex in 2011. People might see me closely related to ACP, but in reality we have people who stay in ACP much longer than me.

    In reality, what is ACP’s main goal?

    ACP was built by Mrs. Suryatini N. Gani and his wife who lived in Germany. When she returned to Indonesia, she was concerned on chef profession, she didn’t want the profession to be called merely as cook. In general, our goal is to help promote Indonesian culinary and raise chefs’ living standard. In order to achieve that, there are many ways, at this moment, our focus is holding education programs through workshops that target SMK students.

    Why education and why SMK students?

    Me and Mr. Vindex once judged a competition in a SMK, and we thought, “how come they only make western food?” Later, we found out that the curriculum refer to western cooking. Then, how about local cuisines? Indonesian chefs should master Indonesian cuisine first.

    Of course, it’s difficult, because changing a curriculum is not an easy task, finally we decided to hold education workshops because we found out, they have very limited knowledge. Majority of the SMK teachers don’t come from industry, therefore we often invite my chef friends over from Singapore, Thailand, to teach the meaning of becoming a chef, how to be a good chef, food science. We’re more focused to explain where the products came from, the ingredients, the production process, instead of teaching some recipes.

    We also do some charity activity on Palu’s earthquake. We made rice box for 6.000 people for 2 days with only 12 people. We made an emergency kitchen working together with local women.

    Then, why SMK? Because it’s the root, junior high school wouldn’t be thinking about major yet. When you’re in college, education tends to be harder as they’ve been influenced by lot of things, we didn’t know how far they understand something.

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  • 23/08/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Last Supper

    July14th 2019 was a gloomy Sunday for culinary fans, it was the last day for Emilie French Restaurant, one of the best French restaurants in Indonesia. We, and many people in the industry were surprised by the sudden decision. Moreover, it’s peer French fine dining restaurant, Cassis, also closed down on June 1st 2019. Is this the end of French fine dining era in Jakarta?

    Before closing down, we met Wahjudi Rahardja, aka Yen, the owner of Emilie, to discuss about Emilie’s story, from the beginning until he came to a decision to close it own. Once in a while, his disappointment shows, but not a single regret, as he always stands for what he believes. When other restaurants prefer to serve the more popular menus for its sustainability (such as Nasi Goreng?) Emilie opted for other approaches that are in line with its identity as French restaurant. This is our last tribute to Emilie! It’s a classic battle between idealism VS pragmatism, and for Yen, it’s a fight well fought!

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  • 23/08/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Adventurous Cook

    Enerjik, dinamis dan dikaruniai segudang talenta, Aldi Alditsa bukanlah sekedar juru masak biasa. Sukses memegang kendali dapur di Habitat Ubud, pemuda kelahiran Jogjakarta tersebut langsung melebarkan sayap dan menjabat sebagai Head Chef di UNION Ubud. Menangani dua restoran sekaligus rupanya menjadi sebuah tantangan yang sangat dinikmati prosesnya oleh Chef Aldi, dan ia masih memiliki waktu luang untuk melakukan beragam hobi yang memacu adrenalin, termasuk otomotif. Seperti apa perbincangan PASSION dengan Chef Aldi? Mari simak berikut ini!

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  • 22/08/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    The Many Talents of Santhi Serad

    So, I heard you have quite a colorful background story in the food industry. Care to tell us a bit about how you started it?

    What I wanted most since the beginning was to study food science technology, however it was not well-known back then here. The closest thing that I can get was to enroll as a student of Animal Husbandry at Universitas Diponegoro, concentrating in animal nutritions. That was surprising, right?

    It was later when I finally got the chance to study food science technology for my master degree at Curtin University, Australia. My thesis was about tempeh and much to my surprise, they have a complete collection of literatures about it. My lecturer even motivated me to pursue the topic. Now as we can all see, tempeh is the food of future and vegans are really into it!

    What happens after you graduated?

    Believe it or not, I was working for the confectionery giant Yupi. With over 3,000 employees that time, they’re exporting to as far as Japan and Brazil. I was part of their R&D and QA team. I did researches about flavors and the textures of confectionaries, and even experimenting new creations. I thought to myself after eight years working there, it would be nice to start my own business and taking it easy a bit. Finally I resigned, but not long, I found myself even busier than before! [laughing].

    Why don’t you tell us about Bumi Herbal?

    So one day, together with my business partner, Ilham Habibie, we had this vision to build a conservatory of herbs and spices from Sabang to Merauke. As we all know, Indonesia’s biodiversity is among the richest, only second after Brazil. Bumi Herbal was then founded on the highlands of Bandung. 

    We wanted it to be a place of learning, where younger generations could relate and understand the very essence that makes their country special – its spices and herbs. Of course, food is automatically related to these aspects. Other than that, we also supply our ingredients for restaurants.

    How curious! Surely there’s a root for all of these, right?

    So when I was little, my mother and my grandma were the ones who introduced me about jamu (Indonesian herbal potions), tea time, and many other things. My father, on the other hand, he’s an accomplished chemist who used to work at Institut Teknologi Bandung. What they do in life was so inspirational and piqued my interest on food.Also, my parents always took the whole family to try out traditional food during our travels. My mom used to take me to wet markets and I was amazed by the whole dynamic there, especially when we visited the butchers. My dad even make his own tempeh. At home, I try to always help them in the kitchen. While I may not be a chef, seems that I have always been a foodie all my life.

    Tell us a bit also about your latest venture, Ramurasa.

    Ramurasa is a cooking studio for everyone who wants to learn about Indonesian cuisine in particular. Here, I try to be comprehensive with my teaching methods. Firstly, I show the students what to know about the ingredients and present the completed dish. With that in mind, we’re then showing the cooking process from A-Z. In the closing session, we will run a test to ensure that they have understood the whole process. They are to select their own ingredients, measure them, and cook the dish using their own pots and pans.

    But it’s not just about cooking, Ramurasa has its own food writing and food illustration classes. In the food writing class for example, we are taking out everyone to visit a wet market and once back here, they are tasked to write about the experience.

    By the way, congratulations for your book. What an accomplishment!

    Leaf It to Tea was originally intended as a gift for my parents anniversary. Afterhours, the publisher, saw its potential and challenged me to finish it before Frankfurt Book Fair. I accepted the challenge even though I didn’t have any background as a writer at all. I immediately enrolled myself at Balai Pustaka School of Writing and finally I was able to finish the book. Imagine how happy I was when my book got the second place in the tea category of Gourmand Awards 2019!

    Lastly, tell us about your other contributions for Indonesian food.

    Six years ago, us culinary enthusiasts with William Wongso started ACMI (Aku Cinta Masakan Indonesia). It quickly became a melting pot to explore more about Indonesian food. We have put a lot of interest as well to support SMK’s students (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan/vocational high school) to pursue their passion in food. For example one time, we brought the students for Indonesian food promotions in Doha, Qatar. It’s good to see them cooking firsthand at a full-fledged kitchen there.

    Recently, as part of the government’s program, I was asked to tutor SMK teachers from all over the country next year. During which, I will be traveling to identify their needs first and create an appropriate curriculum. This is a huge undertaking, but I’m very excited to do this. It brings me such joy to introduce and teach about Indonesian food to everyone that I meet.

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  • 22/08/2019 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Marketing New Business

    In previous issue, Chef Rahmat Kusnedi claimed that one of the most scary thing about those who want to start a new business is the marketing. We decided to discuss it further, especially for bakery industry that has always been Chef Rahmat’s real.

    What are the most the most important things when we start a new business?

    Whatever F&B outlet, what you really need is relationship as it plays important role for your future. Without it, you can also make promotion materials in billboards, standing banners, etc, but it wouldn’t be as effective to support the sales. 

    You need to have relationships with friends, families, governments, private companies, anything. Whatever nature of your business, be it B2B or B2C, relationship is crucial. Of course, we have some people who are too confident, with lots of relationship in the beginning, they felt it was enough, however, relationships should be maintained.

    Again, what’s your business concept? Owner should understand his target market: whether it’s the low, middle, or upper class? Many people make mistakes in opening, the products they sell is low end, but they invite the mid and hi end segment, vice versa. Sometimes, owner tend to be jealous of competitors’ success, he often ignore their struggle. And then, do you have any experience in this business? Experience and relationship are the key in starting a new business.

    in addition, to boost your growth, one of the focused departments should be the sales & marketing. Do not hesitate to employ many staffs in this department, because as time goes by, the number of staffs will decrease. Sales & marketing are the frontliners for sales in the beginning.

    It seems people often obey it, they think when they open an outlet, customers will automatically come.

    Yes, most are waiting for customers, however it should be reversed. Please note, in bakery industry, what we’re selling is products with short shelf life. If the products aren’t sold today, what are you going to do? You can’t wait for tomorrow or the day after it, you need to make decision. Of course we have some products that can be stored in freezer, but if it takes too long, it will affect the quality.

    When you say sales & marketing is the frontline, is there any estimation for the ideal budgeting in this department?

    In general, for established companies, most will allocate 20% from their net profit, not from revenue. Meanwhile for new companies, they usually put 10-20% of their revenue. Let say I opened a new bakery factory with Rp 1M target revenue, I will allocate Rp 200 million for marketing campaign, from making posters, giving vouchers, social media campaign, etc.

    Some bakeries have a policy to give discount in certain hours, how do you see it?

    It can be good, but it can backfire also. It will be good when the daily customers are different people, it’s easier for your products to get viral among them. However, if it’s the same people, they tend to wait for the discount hours as they already familiar with the products. Of course your staffs can tell whether it’s the new customers or the old ones. Bakery and cake shop need to have innovation, for example by putting fish bowl for customer’s name cards so you’ll have database.

    Along the way, you need to do menu engineering and evaluation. A bakery has many line of products: slice cake, bread, cookies, viennoiserie. What sort of products are the best sellers? You need to categorize it into products with high  sales, medium, to low, and you need to develop the next products based on the data.

    in hotels, unsold products for the day can be displayed in the buffet for the next day. For cake shop, in addition to discount, resizing is a sound idea. I mean, a whole cake that’s sliced will sell faster. It’s a much safer way to manage waste as it doesn’t degrade the quality of the products.

    Thank you, now we know how to pick the freshest cake in bakeries!

    Definitely, whole cake is fresher most of the times. However, it doesn’t mean slice cakes aren’t as fresh, some fast moving bakeries will try to serve the freshest products.

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  • 31/07/2019 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Startup Syndrome

    Chances are, if you’re living in Jakarta, you’ve already installed one of the 2 major digital payment apps, Gopay and OVO, if not more. Judging from the ridiculous amount of promotion available, you’d be a fool not to use any one of those apps. While the apps provide platform for new startups, Chef Rahmat Kusnedi always warn us about the risk ahead.

    How do you see the new startups phenomenon because of digital payment platform?

    Startup is definitely a tempting business because it was supported by a very accessible facility. Thanks o the digital payment apps, to start a business, you just need to register, become a member, and then you can reach your customers. Even my children can easily order food online.

    It can be both positive and negative beginning. The positive aspect, of course it encourages people to gather courage to open their own business, because one of the scariest thing is the marketing. Let say your wife is very good at making pastel, but the product is only popular within the neighborhood, and you’d be wondering where to sell the products. If you want offline store, there’s no guarantee that people will come. At the end, those with great potentials are selling the products merely by order. With digital payment apps, if you can make good products, you can register at GrabFood or Go-Food, then you can manage lot of things to accelerate your growth.

    How about the negatives?

    Our culture tend to accustomed toward trying new stuffs, and it becomes saturated very quickly. On the other hand, for government, it’s a loss opportunity since we haven’t make any regulations for online transaction. Imagine if you can sell 2.000 pastels per day with Rp 10 million per day, you can make Rp 300 million a month, meanwhile the other established pastel brand which was registered as corporation and give tax contribution might have less income because of the new players.

    Are there any attempts from the government to regulate these online transactions?

    Let alone online tax, for the tax of informal restaurants, such as warteg, hasn’t been properly regulated. If you know, a famous simple meatball joint might have more income than your average Padang restaurants.Another thing to look out for, is that the online market is filled promotions that are very spoiling for customers. As a result, we have many startups who are willing to invest much, from renting new places or making production kitchen. Without you realize it, people who did the same thing is not just 1-2, but thousands. Imagine if the industry reach its saturated point, or when the trend suddenly change, what will you do with those investments?

    Or perhaps the companies will pull out the promotion, like what happened in airline industry?

    Correct. Therefore, the transactions in digital payment apps haven’t been taxed. Even though in terms of cashflow they’re still bleeding, Gojek’s valuation has reached Rp 75 trillions, amazing! But you also need to know, behind all of that, how much money they burned to subsidize. For big investors, it’s as if the battle of capital, it’s an unfortunate thing for the smaller player.

    After the apps become so big, they have many users, and customers have been addicted, it’s very likely they will take out the promotion, we can even have paid listing. As a result, the online price will escalate, because in the end, people need to pay tax, will the customers stay loyal? These apps are hype nowadays after last year we had the celebrity cake trend, somehow, these kinds of things don’t last long.

    So, how do we anticipate it as entrepreneurs?

    Don’t be too spoiled with the wonder of apps, however, you need to put conventional business into consideration. Conventional business has physical showroom, you’d better make this sort of investment to strengthen the brand, except for the service based business. We have many things to set, from regulation, law enforcement, we need to have clear rules.

    Basically, all businesses that rise very quickly, will have swift downfall. We already have many examples for this. Business that’s build with proper calculation is like making staircase, one by one, so you can go up slowly. No matter what business, you will have some declines, it’s inevitable, but it can be anticipated.

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  • 31/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Indigenous Innovator

    Hailing from Australia, Kieran Morland pursued his love for Indonesia & its vibrant indigenous cuisine for over a decade. Before taking an opportunity in the kitchen of Ku De Ta, his career spanned across top culinary establishments across three countries; Momofuku Ssam (new York), The Wapping Project (London) & Syracuse (Melbourne). He is now an accomplished chef through two well-renowned restaurants, Merah Putih & Sangsaka. Here is his story so far.....

    What is the main difference between Merah Putih and Sangsaka? What do you wish to convey to the customers through latter establishment?

    Sangsaka is a little 30-seated restaurant, and the main concept is modern-Indonesian food but made using wood fire. We have wood fire chargrill and wood fire oven, trying to get the flavor of smoke into Indonesian food. So many Indonesian foods are cooked with traditional ‘arang’ (charcoal), like satay. I’m trying to make traditional flavors, but combine it with smoky elements. No more molecular gastronomy, just really good ingredients created in really simple back-in-the-old-days style. That’s what I want to convey to the customers. Bali is a tourism island, so many tourists want to come to Bali and try local food in elevated way. If you have the same attention to detail in preparation, ingredients, details, and execution, Indonesian food can be at Michelin-Star grade, and that’s our number one point. The difference with Merah Putih is we’re doing 250 people a night there, so we create simple delicious food with rustic touch. But in Sangsaka we can really try to make it more fine-dining, high-end but still in casual atmosphere.

    ell us a bit of your background. When did you start to get fond of Indonesian cuisine? What causes it?

    In 1992 when I was eight years old, I spent time visiting my sister in Java. She was living in Semarang as an exchange student. I didn’t know if I would become a chef at that age, but I did know I was in love with ‘gado gado’ peanut sauce & sate. Later on when I was played football in Australia, all the end of season trips would be in Indonesia. I always had a connection to Indonesia & then I was offered a job at Ku De Ta along with executive chef Benjamin Cross. At that time I was thinking if I were a tourist visiting Bali I would like to try local cuisine. Not many people doing it back then except for Made’s Warung. Then I met my wife here, and her mom is a fantastic cook, she’s from Surabaya and she taught me a lot about cooking. Indonesian food doesn’t have a great reputation outside of Indonesia outside of rendang or sate, but she shows me there are so many good dishes across the country. The crazy thing is if you eat a soto in Makassar or Manado, it would be very different from the Javanese one. I never stop learning about Indonesian cuisine and how amazing it can be, so I decided to open Merah Putih, and then Sangsaka.

    Name us one Indonesian traditional food that you love the most, and how would you turn it into a ‘modern’ culinary creation

    That’s a difficult question to be honest. But let’s take Sapi Bakar Pantolo, it’s from Sulawesi and they use keluwek (Indonesian indigenous spice, also known as ‘kepayang’), but they don’t make it like a ‘rawon’ soup; instead combining it into a ‘sambal’ sauce with other spices, and put beef or buffalo meat, wrapped it in banana leaves, and cooked it on a fire inside of bamboo. Here, we don’t make it inside a bamboo, but we make a sort of keluwek emulsion and we use two different parts of beef, char-grilled it in wood fire grill and serve it with ‘talas’ (taro) cake as a dish or two. For the Westerners, it’s a steak done in two-ways, but has the flavor of traditional Pantolo inside.

    What is your signature cooking style, and how did you implement it in Sangsaka?

    My focus is always on flavour. Dishes don’t necessarily need to be beautifully presented, but has to be flavourful & perfectly executed. I just want to have a busy restaurant where everyone enjoys the food & also learn little about Indonesian culture. To implement it, Maxie (Milia, the Head Chef of Merah Putih & Sangaka) & I, will sit down together and discuss about what ingredients we want to use to create a dish. We are passionate about using unique ingredients that are rarely used whilst sticking to the Indonesian identity.

    What is the most memorable moment in your career so far? 

    One time, one of my best pastry chefs got her fingers stuck into the automatic pastry roller & crushed the tips of her fingers. That was a scary moment as we had to rush her to the hospital in the middle of service to make sure her fingers were ok. But the most memorable one is the first day we opened Sangsaka. We had some beer to celebrate after work. Before I went home I double checked the kitchen as we have a wood fired oven & grill. Unfortunately it seems that some wood embers ignited our log pile & at 6am I received a phone call from my business partner that ’the (beep) restaurant is burning down!!’. That was probably the most interesting moment in my memory so far

    What is your favorite kitchen tool? 

    I’ve had lots of good knives, but there is one Japanese knife that I really like. I bought it in New York when I started working at Momofuku. Chef insisted that I buy a good knife & so I bought a Misono. I still have it today & the knife has been though a lot with me (laugh).

    Describe yourself in three words

    Ambitious, hard working & fun loving

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  • 31/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Authentic Innovation

    As one of Bali’s most prominent local-born chef, Made Lugra always brings all his effort and skill in creating eclectic Indonesian dish with elegant modern touch. Now the head chef of Wijaya Kesuma restaurant of Ayung Resort, Ubud, he continues to produce delightful fusion food for the guest; amplifying authentic traditional flavor with international influences. PASSION gets to chat with the charismatic man himself in between his bustling kitchen activity and extract some of his brilliant thought; from Balinese cuisine to legacy he wish to left behind in culinary scene...

    According to you what is the meaning of ‘gastronomy’ and how did you apply it in your cooking?

    Gastronomy is a concept of culinary art, in which we process a product, starting from picking the ingredients, combination, how we create food based on what we have around us, including the farmers and their natural produce. Before we make a menu, we should be able to see what it can bring to the table, its signature. That’s why we go to the ‘pasar’ (traditional market) to find out what ingredients available daily. Our food creation will depend on the ingredients, so we have to know about its availability, because some ingredients are seasonal. Every region comes with its own gastronomy history / background, which are why I love to work upon something that has been around since past time; especially the method of cooking or technique, but then served in international presentation, so it becomes unique and modern.

    Name us one of the most underrated Balinese traditional food that you would like to show to international food sceneWhen doing demo-cooking, I love to presents ‘sambal’ spicy sauce. There are tons variant of Indonesian sambals with its own distinctive taste and look. In one demo session, I made ‘sambal lindung’, which is quite popular in rural Bali. In my childhood moment, I used to go to ‘sawah’ (paddy field) and catch some ‘lindung’(eel), then I asked my mom to make something out of it. My mom then usually makes it into sambal sauce, and it’s so good to be savored with only a plate of plain white rice. So simple yet delicious! In my demo cooking, since I make it for Western people, I changed my method to suit more to the style. Western love savory taste more than spicy, so we use more lemongrass in the ingredient.

    As a chef of Balinese traditional creation, could you name us local spices that you can’t live (or cook) without?

    There’s a lot! But in terms of Balinese traditional spice, I think sereh (lemongrass) plays a pivotal role in making traditional sauces. In term of taste, sereh is strong, savory but didn’t destroy the taste from other spices. It can act as a great flavor balancer to the dish.

    What is the secret of cooking a perfect sate lilit?

    What a coincidence! We participate in food festival every year and one time, I presented my creation of seafood sate lilit; consisting of shrimp and tuna. I skewered them first before lilit (wrapping), because I would like for it to have a ‘bite’, and not only soft in term of texture. The audience loved my creation, especially because of the distinctive texture. It still maintain the traditional form and flavour, but added with some creative twist.

    What is the concept of Ayung Resort Ubud’s menu, and what is your most memorable creation so far?

    Here, the concept of our basic taste is Asian and Balinese traditional, but we combine it with modern cooking method. For example, the scallop, I made it using ‘Balado’ sauce with a hint of cream. Apparently, this kind of fusion creation impressed the customers and reminds them of us. That’s why I used that similar fusion concept on other dishes; an Indonesian goodness, not too strong in taste, but combined with modern ingredients, cooking method and presentation. For my most memorable creation, if I have to pick, would be the steak. I use ‘lengkuas’ (galangal) for the sauce. It blends Western classic favorite with Indonesian-style sauce. Our guest loved it so much. I love to take existing concept and cooking method but dig deeper into it; combining it with other kinds of ingredients. It is hard, but when you find the successful combination, the feeling is indescribable.

    What do you love the most from your profession?

    As a chef, we ‘dig’ unto a product (cooking) and try to make the best out of it. When we do that and gain the result, good feedback from the guest, that’s the ultimate satisfaction for us. That means we have made our own signature from countless trial and error process into perfection. There is a lot of story behind every dish we create, which are not the same from one to another. When that creation is well-accepted by the guest, that’s something to be proud of.

    If you could only eat one type of dish for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

    Fruits; and this comes from experience. As a chef, we work in tense situation, especially when we have to serve a lot of guests. Sometime, it’s very hard to find consistent eating hours, because we are so busy! I had chronic gastric pain for several times that has to be treated by doctor, and they always said that I have to pay more attention to my eating habit. Then I started to study about it and start by reducing my dependency to rice and eat more fruits. It has been 12 years since and I feel healthier. One of the main reason is actually, with rice, you can’t eat it while working in the kitchen, but you can do it with fruits. I made salad to chow it in-between my cooking activity. It was hard at first, but slowly, my body is able to adapt and my condition is fitter than ever! I can work from day to night in peak performance thanks to this kind of diet. My most favorite fruit is papaya, because it can be easily made into salad, juice, or eaten raw.

    How do you want to be remembered?

    I want to implement my knowledge and creation to as many as possible. That’s why I often encourage and motivate others to become chef. In my workplace, I give people chance to step up. As food consultant, we are obliged to mentor people and inspire them. I don’t want to bring this knowledge to my grave, but rather sharing it with others. If I can make other people success, even surpassing myself in term of career, I would be very happy.

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  • 23/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Quo Vadis Jamu?

    We wanted to discuss about the role of jamu in modern culinary scene for quite a while. If we know jamu as medicine, now we have some people who introduce it as lifestyle drink, similar to coffee, one of them is Acaraki’s owner, Jony Yuwono, who was also a Vice Chairman of 2014’s Gabungan Pengusaha Jamu. Here are Jony’s perspective about jamu’s essence, the development which seems to move away from its root, to its endangered existence.

    How did you get introduced to jamu?

    It all began from curiosity, I was also a member Jamu and Traditional Medicines Association (GP Jamu) in 2012-2013 where I frequently interacted with the members. From there, I started to gather information, and I felt the industry is filled with conflicts.

    What sort of conflicts?

    Let’s take the regulation for example. In headache medicine, producer claims brand A can cure headache, simple, clean and clear. Meanwhile on jamu, the claim is “traditionally believed to be able to help relieve headache symptoms. The claim may change every 4-5 years.

    Many jamu producers are conflicting with The Indonesia Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) or the government. They complained, “how can we compete with modern medicines with such regulations?” On the other hand, I can’t blame BPOM, because according to them, modern medicines have the supporting research, laboratory test result, meanwhile for jamu producers, what sort of data they have?

    Didn’t you guys have any data?

    Look, if you dig deeper, such research costs lots of money. Let say you want to research a guava, they will find out the contents, extract, gather them, then test them on bacteria, mice, humans, then we’ll have the conclusion. Can you imagine how much guavas, mice, and time needed?

    On the other hand, jamu has different philosophy. Why bother doing the extraction? Just drink it everyday, don’t wait until you get sick. Our education and health system refer to western world, when we apply the western standard to our local tradition, you should expect conflicts.

    Then, BPOM argued that jamu has to obey the GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) of traditional medicines, from using stainless steel container, sterilization, to the hygiene of production facility. It’s not a big deal for industrial scale producers, then how about the regular “mbok jamu”? Do they have to paint their floor with epoxy like hospital standards?

    To me, the biggest conflict in the industry is about the claim. Producers claim that jamu is empirically believed for centuries to give certain benefits, couldn’t we consider it as data? The problem is, our ancestors never write them down.Fortunately, in 2014 I was appointed as Vice Chairman of GP Jamu in third field which consists of research, educationand communication. Although I didn’t have any backgrounds as researchers, pharmacist, nor doctor, they chose me just because I was young, and GP Jamu needed regeneration. Thanks to the mandate, I did more research, and I found out that jamu tends to move away from its root.

    Move away? What do you mean?

    The name jamu came from ancient Javanese word, it’s an abbreviation of “jampi usodo”, jampi means prayer, usodo means health. If the name means prayer for health, why does nowadays people see jamu as medicine? Prayer is something spiritual, where’s jamu’s spiritual aspect? I ask you, if a pencak silat master were to fight against a boxer, who will win?

    It depends, how will they fight? Which rules are we going to use.

    Exactly, no matter how great a pencak silat master is, if he were to fight in a limited boxing ring, and he wasn’t allowed to use any kicks, he will surely lose. It depends on which standard we use, so does jamu. In modern medicine, we refer to stop watch, I mean, if you’re sick and you take a medicine, we count how long until you recover. If such standard is applied to jamu, of course jamu will never win. Then, if you look at most jamu packagings, you’ll see some claims, from improving stamina, to the outrageous ones, such as curing diabetes or cancer, we had over claims. Don’t forget, jamu also has spiritual standards, or we refer it as holistic: body, mind, spirit.

    Please elaborate!

    Look, in 2014, we had national meeting to inaugurate members of GP Jamu, introduced by President Jokowi, he said that jamu is an Indonesian brand that has to be focused on. When asked by journalist which jamu he had so he’s strong enough to do his signature “blusukan” (impromptu visit), he answered “curcuma”. Some media heavily exposed it, we had Ministry of Health intensified curcuma research, the agriculture sector was developing it, and then we had new instant curcuma jamu.

    What most people ignored is, after that, a journalist asked a very interesting question, “who makes your jamu?” Jokowi answered he made it himself, from buying ingredients in the market, separating the juice from the leftover, and he’s doing it every morning for the past 17 years, without failing.

    Then, my question is, what makes Jokowi strong to do his blusukan?

    1. The curcuma. 

    2. Jokowi’s mental who’s willing to get up earlier to prepare his own jamu, every morning for the past 17 years.

    3. The positive energy of his prayer and expectation that this heritage recipe can maintain his health.

    4. All of the above.

    Of course it’s the 4th!

    Then, an inspired young man started to buy instant curcuma jamu. In the beginning, he felt it tasted weird, in a week he drank it on and off. On the second week, third week, he felt it was expensive and he started to doubt its benefits, then on the fourth week, he got a cold. What’s his conclusion? “Curcuma is not effective! Jokowi was lying!”However, it was solely because he didn’t meet the holistic factor.Now, people see jamu as medicine, but in fact, it’s only a fraction of the health, along with mental and spiritual. Then it got me thinking, why don’t we just market it as lifestyle drink, like tea or coffee? Historically, both tea and coffee were drunk because people wanted their health benefits, even thoughm of course, we realize we can’t reap the benefits instantly, especially for tea. In Japan and China, drinking tea has its own ceremony to honor its spiritual aspect.

    What’s the hottest issue in jamu industry right now?

    We’re facing ingredient scarcity. Farmers prefer to grow coffee and tea which were more valued, commercially. Based on research, the world has around 10.000 plants, meanwhile Indonesia has around 3.000, that means 30%. Big industry only exposes 300 out of the 30.000 plants.

    In 2012, The Ministry of Health conducted Ristoja (Research of Medicinal Herbs and Jamu) in Indonesia by simply surveyed the Indonesian tribes to ask for their local jamu recipe, benefits, and content, without judging it’s effectiveness. They only managed to survey 209 out of 1.084 of tribes outside Java and Bali. Guess how many jamu recipes they got?

    i don’t know... thousands?

    From merely 209, tribes, they managed to get over 15.000 recipes that used more than 1.700 endemic plants! Since New Order, “jamu” is used as a term to call traditional potion. So, even though people assume it came from Java, actually local people all over Indonesia has their own names to call their potions.Interestingly, in 2015, Ristoja was conducted again, and they found out that this traditional medication (batra) was done 49,5% by people over 60 years old, and only a third of them has disciples. Can you imagine the next 10-20 years when these guys retire? When local medication is no longer use the recipe, people won’t demand the ingredients, and farmers don’t want to grow them, at the end they will become extinct.

    WHO has warned us upon the issue, the wording was interesting. “We can’t let the cure for future disease goes extinct even before the disease comes.”When you were a child, have you hear anything about SARS? Monkeypox? Zika virus? The disease keeps on evolving and science is playing catch up.

    Allegedly, Quran stated that God has prepared solutions for every problem around you, you just have to look for them. It means, 30.000 plants in Indonesia is database that we’ll never know the benefits in the future. Decades ago, people wouldn’t expect quinine can cure malaria. While we just exposed to 300 of them, we still have other 29.700 plants. There should be some ways to preserve them!

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  • 23/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    A Harmonious Solution

    Kendati sudah cukup lama menekuni bidang kuliner, karir Billy Leonardo sebagai Food Consultant bermula dari ketidaksengajaan. Namun pada perkembangannya, pria yang sempat mengenyam pendidikan di Berklee College of Music, Boston, Amerika Serikat tersebut bisa menjalankan profesi tersebut dengan baik dan kini, bersama rekan-rekannya yang bernanung di bawah brand Table Turns Hospitality Management Consultancy telah dipercaya menangani sejumlah klien prestisius di usia yang masih relatif muda; diantaranya Recolta, Nirvana Strength Bali dan Arnold’s Coffee. Kepada PASSION, Billy membagikan sejumlah pemikiran cemerlangnya; mulai dari filosofi, tantangan, hingga latar belakangnya di dunia musik.

    Kenapa kamu memilih untuk menjadi Food Consultant, dan kapan semua itu bermula?

    Sebenarnya bermula dari ketidaksengajaan. Awalnya dari membantu teman yang ingin membangun café di dalam sebuah gym pada tahun 2018. Kebetulan mereka juga belum punya pengalaman, jadi saya masuk di sana. Saya mulai membantu dari masa konstruksi / pembangunan, tapi pada perkembangannya, mereka sepertinya merasa kurang cocok dengan saya dan memiliki pandangan yang lain, jadi saya hanya sebatas melakukan pengecekan dan memberikan ide atau masukan. Saat itu saya belum dibayar juga karena saya belum terpikir untuk membuka jasa konsultan. Akhirnya setelah dua bulan dan gym tersebut sudah berjalan, tiba-tiba partner bisnis ownernya pergi, dan sang owner pun menghubungi saya. Pada saat itu saya juga tengah sibuk, namun saya mencari waktu untuk bisa rutin pergi ke kafe tersebut setiap pagi. Dalam waktu tiga minggu, saya membantu mereka start-up hingga akhirnya running sampai saat ini.

    Ceritakan apa yang kamu lakukan sebagai seorang konsultan. Apakah kamu mengimplementasikan suatu sistem, atau semacamnya? Jelaskan untuk para pembaca kami

    Sebenarnya ada dua tipe model yang saya sering lihat; pertama bisnis yang sudah ada, yang kedua start-up. Untuk tipe kedua ini, kita mulai benar-benar dari awal, bahkan terkadang sampai penentuan lokasi tempat bisnis, jenis produk yang dijual, bagaimana pemasaran atau marketingnya, bagaimana mempersiapkan modal. Detil-detil semacam itu, berlandaskan pada prediksi dan statistik. Kemudian untuk tipe pertama, yakni bisnis yang sudah ada, ini yang sedikit lebih sulit, karena ‘kanvas’nya sudah ‘tercoret’ (tertawa). Kami percaya satu hal, yakni mencari produk untuk pasar (market) yang sudah ada. Itu ditentukan dari lokasi juga. Figur market yang mereka bayangkan seperti apa. Kita carikan market dan tools yang benar untuk menjalankan bisnis tersebut, termasuk SDM (Sumber Daya Manusia) nya. Bila talent sudah di-hire, kita juga menyediakan sistem evaluasi untuk para staf tersebut.

    Apa filosofi kamu sebagai Food Consultant, dan bagaimana metode pendekatan kamu untuk membangun sebuah fondasi dalam bisnis kuliner?

    Filosofi kami adalah ‘temukan produk untuk market kamu’. Ini sebetulnya sama dengan konsep reverse engineering (rekayasa mundur), kita cari tahu lebih dahulu apa yang dicari orang-orang, apa kebutuhan customer. Hal ini membuat kami sampai harus membujuk beberapa klien untuk merombak total konsep makanan mereka agar lebih kena dengan market yang mereka inginkan.

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  • 05/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Viennoiserie’s Rockstar

    The surge of coffee shop industry doesn’t only pave way for barista to be the new rockstar, some of the connecting business is also affected as well, just ask, Wilfred Tan, Technical Advisor of PT. Dairyfood Internusa. As distributor of Corman Butter Sheet, in the past few years, they have more and more people mastering the art of viennoiserie and laminated products. Even though he has fascinated many people with the faster straight dough method, actually Wilfred has strong background in chocolate.

    Let’s start from the beginning, where did you study?

    I went to Trisakti’s Faculty of Tourism. I chose this major to avoid mathematic, so I went to Trisakti. At first, I began to have interest in F&B, bartending, then I moved to hot kitchen, until I knew the world of baking.

    Why did you finally choose pastry?

    Perhaps it’s love, we played with science a lot here. In hot kitchen, if you lack some spice, you can put it in the end of the process, but in pastry, if you made mistake in the beginning, you can’t do anything. It’s a hassle, but that’s the challenge, in addition, pastry is more artsy.

    Before mastering viennoiseri, actually I was into chocolate as I was working in Nirwana Lestari (Tulip Chocolate). I was doing internship there as daily worker back in 2012-2013. I was introduced to Chef Benty Diwansyah (Corporate Pastry Chef PT. Nirwana Lestari), and after graduated, I worked permanently for 3 years. Actually when I worked here (PT. Dairyfood Internusa), my basic knowledge about baking was very low, because in Tulip, I was more into petit four, pralines, or cakes.

    Who do you consider as your most influential mentors?

    Chef Benty educated me to put standard in making any products, he also taught me to be creative, to make something that others never think of, and the last one, of course about discipline. Working under Chef Benty is something I never regret! And then, in here, I learned how to make bread and viennoiseri from Ricky Salim. In addition, he also taught me a lot how to sell, thanks to his background in sales.

    Did you go straight to Dairyfood Internusa from Nirwana Lestari?

    Actually, I managed Moriz Chocolate (also selling retail chocolate bar under the name of Vel Moriz). We didn’t rely to machine too much there, we do the tempering, making praline shell, and filling manually. But I didn’t stay there more than a year.

    As a Technical Advisor, please tell us your daily activities.

    My job is to create new products, also to solve customers’ technical issues, everything around those two. I also help the sales department when they had issues, usually we visit the customers to discuss about the technical issues in baking.

    Please tell us a bit about PT. Dairyfood Internusa’s products.

    We have of our own private brands: Bakerstar flour and Cheesy cheese, and of course, we act as distributor for Corman Butter Sheet. Butter sheet really helps bakers to make laminated product because you don’t need to shape and freeze the butter yourself.

    What are Corman’s competitive edges?

    We have many butter sheet variants, from margarine, butter blend, to the 99,9% butter. Theoretically, higher fat content will produce better, milky aroma, and flakier croissant texture.

    What’s the biggest challenge in producing viennoiserie?

    For any laminated products, the biggest challenge would be knowing the right timing and temperature. Every butter sheet has its own melting point. For example, Corman 99,9% Extra Butter Sheet’s melting point is at 36o C. If you work at higher temperature, the butter will melt and you won’t have the layers. Meanwhile in Corman 82% Express Butter Sheet, the melting point is lower, at 34o C. Ideally, you need to proof the dough in 2o C bellow its melting point.

    Does the vast growth of coffee shop industry directly related to croissant business?

    Yes. Corman has the widest selection of butter sheet, we have 6 variants. Since thelast 3 years, we have more people who want to master viennoiserie, of courseour sales have been significantly increased. Even though we have many coffee shops which sell viennoiserie products, not all of them are willing to produce their own products. As a result, we have more people who want to start frozen dough business.

    How do you describe your baking style?

    Hmmm, how should I say it? Actually, for croissant products, if you can make something that’s very aromatic with flaky texture, most customers would be happy. However, the straight dough method that I taught to my customers allows shorter, simpler production process. It’s an answer to customers who demand faster production process while maintaining satisfying result.

    Normally, we need 3 days to produce croissant: first day to make the dough, second day to make the folding and lamination, dan third day to bake, meanwhile, I can produce it within 5 hours. Many people doubt this straight dough method, but actually, they’ll know that this method is possible, and the result is not too different.

    What are the things we sacrifice in this faster method?

    The taste from the fermentation process and volume. Usually, overnight method produces stronger aroma, in addition because it has more elastic dough, overnight dough has bigger sized croissant. But actually, the difference of bith methods is not too significant, the quality of ingredients play more important role. I mean, if you make croissant with overnight method using margarine, it won’t be as good as the one made with straight dough method using butter.

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  • 05/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    A Tale of Thousand Layers

    More than just a pastry product, Le Meridien’s is a witness to the golden era of hotel’s pastry industry in the 1990’s. Since its inception in 1992, Millefeuille has been an icon for the French hotel brand. According to Tri Setyadi, Le Meridien Jakarta’s Executive Pastry Chef, globally, the hotel actually has its own signature pastry product. Here’s our interview with the Pastry Chef who spent years working in Indonesia and abroad, especially the Middle East.

    Please tell us a bit about your career.

    I began in pastry in Grand Mahakam Hotel on 1999 for 5 years. Then I moved to Alila Pecenongan, Abu Dabhi, Kempinski Jakarta, Dubai, then Hotel Nikko which was changed into Pullman, then to Grand Sahid Hotel, Saudi, and then, now in Le Meridien Jakarta.

    It seems that you love the Middle East?

    Perhaps that’s where my luck is. The pastry industry there is more developed, thanks to its higher level of competition. In Abu Dabhi, I worked for Kempinski Emirates Palace, in the beginning the hotel was designed for the royal family, or to host the King’s VVIP guests. Everything is made of gold there, even the plates.

    Meanwhile in Dubai, I worked in Atlantis The Palm. Most of the customers came from all over the world for vacation as the hotel’s concept is quite unique, with giant aquarium in it, it’s as if the visitors are in the depth of the sea. Meanwhile in Mecca, Saudi, I worked to serve customers who went for hajj and umrah, so I tend to work for quantity. In high season, we can serve up to 6.000-7.5oo people, minimum!

    Do you have any influential mentors for your career?

    Of course, it was my Executive Pastry Chef when I worked at Abu Dabhi, a French named Pascal Clair. He taught me how to work in big hotels, we made everything from scratch, from chocolate, bread, dessert, even ice cream. He even asked me to come along with him in Kempinski Jakarta and Atlantis The Palm in Dubai, so I worked with him 3 times. Thank God he trusted me, so I can be where I am today.

    What’s your current activities in Le Meridien Jakarta?

    We’re promoting our wedding cakes, last week we just held a wedding exhibition and we introduced 3 types of wedding cake. At the moment, naked cake is trending, a cake that’s not fully covered in tiers. The concept is quite simple, open, and filled with flower ornaments. Of course we can make any design as customer’s requests, but we try to give them some inspiration and options.

    Of course we can’t come here without mentioning anything about your legendary Millefeuille, tell us a bit about it.

    Le Meridien originated from France. Since we opened in 1992, we aimed to serve traditional French pastries. Actually, Le Meridien hotels all around the globe make Éclair as their signature pastry, including in Indonesia, it’s compulsory for us to present it. However, it’s Millefeuille that caught everyone’s attention, so we decided to make it our signature.

    Are there anyone who try to copy your Millefeuille?

    Actually, there are many, but based on my experience of working in many places, nothing compares to the sales in here. Perhaps it’s because Le Meridien is already
    identical to Millefuille, so whenever people want Millefeuille, they come here.

    What’s so special about Le Meridien’s Millefeuille?

    Since its inception, I would say that our recipe remains unchanged, consistent; we also have crispier texture Millefeuille. It’s our best selling products, especially in Ramadhan and Christmas. We just change its presentation a bit, we used to put some sugar dusting as topping. We offer 2 flavors: vanilla and chocolate, however, with some special requests, we can also provide other flavor, such as strawberry or blueberry.

    Is Millefeuille that hard to produce?

    Technically, it wasn’t too difficult, but I have to admit that the production process takes longer time. Unlike making bread, we have to make dough and prepare the butter in the same temperature. Therefore, we need to keep them in chiller for 6 hours to 1 day. You can’t get perfect layers if the temperature of the dough and butter is different. Then, we proceed to the folding process, baking, put the layer together, some pastry cream as filling, and then fondant topping. Actually the process is quite similar to making croissant, however Millefeuille requires less folding.

    Aside Millefeuille, what are Le Meridien’s other favorites?

    We have eclairs with some local flavor. If éclair is commonly served with coffee, chocolate, or vanilla filling, in here I use coconut and mango

    As a French brand, you must be using lot of dairy products. What are your criterias to choose some certain dairy product brands?

    Of course, we use lot of butter and cream. The main criteria is definitely the taste, and since the beginning, we’ve entrusted it to the brand from France. For common people, the difference of the butter and cream’s taste might be unnoticeable, but we tried using other brands, the taste and the umami is very different. In addition, you need to consider the
    different taste after you bake the product.

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  • 05/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Speed Matters

    If you want to start a career as a Chef, but you don’t have the required education background, you’ll be inspired by M Jackson Kaimudin’s career. From a cleaning service staff of a kitchen, he travelled around the world until he decided to return to Indonesia as a Chef and consultant. Chef Jackson reminded us the importance of speed in service and food preparation in F&B business.

    I heard you start your career from bottom?

    I started my journey in East Australian in 1984. At the time, there were many people from Timor, Papua, and Ambon, like me, who worked there, the restaurant name was Asia Seafood. Initially, I began as cleaning service there. In Australian kitchen, a Chef is fully responsible for the restaurant, not the General Manager. The Italian Chef, Phil John Alexander, noticed my performance and he wanted me to clean the kitchen.

    What happened next?

    Phil John asked to me to come with him to work in cruise and we travelled around the world together. In 93-94, I moved to Wynn Hotel Macau until I decided to return to Indonesia in 2000 to work in Palembang. In 2003-2004, I went to Papua to manage a Freeport’s property. In 2006, I moved to Bogor to manage a hotel in
    Sentul while joining some events in Jakarta, do some consultation and training.

    What’s your cuisine specialization?

    Chinese food. I’m keen on learning Chinese food as it was more challenging, they even have their own type of stove. Chinese is not only about the way you cook, but also how you maintain ingredients’ quality, and understanding the basic ingredients. In Indonesia, people know different types of Chinese food such as Szechuan, Kanton, Hakka, etc, then for a restaurant, do you really have to hire 2 Executive Chefs?

    A Chef has to be able to master everything, because he was judged by his skill and knowledge. Not only limited to food, he has to know what to do when there’s something wrong with the kitchen equipments. It’s a long process and it’s back to the willingness to learn.

    When I started to clean the stove and other kitchen equipments, I was learned how they worked. As I finished my job, I helped other kitchen staffs, until I was appointed as kitchen staff and introduced to 23 ingredients. They asked me to recognize the aroma of the ingredients and do the blind taste, I failed to recognize the smell of 2 ingredients: salt and sugar.

    Why did you decide to return to Indonesia?

    Because I’m Indonesian, I love Indonesia. Then, nowadays I’m more into Indonesian food, it’s more challenging, even when I compare it to Chinese food. Indonesian cuisine showcases more combinations of spices that you need to understand.

    How do you describe your cooking style?

    I tend to stress more about speed. Because, from what I’ve learned, no matter how good your food is, if you don’t serve while it’s hot, the quality declines, people won’t rate it as good. I love playing with speed, a good restaurant or hotel can deliver the service to the customers as fast as possible while maintaining its quality. For example, if you order grilled fish, there’s no way you’d clean the fish first, while preparing the grill after the order. You need to do all the preparation beforehand.

    A restaurant needs to have good service and food. If you’re hungry and people ask you to wait for 1 hour, would you do that? Another infuriating thing is when the restaurant serves the food to another guests who come after you. The best food need to be served fast, you need to prepare everything before, there’s no other way.

    With such speed, what are other things that you compromise?

    One of them is the menu’s number. Before opening a restaurant, you need to calculate the kitchen’s capacity and the number of staffs you have. Can you imagine, a small kitchen with 2 staffs while you have 30 menus? Most restaurants only serve 10 menus and employ sekitar 4 kitchen staffs, not including the butcher, waiter, etc. However, 10 menus is not too small If we have Black Pepper Fish, Black Pepper Crab, and Black Pepper Squid, we consider them as 1 menu.

    In the hand of an unexperienced Chef, vast number of menus is actually dangerous, moreover when the menus chosen by customers are not available. If a customer asks for a menu that’s unavailable for 3 times, they’ll start to disappointed, and they will ask you back, “okay then, what do you have?” It’s a bad sign for a restaurant.

    What do you consider as biggest challenge in running restaurant business in Indonesia?

    The partnership of owner and Chef. If owner interferes too much, not giving full responsibility to the Chef, there will be troubles. At the time, I have to admit managing human resource is more challenging. If a restaurant open at 10.00, we used to always come at 8.00 to prepare. In 9.00, everything’s ready. Now? Sometimes the staffs come on 10.00. Nowadays employees tend to be more calculative when it comes to working hour. If you have dualism of leadership between owner and Chef, it will create confusion for the staffs.

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  • 02/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Paramount of Process

    Hidup adalah tentang proses, bukan hanya hasil, dan Reinaldo Christian paham betul tentang hal tersebut. Berawal dari menonton acara masak memasak di televisi, ia kemudian tertarik untuk meneruskan studi di bidang kuliner. Beragam tantangan pun dilalui dengan semangat tak kenal lelah hingga tak terasa ia sudah pernah berkarya di tiga negara berbeda. Kini, pria asli Bandung yang menjabat sebagai Head R&D Development Pison Coffee Bali ini telah mantap menjalani karir sebagai chef professional, dan ia membagikan secuplik pemikiran cemerlang serta latar belakangnya kepada para pembaca setia Passion dalam rubric Y&D edisi kali ini. Check them out!

    Ceritakan sedikit tentang latar belakang kamu; apa yang menginspirasi kamu untuk meniti karir di dunia memasak?

    Waktu kecil saya suka nonton acara memasak di TV; Rudi Choirudin, Sisca Soewitomo, dan kelihatannya memasak koq menyenangkan. Lalu waktu SMP saya mulai mencoba memasak, dan ketika SMA saya diberi pilihan untuk melanjutkan ke sekolah memasak di Singapura. Pertama kali disana, saya jadi benar-benar tidak suka memasak, karena tidak menyangka bahwa waktu saya akan habis hanya untuk belajar setiap harinya. Saya tidak memiliki waktu lagi untuk mencari relasi dan kenalan baru, di samping proses belajarnya yang memang sangat high pressure. Namun akhirnya saya bisa lulus dan pulang ke Bandung.

    Di tahun 2012, saya melamar dan diterima di Mozaic Ubud. Di sana saya banyak berkenalan dengan para perantau seperti saya, dan mereka benar-benar memiliki passion di dunia memasak; membaca buku dan semacamnya. Hal ini kemudian memantik semangat lagi dalam diri saya hingga akhirnya saya kembali ke Singapura dan bekerja di Andre; sebuah restoran dengan dua Bintang Michelin dan sempat masuk ke 50 restoran terbaik di Asia. Dari sana, saya semakin mendalami dunia memasak dan mendapat banyak ilmu serta dorongan dari chefnya hingga memutuskan untuk terjun sepenuhnya ke dunia kuliner hingga saat ini.

    Sebagai kepala pengembangan (R&D) divisi kuliner Pison, inovasi semacam apa yang hendak kamu buat untuk menu restoran ini?

    Selama ini saya melihat Pison sangat relevan dengan pasar lokal maupun asing. Mulai dari remaja yang gemar memfoto makanan, karyawan kantoran, hingga ibu-ibu yang membawa anak mereka, semua cocok dengan rasa masakan yang kami tawarkan, jadi untuk berikutnya saya ingin mengembangkan makanan kami ke arah ‘comfort food’; dimana orang bisa datang empat hingga lima kali seminggu kemari dan tidak bosan menyantapnya. Karena saya pernah merasakan posisi dimana saya hanya mengkreasi makanan yang berbentuk cantik, tapi orang belum tentu mau kembali untuk menyantapnya lagi, jadi saya ingin membuat sesuatu yang juga relevan untuk menarik para pelanggan untuk kembali.

    Kalau kamu hanya bisa memilih tiga bahan untuk membuat satu makanan, bahan apa yang akan kamu pilih, dan masakan apa yang akan kamu buat dari masakan tersebut?

    Saya akan memilih bawang merah, daging dan salah satu bumbu seperti cabai. Saya akan membuat seporsi steak dari bahan tersebut. Ini adalah masakan sederhana, namun orang akan bisa menikmati rasa yang kuat dari perpaduan ketiga bahan itu. Jika boleh menambah satu bahan lagi, mungkin saya akan membubuhkan kecap untuk menambah citarasa saja.

    Sebutkan 3 tantangan terbesar yang sudah kamu lewatin selama berkarir

    Yang pertama; bekerja di restoran dengan bintang Michelin (Andre, Singapura), meski kemudian saya tidak bisa melanjutkan karena terkendala visa kerja; kemudian menangani pastry yang saya tidak pernah lakukan sebelumnya, di negara orang pula. Jadi waktu saya bekerja di Sidney, Australia, saya diminta menangani divisi pastry padahal saya tidak pernah punya pengalaman di bidang tersebut. Tekanannya lumayan besar waktu itu. Kemudian di Ambrogio Bandung, saya menangani 400 pax sekaligus secara rutin, hampir setiap weekend, di dua lantai yang berbeda dengan konsep penyajian yang berbeda; a la carte dan buffet.

    Sebutkan satu selebriti wanita yang kamu nilai sempurna (10/10), dan apa yang akan kamu masak baginya jika ada kesempatan.

    Elizabeth Chase Olsen (pemeran Scarlet Witch di seri Avengers), dia itu cantik banget. I think I will make a dessert for her. Fudge brownies dengan cokelat dan es krim hazelnut yang meleleh, saya pikir itu akan jadi hidangan yang cocok untuknya.

    Ceritakan pengalaman kamu di Ambrogio Pattiserie, dan bagaimana itu telah membentuk karir kamu saat ini

    It shaped me a lot, terutama dalam hal idealisme. Di sana kita dituntut untuk idealis, namun tetap relevan. Terlalu idealis kadang membuat kita tidak relevan; apa yang menurut kita sudah bagus, terserah orang lain bisa menerima atau tidak, tapi di Ambrogio, kita harus bersedia untuk kompromi dengan keinginan orang lain. Salah satu owner Ambrogio, ibu Theresia, memiliki lidah yang luar biasa, dan dari dia juga saya banyak belajar untuk menyeimbangkan citarasa masakan, mereka sangat mendukung kami dengan bahan masakan dan peralatan yang berkualitas. Saya juga belum pernah merasakan pengalaman meng-handle tamu sebanyak di sana. Ada 90 staf dapur, dan kami harus menangani sekitar 400 pax per hari di dua periode; breakfast dan dinner, jadi perputarannya sangat kencang dan intens. Saya sangat respect karena pihak Ambrogio juga sabar dan memperlakukan saya dengan baik, sehingga kami tidak merasa grogi meskipun kerap kewalahan.

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  • 02/07/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Energy of Curiosity

    A YouTube personality, athlete, pastry master and entrepreneur, there seem like only a few things Rafi Papazian can’t do. The mind behind Monsieur Spoon went all the way from France to Bali to fulfill his culinary passion, and now he reaps the sweet fruits of his tireless effort. Rafi credits curiosity and energy as the key aspects to his success, and willing to share some of his insights to the readers in this edition. Here goes...

    So tell us about the beginning of Monsieur Spoon. Why did you choose Bali, and what’s the meaning behind the beautiful name?

    For a long time I was searching for a place where I can do artisanal (pastry), where I could make them by hand, where I can cut apple for three hours a day. When I came to Bali I saw people here like to carve wood and make beautiful stuffs. In one traditional ‘Ayam Betutu’ restaurant in Denpasar, I saw four ladies sat on the floor, cutting shallot. In other places, people don’t have time for this small task, but here, it’s artisanal and spiritual; ‘More temple than house’, so that interest me. In Bali, people believe in something, and when people believe in something, they give energy for it. People who give energy like that will be able to make a croissant for 8 hours and put up with the intricate process. I feel Bali really fit with my cooking philosophy.

    As for the name, when I was in school back in France, I used many kind of tools; but the most practical one is spoon, so I always bring them everywhere with me, and then one friend told me that I am Mr. (Monsieur) Spoon, so I decide to use that name. It also blends the sophisticated French words with a simplistic English one, and so easy to remember. There are stories behind each of my creations, not only the brand, but the pastry as well. I love the story behind the names.

    What is your craziest dream so far that you wish you could achieve?Diversity, for me it is what makes thing beautiful; more structure, more color, and the more successful I can bring diversity to my creation, the happier I am. So every month I try to make something new (at Monsieur Spoon). I want people to try something different. If I can successfully have 200 different pastries and each one is sold, that’s my craziest dream.

    All of the success of Monsieur Spoon aside, you also known as an Ironman Athlete. When did it started, and what kind of mindset that you think the people should have to compete in that level?

    Everything we do is about the energy we have. The more inspiring we are, the more we do something, the more curious we are, the more we are excited about life and by everything we see around, will gives us energy. With this energy you can do something more and your impact to the world will be better. If you want to make the world a better place, get more energy, do more things. So every year I try things I never did before, and Ironman was part of it. So last year, I did Ironman and jumping solo from the plane. In Ironman, of course you have to train hard to do it, but it’s just the same as what I do here (at Monsieur Spoon). People always asked me ‘what is your secret’, I have a YouTube channel, so if you want to know my (cooking) secret, it’s online, it’s not secret; but what makes the difference is the energy that I put in. When people only put one layer of syrup; I put three, when people do two folding; I do six, so I put more energy in everything I’m doing. The more time you give, the more attention you give, the more love you give, it creates quality.

    What about your childhood; how did you discover your interest in cooking for the first time, and have you always wanted to become a pastry chef?

    My childhood is not related to cooking whatsoever. When I was 23, I began to develop interest in pastry because we always went to one pastry shop to look around, and then I started asking around to find out about things; why there’s a hole in éclair? And things like that. Then, when I was 25, a friend gave me a book titled ‘Gastronomic Revelation’ from a famous molecular inventor, Herve This, in which I get deeper explanation on the chemical side of a food creation, and it increases my interest even more. So on 2008, I established a YouTube channel, Inratable, to give some cooking tips; which now has generated around 15 Million views, and then it leads me to start my career in pastry business until now.

    What is the most common misconception that you wish you could tell people about dairy ingredients, and which dairy ingredients that you love to work with the most?

    (Favorite ingredients to work with are) Egg, milk, cream and butter! (laugh) for me, the source is very important; milk that we use comes from Java, I personally went there and search for the natural one. I brought the butter from France, from someone that I know well. Where the ingredients come from is more important. If you take ‘alternative’ but you don’t know where it’s from, it’s not always better. It is the most common misconception that people think alternative of dairy product is always healthier, it’s not! For example, soya milk or almond milk that comes from genetically modified beans might not be better. It is important that you know the source. We have to understand the making process of the ingredients; doing research and actually come to see it for ourselves.

    To cater the ever-increasingly healthy market, do you substitute the dairy with other alternatives?

    Let’s put it this way: if you eat 10 kilos of French fries, it’s bad for you, but if you eat 200 gram of French fries with 1 kilo of salad, it’s good. So for me, everything is all about proportion. It’s not good to just remove one, but the intelligence is in the balance. If you drink lime juice, don’t drink pure lime juice, it destroys the taste, add a little water. Respect proportion, balance everything, and the more diversity you have, the better it is. Don’t remove things, don’t substitute; balance.

    What is the biggest challenge of working with mostly dairy product?

    Most important thing is adaptation; it’s all in the mind. If you come to a new country, with new ingredients, and think you should make food with the recipe from before, then you missed the concept. Travelling is about discovery, so you have to come with the mindset of discovering something, and to adapt. The philosophy is to come as an adventurer, you come, you balance, adapt again, and you change everything you know. When I first came to Indonesia, the ingredients are different, the people are different; so I have to rework my entire previous recipe. If you are being arrogant, you’re stopping adaptation, you have to come and discover something new.

    Where would you see yourself five years from now?

    I want to keep developing in Indonesia, that’s why we do franchising now (of Monsieur Spoon brand). Maybe we’d do five more shops in one year or something, but all will be in Bali, this is for one or two years ahead, then on the third and fourth, we’ll probably open some in Java, then in the fifth year, I would like to see myself back in Paris and doing this concept there. I want to open a bakery in Paris where you can sit, eat the croissant hot, and you can see the making process behind the glass, and have a good quality coffee not only made by an espresso machine (all of which are not conventionally done by bakery in Paris). My travel in Indonesia has opened up my mind so I can bring new experience to my people back home, and also tourist who travel to Paris.

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  • 02/07/2019 - Edwin pangestu 0 Comments
    Understanding Service Charge

    “What’s so interesting about service charge?” asked Chef Rahmat Kusnedi to Passion Media. For someone who spent years in hotel & food industry, perhaps service charge is quite a boring topic for him, but, for the rest of us, we might be tempted when you know the amount.Please note that service charge is different from service tax. Service tax is government tax for the service provider, but it’s actually paid by customers. However, you might not notice it as many places have included the tax within the price of the product/service. Here’s our discussion about service charge with the President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), from the theoretical definition to the actual practice.

    What does service charge actually means?

    In short, it’s a payment for a service. If Americans have the habit of tipping, let say it’s the official tip. Service charge will be accumulated and then shared to the employees. In hotels, the service charge is around 2%, however some 3 star hotels, or the ones in remote area might not charge. Restaurants usually charge higher, around 5%, because the revenue of a restaurant is relatively smaller than hotels.

    Who has the right to get the service charge?

    Permanent and contract employees. It’s uncommon for daily workers to get it, as it could be difficult to calculate, however, if they get it, usually it’s thanks to company’s policy. Generally, executive committees such as director won’t get any service charge. Of course, they have many other privileges, they also deserve to get annual bonus if they managed to achieve certain targets by the end of the year.

    Based on your experience, give us an actual example of how this system works.

    Most hotels apply the 2% service charge. So, if the average room rate for 5 star hotels is Rp 2 million, the service charge would be Rp 40.000. The revenue of one of leading 5 star hotels I know can be up to Rp 50 billion/month, which means the total service charge is Rp 1 billion. Before sharing it to the employees, usually management would take 2% of it (Rp 40 million) as loss and breakage cost. For a leading 5 star hotels, the service charge per employee can be Rp 8-12 million.

    Do they share this service charge equally to all employees?

    We have 3 service charge sharing systems: pro rate, point, and combination, each with their own plus and minus. Most international chain hotels apply the prorate system, where the total amount of service will be distributed equally to all employees. Lower level employees prefer this. Let say the lowest level jobs in hotel, such as gardener or toilet boy might have basic regional salary (Rp 3,7 million) but they can bring home Rp 8 million service charge.

    On the other hand, point system is preferred by higher level employees. For example, a Senior Manager might have 10 points, meanwhile the lowest level employees might only have 4 points. After you get the total amount of service charge of the moment, they will determine the value of 1 point. Let say if 1 point worth Rp 200.000, it means Senior Manager will get Rp 2 million. If both system is not satisfying enough, we have the combination of this prorate and point.

    What are the down sides of each system?

    Lower level employees will see injustice in point system, because they think all employees share the same effort level. In prorate, it might be more democratic, however, there’s a comfort zone trap that you need to pay attention to.

    Comfort zone? Please elaborate!

    Big chain hotels prefer this system as it’s much more simple. In addition, in hotels with high service charge, the employee turnover can be minimized. However, the service charge they get can far exceed their basic salary, as a result, employees don’t really care much about promotion.

    For example, a senior commis 1 with Rp 4 million basic salary from a hotel will move to other hotel with smaller service charge, but he will be promoted and have higher basic salary, let say, as a demi chef with Rp 5 million salary. However, if he got Rp 10 million service charge but in the new place he’ll only get Rp 5 million, he will think twice. This is what I meant as comfort zone.

    In the end, those who work in hotel will face 2 options: career or money. Being in 1 position with no promotion is a dangerous thing. The prorate system doesn’t seem to educate people to grow. Smart people usually know when to move, even though they might have smaller income, but they will fight for higher salary.

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  • 02/07/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Myth Breaker

    There are many of myths in local coffee competitions. The winners should come from big companies, have large amount of money to buy expensive bean, to the more political sponsorship issues. However, Muhammad Fakhri Murad’s victory in 2019’s Indonesia Brewers Cup (IBRC) on 22-24 February broke all those myths. Fakhri is an independent homebrewer, he didn’t have that much money, he was even born with only 1 hand. However, when we saw him brew a cup of V60 coffee in our meeting at Harapan Djaya, we didn’t see his condition limited him in any ways.

    On 11-14 April 2019, Fakhri and Mikael Jasin (Common Grounds Coffee, 2019’s Indonesia Barista Championship) represented Indonesia to compete in BostonWorld Coffee Championship. Mikael managed to get the 4th place in World Barista Championship, it was Indonesia’s best achievement so far in international coffee competition. On the other hand, even though he was ranked 11th in World Brewers Cup (WBRC), Fakhri admitted that he was quite  disappointed, as he aimed to be in the final (top 6). Here’s our interview with the man who was born in Samarinda, on his first affair with coffee, joining local and international competitions, to how he see his disability.

    What are your activities before you start your affair with coffee?

    I graduated with Bachelor degree in Psychology from Universitas Diponegoro, but on 2015, I decided to start Master degree in Criminology in Universitas

    So, how did your story start?

    I got into the coffee industry because of a film Filosofi Kopi (2015) that I watched in Semarang. I was curious, “do they really have the actual coffee shop?” Finally, I went there (Blok M) and I was impressed by their hospitality.They really care about their customers, they gave detailed information about the coffee, I never had such experience in Semarang nor Samarinda.

    As a result, I was a regular there, until I was introduced to Coffee Smith (now Smith) which was closer to my apartment. I learned a lot about coffee there, they even encouraged me to join the competition. Until mid 2016. I was wandering around coffee shops until I knew manual brew. I felt click in as the tools are accessible and affordable, we can make it anywhere.

    When did you join your first competiton?

    It was the end of 2016. At the time, I often brewed my own coffee in friend’s coffee shop, they said it was good, probably just to make the discussion fast. But I began to wonder, “what if I had my coffee properly judged?” The first competition I joined was Battle of Brewers by ABCD Coffee in Hype, PIK. After that, I joined various small competitions held by opening coffee shops, but I  never won.

    Why you keep doing it?

    First, I made more friends. I began to realize that my coffee was not good enough, so I had to re-learn everything. But the main point is friendship, as I have more friends, I had more invitations to hop around the coffee shops.

    Please name some stand out coffee shops in Jakarta.

    The first one, of course, Smith, because they’re responsible of getting me in this competition scene. When they went door to door to offer their roasted bean, they brought me along, it’s like free lesson. Then we had Harapan Djaya, Wisang Kopi where I also learned so much, and then Pigeonhole, KLTR, so many. I think all coffee shops in Jakarta are worth it, from the most expensive to the cheapest ones, from the one located in malls to street stalls. For those who want to get into coffee, Jakarta is the best place as we had all good concepts

    So, what happened with your competition journey?

    I was involved in 2017’s Indonesia Coffee Event (ICE) to help my friend’s girlfriend, Andi Fakhri in brewer competition. After his girlfriend step was stopped in regional stage, I helped Andi in national stage where he was ranked as 6th. I saw the practice room, backstage, the preparation process, the equipments, it’s like an internship. I applied the knowledge I had for 2018’s IBRC.

    I had also joined Bandung Brewers Cup, from 90 competitors, I was ranked 60th. I started to lose confidence and think, “am I really capable?” On the other hand, Andi promised to help me as a return for my help in previous year. In 2018, I had the 8th position in national stage. From there, I made big evaluation, from handling the practice room, time management, to the necessary equipments. Finally, on 2019, I won the IBRC.

    After that you went straight to represent Indonesia in Boston World Coffee Championship, how was the preparation?

    We only had about 1 month to prepare, but as a matter of fact, I only had 2 weeks to practice, because the first 2 weeks were spent to deal with my visa. Fortunately, I had so many help from friends. Even, Yoshua Tanu (IBC Champion 2014, 2016, 2017) from Common Grounds said, “you’re an Indonesian representative now, let’s not talk about companies, whatever you need, just name it.”

    Many people said similar thing, so even though I had only 2 weeks, I believe it was enough. Common Grounds helped me in providing Finca Deborah, boutique Geisha Panama, meanwhile Mira Yudha with Bon Café appointed me as employee because as independent competitor, I need a company to be held accountable to make it easier for me to get my visa. Then I also had Hario Indonesia that provided me with manual brewing tools, I got so many help.

    Tell us a bit about competing in Boston.

    I was accompanied by Otniel Christofer (KLTR Coffee) and Ryan Wibawa (Starbucks Coffee, also a 2016’s IBRC Champion). So, in this event, we were allowed to bring along a coach and a helper so I can focus on performing, managing the script and workflow. Initially, there’s only me and Otniel, but accidentally, Ryan had some things to do in US so he offered himself to help us. I was like, “I’m very honored to have an ex IBRC champion by my side!” Finally, the three of us went to Boston.

    Of course, I was a bit nervous, it’s a world class event after all. However, in the first presentation and open service round, I felt people don’t know me, it was easier for me to go all out. Actually, Miki (Mikael Jasin) had similar experience. I saw him performed effortlessly compared to his performance in Indonesia. We gave our best as we fight to represent Indonesia, but we also thought we had nothing to lose.

    There are competitors from 39 countries in WBRC and we only had 6 finalists. In the elimination round which consisted of compulsory and open service, I brought 2 manual brew tool: clever dripper and V60. They gave us random coffee, grinder and water, and we had 1 hour to tweak them. After that, we had 8 minutes preparation time, and 7 minutes to perform.

    One of the critics from coffee communities is, this kind of competition requires big money, do you agree?

    Who won this year’s IBRC? It’s me, right? Do I have any big companies behind me? No. When I won, I broke many myths that said the champion of such competitions are rich, I just rely on my salary from my freelance jobs. When people came with lots of expensive bean, I only had 900 gr bean. If you think this competition needs lot of money, it means they haven’t tried.

    Then we had a myth that the champions always come from certain companies, perhaps because they’re the ones who are working hard. When other baristas are sleeping, Mike got up at 4.00 am every morning to practice. When other people are chilling, I was practicing 3-4 times a day, it’s that simple. If you think you need to have expensive bean to win, the WBRC second runner up only use Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Worka, it’s a relatively affordable and accessible bean. But he managed to win because of his well prepared concept and presentation. All of those factors are not significant, my victory broke those kind of myths.

    How does it feel to have 11th world rank?

    I’m not happy. Perhaps people think 11th place is cool, but I think it was a shame because my aim was to get in the final as the top 6. In earlystage, my scale was dead and I’m quite panicked, meanwhile the score difference  among me and the top 6 finalists are only 2 points. I was depressed because I felt I should be able to get to the final. But if I had the chance, I’m still up for the next year’s competition, moreover, 2020’s World Coffee Championship will be held at Melbourne, it’s closer to Indonesia and it will cost less. I think you need to go there!

    We had some competitors from other countries fighting in the same competition for years. Why don’t we have similar thing?

    Some of the competitors said to me, “see you next year!” Perhaps it was easy for them to win national competition, but in Indonesia, we haven’t had a single person that managed to win 2 IBRC in a row.

    What are the judgment criterias?

    We need to have 1 big theme, let say, Tetsu Kasuya (2016’s WBRC champion) with his 4:6. I’m more interested in giving the information that are needed by the judges, from the bean, roasting, to brewing, but because all of those things, the judges consider me too general.

    How different is the taste of national judges compared to international judges?

    Not too different actually, it’s still resolve around Geisha, it’s just the international judges are far more detailed. For example, I used a brewing tool that can keep the heat, after that I can suggest the protocol to enjoy the cup, in my case, you need to stir it 10 times to have the aroma blooms better. For the judges, my idea doesn’t make any sense, why should I use tool that can keep the heat while I asked them to stir the coffee, which may cause the temperature to go down. In Indonesia, the judges never complain about it, but international judges are more detail oriented. The 3 of the judges said the same thing, I will put it into my consideration for next competition.

    Born with only 1 hand, how does it affect your performance in competition?

    I see it this way, when I was first introduced to coffee, I tried, and it appeared that I was able to do it, it boosted my confidence. Perhaps it will be a different matter if I was a barista with 2 hands, and then I had an accident that cause me to lose one, perhaps I will find difficulties. I was born like this, so I’m used to it. I can even make coffee using espresso machine, it got me thinking, “shall I join IBC for my next competition?” Nowadays, we have so many additional tools that can help me to access coffee.

    What’s your biggest advantage by competing with only 1 hand?

    The trend now is when the competitors finished their presentation, they will clean up their desk in the stage and move their tools to the preparation desk. Other people can go back and forth to clean up, but I overcome it by using 1 big tray to contain all of my tools, and then move it to the preparation desk. Because of that, I got 9 for my workflow point.

    I always do something that I can. In my junior high school years, I was a bowling athlete and joined some competitions, even though I didn’t win. And then in senior high school and college, I was in a basketball team. I never think, “with my condition, I shouldn’t do certain things.”

    Is there anything you want to do, but your disability won’t allow it?

    Of course, I’ve always wanted to play music instruments, like guitar, but I can’t barely hold it. But then there you go, I have someone else that’s good at it. There are other fun things I can try, like when I got back to Samarinda, I really love to fish with my dad.

    Do you have any plan to open your own coffee shop?

    Perhaps after I became the world champion, because if I were to open it now, people would think, “come on, you’re just the 11th place!”

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  • 24/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Of Flavor & Memories

    Kenangan indah di masa kecil mampu membentuk seseorang menjadi pribadi yang baik, dan itulah yang terjadi pada Will Lim. Chef muda jebolan sekolah kuliner Australia ini mampu mengejawantahkan makanan favoritnya sewaktu belia menjadi hidangan berkelas dengan memadukan ilmu memasak Eropa dengan kegemarannya pada hidangan ala Indonesia.

    Mengawali karir di sejumlah restauran fine dining serta hotel berbintang mancanegara rupanya belum membuat Will Lim puas dalam menyalurkan bakat memasaknya. Kini, lewat restoran miliknya yang mungil dan elegan di bilangan Canggu, Sensorium, Will mampu dengan leluasa berkreasi serta membagikan citarasa masakan Indonesia favoritnya dalam presentasi memukau dan ide-ide yang cemerlang. PASSION mendapat kesempatan untuk berbincang langsung dan menyelami pemikiran pemuda brilian asal Medan tersebut pada edisi ini. Mari kita simak bersama!

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  • Da Maria
    24/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Blends of Expertise

    Raised in UK, honing his skills in Australia (under the tutelage of the legendary Marco Pierre White at one time, no less), and established himself as a prominent chef in Bali, Steven Skelly’s career path is not one to be taken lightly. Through Da Maria, he brought all of his experience, effort and expertise to create a fine representation of Italian cuisine. PASSION chats with the man himself to find out more about his passion and knowledge in-between his bustling kitchen activity.

    Can you remember the exact moment in which you decided to become a chef? What inspired it?

    It wasn’t one moment; it was more like a series of moments that led me to cooking. When I was finishing school I was washing dishes and when it wasn’t busy i was passed simple little jobs to pass the time. It grew from wanting to learn more 

    What is Da Maria’s main culinary philosophy?

    DM was an idea of Maurice’s (Maurice Terzini of Iceberg Australia) that I helped brings to life. It began with dishes from Maurice growing up in Abruzzo. After a few months we really hit our niche of the current style

    In Da Maria, do you make your own pizza dough and pasta? Whats the most favourite type of sauce so far?

    We do, absolutely!! I really like to bring my French training to the pasta section. I use a butter sauce, similar to a buerre blanc, to give this feeling of richness and almost luxury feel to the pasta. We use a mixture of reduced infusions or a compound butter to make some beautiful sauces.

    What is the most essential thing that every Italian-cuisine chef should have in their kitchen?

    I would be split between a series of micro planes or the vegetable mill/ mouli. Actually, the mouli any day!!! Sauces, gnocchi and even passing the braises to make ragu.

    If there is one dish you cook to impress, what would it be?

    Some sort of filled pasta; prawn is my current favorite with fermented chili and basil. But the gnocchi is super light. Depends who i was cooking for!

    What message are you trying to convey to the customers of Da Maria? Is there any flavor adjustment that you made to accommodate the local palate?

    There is no hidden message; it’s a lovely modern style of cooking that can be enjoyed by all. It’s not heavy; it’s not challenging or tweezer tricky. We see guests 2/ 3 times a week here. Italian food has been in Bali for ages so our local guests totally understand it.

    Where would you see Da Maria five years from now?

    We’ll still be here doing our style, hopefully with some extruded pasta being made in house. That is the next goal for me to develop. We can only do so much with the pasta roller.

    Any tips for young, aspiring chef out there?

    Stick at it!! The first few years are tough, especially back when i was starting. Thankfully that sort of environment is becoming extinct.

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  • CRK
    24/05/2019 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Expanding the Business (Part 2)

    One of the most popular ways to expand a business is with franchise. We even have few magazines and events that focused on this method. Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK) gave his opinions regarding the things you need to look out for in using the franchise method to expand your business.

    How do you see franchise?

    Actually, franchise is more complicated, especially when we talk about great number of menus in a restaurant. Therefore, the restaurants that use this method are the ones that have few menus, such as fried chicken brands. There’s a famous noodle brand that refuse to use this method to keep up their high standard. If they can still manage it themselves, why should they franchise the brand? The thing is, a company will use franchise when they see it won’t be a threat or boomerang to their own business expansion.

    What’s the objective of using franchise?

    They want to simplify and accelerate the growth of the business. That’s why we have some fast food chains that have hundreds or even thousands in relatively short time. Most of the times, when a brand reached 10 outlets, they started thinking of franchise as an option to expand the business.

    How about the main challenges of using the method?

    Keeping the quality and consistency. The key lies in the central kitchen that supplies the ingredients to all of the outlets. In fact, we had many franchisees who run out of ingredients and instead of losing sales and getting some complaints, they prefer to buy their own substitutes that might not meet the franchisor’s standard. As a result, the whole outlets of the brand will suffer. These kinds of case are commonly occur. Therefore, I suggest a clear written agreement that says that franchisees are not allowed to use ingredients other than what’s being sent from the central kitchen. These small things can be a big problem that may damage the reputation of a brand.

    in addition, you need to look out for the capacity of the central kitchen. How many outlets can you supply? You need to calculate the minimum space required to supply one outlet. If you can only supply 10 outlets, what will happen if you have more than 10? Will you build a new central kitchen? Meanwhile, no one can guarantee the growth of F&B business. If you have a good year, doesn’t mean you’ll have a good one next year, vice versa.

    What are the expenses we need to watch when we apply franchise system?

    Usually, franchise system requires the franchisee to pay certain amount of share to the franchisor. A franchisor can do the monitoring process based on system they’ve built, such as POS and sales report. Some bad franchisees will try to trick the system, therefore, you have so many things to learn.

    A franchisee must realized that paying share is the risk he has to face when he chose a franchise business. On the other hand, master franchisor has to keep on innovating to survive. Usually, a restaurant will make new innovations every 2 years, and every 5 years, they will replace all the equipments. We do this for the brand’s ability to survive. One closed down outlet will raise a question, meanwhile 2-5 closed down outlets will be dangerous for a brand’s reputation and life.

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  • 03/05/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Sweetness Intertwined

    Leading the sweet-treat division of Mason Gourmet, Chef Febri and Chef Sena blends their experience, talents and tireless efforts to turn their bright ideas intoquality homemade end products; namely chocolate and gelato.
    As an avid pastry chef of 13 years’ experience, Nugroho Febrianto is always opens for new challenges and opportunity to expand his skills. After arriving at Mason Gourmet circa 2015, he exchanges dough and oven with milk and freezing machines to create high-standard gelato of various flavors, but he is not alone in that delightful change ofscene. Starting out as one of Chef Febri’s talented apprentices, the Bali-born I Made Sena also raise up amongst his young peers to lead Mason Gourmet’s prestigious Chocolate division. PASSION converges with these two fine lads to discuss how chocolate and gelato can intertwine, amongst various sweet-induced topics.

    According to you what is the fundamental difference between ice cream and gelato? Is it true that the latter is healthier than the first?

    Chef Febri : Basically, gelato is so different from ice cream, because in gelato, the fat is less than 30% while in ice cream, its more than 50%, so yes, gelato is more healthier than ice cream. People nowadays are looking for gelato more because of that reason as well. They are high in protein, but low in fat. Another difference worth mentioning is that gelato can stand room temperature longer than ice cream. The less containment of fat in gelato also means that it is keep in lower temperature than ice cream; around 9 degree celcius, compared to 16 degree we use topreserve ice cream.

    Which is the hardest ingredient to make into a gelato flavor?

    Chef Febri : For me, the hardest ingredients would be fruits, because originally, fruit contains around 60% of water, and gelato is made with milk as basic ingredients. Water and milk doesn’t go along really well in the freezer, and tend to create ice crystal. In a quality authentic gelato, we avoid to create ice crystal, so we have to be really precise in the water content, and also the sugar as well. Amongst all kind of fruits, the one that grow in tropical area is the hardest to work upon, because they contain lots of natural water. One of the examples is dragon fruit.

    Where is your idea of making the flavors Mason Gourmet’s gelato comes from?

    Chef Febri: We have a great executive corporate chef who oversees all products that we want to create. He tends to task us to make something that are currently trending in the market nowadays. We are obliged to create new kind of flavors every time, which doesn’t stray too far from original taste and can still be accepted by our local consumers. We discuss the idea together before executing it. The executive chef has been so supportive to us all along. The latest flavor that we are experimenting with is chocolate, since we now have our own homemade chocolate division as well. We tinkered with several categories of dark chocolate until we finally found the most suitable one to apply in our gelato.

    What is the most memorable moment in your career so far?

    Chef Febri: All along my career in culinary world, I always find big challenge, and it only getting bigger after I decided to work at Mason Gourmet. Now, since we have been fully supported by the company with the finest equipment available, we have to constantly develop our idea and create the best products as well.

    Chef Sena: So far, the experiences that I get in Mason Gourmet are the most memorable. Especially on this chocolate field; which is actually new to me, because I started out as pastry and bakery chef.

    How did you determine the source of your chocolate ingredients? Are they all locally grown?

    Chef Sena : We use cocoa beans from all over Indonesia. For the standard, Mason Gourmet’s corporate has establish a very good own standard, and we work to determine our main ingredients by using that specification.

    What makes Mason Gourmet products (Chocolate and Gelato) different from other brand’s competitor?

    Chef Febri: As I stated before, all of our products comes in the highest quality because it was made by using top-standard machinery and equipment. So this is what I think would differ us from the competitors. Good ingredients could not be maximized if they are not processed with fine equipment. With that kind of support from the company, then we have to strive and make our end products the best premium possible.

    Chef Sena : For the chocolate, I think it can be differ from the taste. All of our chocolate bars have ‘secondary taste’; which comes from the bean itself and depends where they are being planted. Just as coffee, cacao beans will absorbs any kind of flavors from the plants or soils around them. Secondary taste is one of the indications of international-standard chocolate, and we have it in our products. Some of our chocolate’s secondary tastes are fruity, nutty, herby and floral. It all depends on where the beans came from.

    Any chance we would see official collaboration between Mason Gourmet’s chocolate and gelato in near future?

    Of course! Because we are constantly developing, we will expand our gelato into several forms and shape. For example, we planned to make a gelato product in form of a cake, and since now we also produce our own chocolate, the chance for that kind of collaboration will be higher. Not only that, we will also expand our cafes as well, make it bigger in near future.

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  • 03/05/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Passion and Perseverance

    It takes patience, perseverance, and sacrifices to see one’s passionate pursue finally came to fruition. Gupta Sitorus and Primo Rizky, the duo behind all things good coming from Eskimomo ice cream, shared their story of success here.

    What’s the story behind Eskimomo?

    Eskimomo was started in 2013 and we are ardent believers of anything that started with passion, not ambition, will always end well. Both of us love desserts so much and we wanted to start something that can evoke a lot of creativity. What made sense with our circumstances back then was to start a humble ice cream business. For us, ice cream is such a colorful playground and sky’s the only limit.

    As we grow, we are still committed to this industry and have done a lot of developments in terms of our taste portfolio, cooking techniques, while also learning from the more experienced as well.

    Can you describe what kind of ice cream that Eskimomo offers?

    Our kind of ice cream is what the industry would categorize as ultra-premium ice cream. In contrast with the massively produced industrial type that can yield twice or thrice after churning the mixture for hours, our version will only yield additional 30%. That’s why compared to them, our ice cream has thicker texture, a bit chewy, and rather similar with gelato.

    As to why we chose this approach, our initial determinations back then concluded that Indonesian market did not bother (yet) with the differences between gelato and ice cream. In terms of cooking techniques though, there’s not much difference aside from some of the ingredients. However, in terms of investments, gelato machines are more on the high-end side. Eskimomo had humble beginnings and once again, it all started with passion and not mere ambition. That’s our way to avoid unnecessary risks as well.

    Tell us why you guys prefer the B2B approach?

    That has always been our aim since the beginning, to tell you the truth. We both have other businesses in publishing and as consultants as well. Therefore, it wouldn’t make any sense to present ourselves in retail business as a full-time job. Jakarta is challenging for ice cream business and hats off for those who build their retail presence bravely here, but it’s just not our thing in the end. Perhaps later when an opportunity arises, we’d like to consider that again.

    Why the B2B? Partly because we can manage our time better with this approach. It’s more reasonable for us and yet, it’s no less profitable than retail. We get to keep our creativity all the time as well, since our B2B clients may ask for customized flavors. For instance, we have our Pinacolada ice cream for Mexican theme, we have Putu flavor for Indonesian, we have others for Japanese, and many more.

    What are your signature flavors and the most unique you ever came up with?

    Our Apple Pie flavor is still the best-seller to date. Other signature flavors we have are the Choco Orange, Choco Mint, and Salted Caramel Popcorn. We are adopting the Philadelphian-style ice cream and that enables us to explore with more flavors rather than the Parisian.

    Lately, we are exploring a lot of Indonesian flavors. We did Kunyit Asam sorbet, just because we were intrigued with the tamarind we found in Cirebon. We created the Nasi Lemak flavor when we had this gig once in Kuala Lumpur - made from tempe kecap, caramelized anchovies, sweet chili jam, rice pudding, and emping. Recently in Singapore, we did Martabak flavor and Sayur Asem sorbet!

    Where can we find your ice creams in Jakarta and how many do you produce?

    We supply our ice cream to Beau, Lewis & Carroll, Taco Local, Baoji, Honu, Ramurasa, Coffee AYA, and several others. Currently we have a single client that orders around 6,000 cups per month.

    You guys have come a long way, haven’t you?

    We now have several ice cream machines each with an output of 5 liters per hour or so. We have three kitchen assistants and a courier to drop our ice cream fresh every day for clients.

    Looking back, we only have this tabletop, home appliance quality, ice cream machine that can only produce a liter per hour or equal to 10 cups. One time, the pedal was broken and we, in turn, had to churn it manually by hand! We need to finish everything that night just because we’re heading for an event in Bandung the next day.

    We did this at home after 9 to 7 work every day back then and it’s for a business that was not more profitable than our salaries. But well, that’s passion for you, and looking back, we have come quite a long way!

    Any plans after this?

    We are so blessed with internet nowadays. Back then, you need to go somewhere far just to study about ice cream making. However, we still would like to get a degree for it and we’re enrolling for food science degree at Penn State University starting at the end of this year. We need to learn more about the R&D, how to deal business in industrial scale, and that’s important since Eskimomo is heading more seriously that way.

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  • 29/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Molecular Gastronomy & Gelato

    It’s kind of difficult to call one specific title for Ronald Prasanto. He’s widely known as F&B consultant who handle some big brands, one of owner of theroastery Kopi Pak Wawan, Indonesia’s molecular gastronomy figure, and distributor of D’Lanier’s Chocolate Powder Drinks. But of course, we present the man in this issue because he introduced the nitrogen ice cream that was booming in 2013 under the name of Ron’s Laboratory. Because of few things, he left the company he built (Steve Jobs, anyone?), company that used his own name. As predicted, Ron’s Laboratory didn’t last long after he left.

    Even though he’s out of ice cream and gelato for quite a while, Ronald’s still willing to share his knowledge in this field, from his research on ice cream, the use of emulsifier, to his method of production to avoid big investment in the beginning of the business. Passion Media met the man after he returned from  London Book Fair, England, and a trip to Pontianak. We managed to “force” him to get back to kitchen and started making gelato, a thing he hasn’t done for years.

    First question, people are asking, as one of coffee people, why did you start gelato business?

    To me, gelato is part of coffee business. If you go to Italy and order affogato, you may choose ice cream, gelato, or sorbet in various flavor to be enjoyed with espresso. I don’t know why, Indonesians know affogato as espresso and vanilla ice cream only.

    If you take a look closely, every business I run is the supporting for coffee shop, it’s just I prefer to take the businesses around it. Let say Kopi Pak Wawan that’s already running well, I also act as the distributor of D’Lanier’s Chocolate Powder Drinks, and currently, I’m learning about viennoiserie. They’re all businesses that surround coffee shop.

    Let say, if you’re in Pekalongan, where everybody’s doing batik, your choices are: start your own batik business and compete with everyone, or become the batik ink supplier? I prefer to be the last one, because the market is already there. The same thing with coffee, if I were to open a coffee shop, I’d be competing with my friends, such as Mirza Luqman (Starbucks Coffee), Adi Taroepratjeka (5758 Coffee Lab) and many others. When I sell Chocolate Powder Drinks, I can easily enter all coffee shops, offer the product, and still be cool with them.

    Where did you learn the gelato?

    Mostly from books, such as The Big Fat Duck Cook Book (Heston Blumenthal), Ice Cream (Douglas Goff & Richard W. Hartel), and Modernist Cuisine (Nathan Myhrvold & Maxime Bilet). In the beginning, actually I learned about ice cream, but due to high demand of product with lower fat content, in the end I learned gelato and sorbet.


    Ron’s Laboratory sold all three products, right? How can you tell which flavor to be made into ice cream, gelato, or sorbet?

    In my mind, flavors that are dense, buttery, or creamy like Red Velvet is suitable for ice cream, because you need high fat content. If you were to make the slightly creamy, but lighter flavor, such as Thai Tea, I’d make it into gelato, my approach is more to balancing the texture. Some of my products are made using white base, but I also have some, such as rujak sorbet, made with direct system.

    Please explain a bit about Ron’s Laboratory’s initial concept.

    I just want people to know that molecular gastronomy is not as complicated as you imagine from the book (pointing at The Big Fat Duck Cook Book), we have some products that are using very simple approach. Therefore, each month we always offer 6 flavors, in the next month, I’ll replace 2 old flavors with the new ones, always like that. Our best seller was Red Velvet Ice Cream, I took it out until some customers requested us to bring it back via Instagram.

    Okay, now, let’s talk about ice crystal.

    There 2 factors that affect ice crystal: emulsifier & stabilizer, and the duration of freezing process. In Ron’s Laboratory, I used liquid nitrogen and it took only 3-5 minutes to freeze it, I had no issue in the duration. Along the way, I decided to replace the emulsifier. I used egg yolk, but I replaced it with xanthan gum and guar gum.

    Basically, emulsifier is used to combine fat and water, in this regard, cream and milk, but all the gellyfications (gums) act as both emulsifier and stabilizer. The recipe that we’ll make is using gelatin, but until today, I believe xanthan and guar gum are the best for ice cream. Guar gum gives you the melt-in-mouth sensation, similar to gelatin, but unfortunately, gelatin melts too easily. On the other hand, xanthan gum can maintain the structure. If you saw the rubbery Turkish ice cream, they use gellan gum.

    Why didn’t you stick to using egg yolk?

    The problem with egg yolk is its short shelf life. It spoils faster than gums. When Ron’s Laboratory were expanding to Surabaya and Medan, we need products with longer shelf life. The next issue is, the size of each egg differs to each other, if I wrote 5 egg yolks in the recipe, the question would be: how big should they be?

    What about sugar, which type did you use?

    Sucrose, regular table sugar, it’s the most accessible one. Back to your needs, you’d want ice cream that you think is perfect, merely commercial, or ice cream that’s safe for your family? I designed Ron’s Laboratory’s product to be the the safest one because we only use regular castor sugar, the gums are made from seaweed extract, milk, and no artificial coloring.

    What sort of products did you call “not safe”?

    Let’s take aspartame for example, it’s an artificial sweetener. It’s 60 times sweeter than regular sugar, so cost-wise, it would be much more efficient. Aspartame is commonly used as sugar substitute for those with diabetes. But it’s not good for healthy people to consume it on regular basis.

    Our production concept is quite simple, we made the base here (Jakarta) and then each outlet will mix it with milk, cream, and then we use mixer and liquid nitrogen for churning process, done! When we only have 1 outlet, it’s easy for us to create new menus, but when we reached 6 outlets, I had to compromise. Iknew that the ingredients availability in Medan and Surabaya are different from Jakarta. I had to adapt with the situation.

    Where did you get the idea of churning using Kitchen Aid and liquid nitrogen?

    I saw it in Internet, and then for the freezing using liquid nitrogen, Chin Chin Labs (London) has done it before. When you’re learning about a specific product, you’d go for the details. However, sometimes people forget, to attract people to learn for the first time, you can’t explain too much about the scientific calculation, you’d drove people away.

    If you made ice cream without machine, didn’t you save so much cost?

    From the initial investment, it’s definitely cheaper, but your operational cost will be higher, mainly because of nitrogen’s evaporation. Imagine, liquid nitrogen’s temperature is -198o C, it’s even boiling in -100o C. When you have 100 kg liquid nitrogen, in the next day it would only be around 80 kg, we can call it shrinkage. To make it worse, the less nitrogen you have in the container, the bigger the evaporation, it’s inevitable. In each outlet, we had 400 kg nitrogen, but in the office, we had 800 kg as spare. The overall operational cost was indeed higher, but when you compare the conventional investment, you only need mixers such as KitchenAid, liquid nitrogen containers, and stoves, that’s it!

    I heard you were planning to enter retail market before you left Ron’s Laboratory?

    Yes, we planned to buy real gelato machine and no longer use nitrogen. Until today, I think there’s an empty market here, Indonesia doesn’t have retail ice cream with such high level of creativity, very concerned about flavor and texture quality, like Ben & Jerry. Let’s take their Strawberry Cheesecake flavor as example, you will have actual cheesecake chunks, cookie dough, every layer of cheese cake is there. I was aiming for that market.

    Did you design Ron’s Laboratory as temporary trend?

    SWhen we opened our first outlet in Grand Indonesia, we hit the BEP in merely 3 months! Whenever you see business with such graphic, you’d know it’s temporary trend, similar to Es Kepal Milo or Cappuccino Cincau. The rule to play the game is: when it’s booming, you open many outlets all at once, and defend, that’s it! To me, Ron’s Laboratory product’s quality is not that special, it’s how you  present it with interesting marketing strategy.

    Business-wise, what’s the biggest lesson you got from your journey with Ron’s Laboratory for 2 years?

    Hmm, I don’t know, because everything went as I’ve planned it to be. However, before you start a partnership, I suggest you should know your partners better. After I left Ron’s Laboratory, I had an investor who was willing to fund me, but I knew that the hype of nitrogen ice cream was out, so why bother? It’s better to prepare for the next trend.

    Some people said that such gelateria business is not profitable, what do you say?

    Logically, it should be profitable. In coffee, the roasted green bean is losing weight, meanwhile in ice cream and gelato, the volume expand, similar to bread. However, I have to admit our rent cost, especially in the malls, is too expensive. When you calculate the whole rent cost, machine investment, shrinkage, and interior design, yes, it’s tough. Especially for the rent, if  it’s for the machine’s shrinkage, you may use 10 years assumption, as long as you operate it properly.

    How much does professional gelato machine actually costs?

    Around Rp 700 millions for a proper machine. The problem is, if you give me middle class espresso machine like Simonelli, I can still beat new baristas, even though they’re using La Marzocco or Slayer. Human plays big role in operating coffee machine, but in ice cream and gelato industry, machine plays bigger role. If you use cheap machine with cooler at the end of the machine, of course the ice cream can freeze, but it took longer time, and it resulted in big ice crystal. You can’t enter the premium market, the market has its own standard, the size of ice crystal should be within such micron range. 

    Now, we had many new gelato players, does it mean gelato is trending again?

    Actually, the business is still profitable if you know how to play the game. If you open a gelateria and expect people to come, just forget it. It’s better to pack the gelato in nice packaging and supply it to coffee shops. As opposed to retail business (B2C), supply business (B2B) has significantly lower cost. Now, I’m focusing to create profit because I have to feed my family. I’m not saying my idealism is dead; let’s say it’s just beaten up by my bills.

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  • 29/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The First Indonesian Gelato Champion

    After winning the first Indonesia Gelato Competition, Jovita Rainy Pranata, along with Pipit Yulianti and Louis Tanuhadi, represented Indonesia in Asian Gelato Competition in 2018’s Food Hotel Asia. Even though they didn’t win, they managed to get Best Team Spirit award, not bad isn’t it? Knowing it was the first time for them (and Indonesia) to join the international competition.

    When we planned for the gelato & ice cream issue, we knew we had to meet Jovita to dig further about the current situation of gelato industry in Indonesia, some technical issues in gelato making, to her experience when she represented Indonesia in Asian Gelato Competition.

    What’s your current activities?

    Many things, I teach gelato classes in some baking studios, such as Bake and Artisan Academy and Koch House in Alam Sutera. I’m selling products such as cookies, cakes, lapis legit, etc, online under the name Francelle Patisserie. I also teach at PT. Espresso Italia, but more to business side. At the moment, many people with money started thinking, “it would be fun to have a gelateria”, but they lack knowledge.

    I love combining local culinary heritage into gelato, such as in my lapis legit gelato. Actually, lapis legit is a very Indonesian product. However, with it’s high fat content, in low temperature, the lapis legit will be hardened and it’s best served as gelato that has higher serving temperature (-12o - -18o C), meanwhile ice cream is around -18o to -20oC.
    When you combine products with different textures, you need to have similar mouthfeel. When the gelato started to melt, we don’t want the lapis legit to be still in frozen state.

    It appears gelato is not as easy as it looks?

    Yes and no. It would be very helpful if you have background in pastry or culinary, because you already understand taste bud and nature of the ingredients. When common people started their own gelato business, the biggest challenge would bein combining things that resulted in a messy, not in well harmony product. When you want to make soto gelato, it tastes so much like turmeric.

    How important is it to have knowledge in pastry to start gelato business?

    Most of gelato chefs abroad have background as Pastry Chef. Gelato combines art and pastry, and it requires skill, sense of art, and knowledge. For example, chocolate has higher fat content, which means it solidifies in cold temperature, you need to know the right ingredients to balance it, so it can be spooned easily.

    Actually, this texture issue doesn’t really matter for restaurants whose core business is not gelato, or if you just want to make your own gelato at home. But, when you have your own gelateria with many available flavors in the freezer display, you need to ensure that all of the flavors have similar consistency level. Have you ever been to a gelateria and craving for Bailey’s flavored gelato, but it looks that it’s gonna melt soon? Finally, you settled on the dark chocolate one, but you see the waiter is having hard time spooning it. I call this imbalance of
    the recipes.

    What are the things we need to start gelato business?

    First, of course you need good, balanced recipes, second it’s the equipment. There are many kinds of gelato machine, from entry level to advance, what’s the difference? At a glance, it seems that it’s about different capacity, from 3,5,7 to 12 kg. However, to sum it up, machines with advanced feature support very low balancing recipes. For example, you can put simple syrup in it and you’ll end up with some slush.

    As the machine gets cheaper, you need more things to tweak. You need to be quick to make gelato, because you need to have ice crystal, but it has to be as small as possible to have smooth texture. The longer it took, the ice crystal will get bigger. How can you tell the machine’s quality? You’ll know in few hours after the gelato is put into display freezer, or the day after. In good gelato, the texture and structure will remain the same.

    I can show you the texture of the gelato made with good machine. After churning, the texture will be soft, similar to soft serve ice cream, but it will look dry and firm when spooned. Wet gelato will affect the structure as it will melt easier and you have decrease in volume, your margin, and the presentation when you put it into freezer display.

    But the thing is, good gelato machines are very expensive.

    Along with teaching, I also do consulting. Some of my clients consult about the recipes, bought cheap machines, and asked me, “how come my gelato melts very easily even though I’ve used stabilizers?” Some of them are not being honest about the machines they use, perhaps because the consultation is only limited to recipe. I’m not saying the most expensive machines are the most cost efficient, just buy the one that suits your production capacity, but to make gelato, I highly recommend you to buy specific gelato machine. People are taking short cuts by buying any machine that can churn, to change liquid into ice cream.

    Are the gelato and ice cream machines that different?

    Some more advanced machines have features to control the texture so you can produce both products. Most people just buy to make their own gelato at home, so
    they’re happy when they managed to make it. However, for professional industry, with 3 to 5 kg capacity, if the machine is not good, can you imagine what will

    How much is the maximum volume addition after churning in gelato?

    50% maximum, but for gelato, we use weight instead of volume. The volume expansion happens because of the overrun, it’s when the air incorporated into the dough during churning. In ice cream, it’s more common to use volume, but when it started to melt, you’ll end up with significant decrease in volume. It means high overrun. When you eat it, the mouthfeel will be light, and the aroma isn’t too strong, similar to when you eat mousse. Meanwhile, gelato has denser texture. You may have 3 cups of ice cream, but with gelato, you might only need
    1 cup.

    Are you trying to say that gelato is superior to ice cream?

    Yes and no. Look, most ice creams we know are industrial, the one that focuses on sustainability of production. They prefer to use flavorings compared to fresh ingredients. When people sell gelato using fresh strawberries, people will complain because of its acidity. People knew strawberry as sweet, aromatic, they’re not used to eating the fresh ones, that’s the flavor perception most people have.

    Meanwhile, in Italy, most gelaterias are family owned business for generations with personal touch, or you can call it artisan product. Most of them are small companies who made their gelato in small batch, similar to art and culture. They use local ingredients, such as fragoline di bosco (Italian wild strawberry) that has distinctive taste, compared to the Korean or local

    In an event, a visitor complained the difficulty of having Italian ingredients supply. The Gelato Chef said, that’s the art of gelato: how you can create something unique, artisan, using local influence and products, because you can’s separate art with its origin. Let say, Balinese sculptor will make the traditional Balinese statue, it’s not possible for them to make Roman sculpture, isn’t it?

    So what’s the benefit of ice cream compared to gelato?

    First, it has longer shelf-life, you can store it for years. Ice cream also allows more flexible flavor exploration. Ice cream is a better product to apply alcohol because of its anti freezing property.

    Making gelato is not only about art, it’s only mathematic. You need to know which ingredients have anti freezing property, how much the sugar content. Some Gelato Chefs often shook their heads whenever they hear people ask, “can we remove the sugar?” You can remove the milk, replacing it with vegan milk, or any other ingredients, but you can never remove the sugar completely.

    Sugar has the anti freezing property. Put it this way, if you store mineral water in 0o C, it will freeze, but it’s a different story when you put sugar  syrup or honey in the same temperature. Why we need this anti freezing property? Because we need to spoon the gelato in serving temperature, which is below 0o C. Therefore, in gelato, it’s common to use different types of sugar, from the common castor sugar who has 1 anti freezing property, to the dextrose who has twice anti freezing capability.

    Anti freezing has its own metering system. We use dextrose often in dark chocolate gelato, or any other flavors with higher fat content so the gelato will remain soft and spoonable. Alcohol has similar anti freezing property to sugar. When you apply alcohol, the gelato texture won’t become firm even though you have longer churning process. However, some ingredients with solid content such as fat or fiber are able to hold together the other ingredients.

    The calculation of anti freezing depends on the ABV in the drinks, for products such as Bailey’s and wine, the ABV is below 20%. Imagine if you have to use products such as rhum whose ABV 40%. Because of it’s naturally higher serving temperature gelato tends to melt easily if you apply alcohol. If you use stabilizer to bind them altogether, the texture will become chewy and rubbery. Every stabilizer has its own character that you need to understand.

    Wait, I’m a bit dizzy here, it seems that making gelato is very complicated, isn’t it?

    To simplify it, we use the base system or indirect method. The pasteurized milk base will be turned into white base, and then you can put whatever you like, let say coffee or peanut butter. It will make the whole process easier and commonly used for common gelato flavors, such as salted caramel, peanut, coffee.

    In addition, to give flavor, you don’t have to use fresh ingredients. You can use gelato paste as flavor concentrate to give you better efficiency in term of durability and inventory system. On the direct method, you need to make everything from scratch, it’s more time consuming and complicated, but you’ll end up with more unique signature product.

    How significant is this direct VS indirect method? I mean, can the customers tell the difference?

    It depends on the target market. In premium market with higher buying power, they have higher exposure to high quality gelato. They can tell whether you’re using flavoring or fresh ingredients. However, most customers aren’t sensitive enough for this kind of thing. Some of the unique flavors in gelateria are actually used to attract traffic, but the best sellers remain the same old “safe” flavor such as chocolate, hazelnut. Usually, 70-80% of the available flavors in a gelateria are the basic ones.

    You represented Indonesia to compete in Asian Gelato Cup, along with Pipit Yulianti and Louis Tanuhadi, please tell us a bit about the competition.

    We made some products such as cassava tapay gelato, sticky rice tapay gelato, and gedong gince mango gelato. We made 1 gelato, 1 plated dessert and 3 gelato cakes. There are many things that affect judges’ score, but to me, the most important thing is experience. It means, winner of the competition doesn’t necessarily has better product, but they’re better in understanding what the judges want. It’s the first time for Indonesia to enter such competition, meanwhile other countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Japan join it

    I can guess what the local judges want in national competition. Most of the times, they’re looking for uniqueness, creativity, balance of flavor, application of local ingredients, and interesting presentation. Most local judges emphasize the emotional aspect, meanwhile it’s a whole different story with international judges. You need to give more than gelato with exotic presentation and flavor.

    In the competition, the judge measure our serving temperature using the infrared thermometer to tell whether it was served in right temperature or not. Moreover, we use tapay that has high solid content. Me and Pipit has to tweak the recipe many times. The more mature the tapay, the alcohol content will be lower, so we need to figure certain age of tapay to reach the ideal ABV.

    The teams who won has joined the competition for several times, always with the same team member. When we received the rule book, we even asked the committee several times for points that we didn’t understand. There are many score aspects, they put the waste we made into consideration. And then about the teamwork, most of them maintain the same member to keep the same chemistry. If I were to join the same competition, I’d prefer to have Pipit with me as we have good chemistry already.

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  • 22/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Gelato for Everyone

    We felt we’ve tried enough gelato from Indonesia’s best gelateria, but last year, when we had the chance to try one Stefano Tarquinio’s (one of Carpigiani Gelato University’s teachers) gelato, we realized one thing, “we still have much to learn!” Stefano came to Indonesia to teach in gelato workshop in 2018’s Hotelex on 18-20 July. If you haven’t met the man, here’s our interview with Stefano about his background, his perspective on many things in gelato industry.

    Why and how did you get into this gelato industry? 

    One word only: passion. I always love eating and cooking at home, I went nuts for desserts. One day I was so delighted by a custard cream and pistachio cone and I thought, ”this is what I want to do my life!” It was 2004. I was born in Bologna, the food capital of Italy, the birthplace of Spaghetti Bolognese, lasagna, tortellini and FICO – Eataly World, kind of a Disneyland for food. I immediately decided to study at the Carpigiani Gelato University. 

    After completing the main pathway and getting my diploma, I attended advanced courses. That choice makes me happy every day more. I opened my gelato shop “Al Settimo Gelo” in Medicina town (Bologna, Italy), at the beginning I used to work and experiment for long hours, but when you do what you love it’s like playing, right? Then I tried a dream-team and the success came earlier than expected.

    It has been a honour seeing my gelateria becoming famous and appreciated also by people who weren’t living in my region. Since I was asked to teach at Carpigiani Gelato University, I started meeting people from everywhere in the world with the same passion. I’m glad to share with them what I learnt. I love travelling around the world with the mission to spread this beautiful gelato culture, that’s my biggest motivation.

    How sexy is the gelato market? 

    How do you compare it to ice cream? Gelato IS sexy, how would you think differently?! Every chef can express its passion and create personalized flavours, unusual gelato-cakes, cool gelato-mignons, tasty gelato-pralines and more. Can ice cream allow this unique touch? You can lick gelato while walking on the road or enjoying a break with friends or with your beloved ones. Gelato is the most affordable Italian luxury worldwide. Everybody can afford a gelato, could you really live without?!

    How do you define “good” or “proper” gelato?

    First of all, a good gelato should have a clear and recognizable taste. I must immediately feel that the gelato chef wants to deliver a specific experience, both in simple and complicated flavours. If pistachio is among the ingredients, I should immediately taste it.

    Then, there are technical and more sophisticated criteria to evaluate a good gelato: structure and texture, creaminess and “spreadability”. When you taste a gelato, consider a balanced level of melting, the ice crystals should be imperceptible and the cold-feeling not so strong. Eating a good gelato is a pleasant emotion that makes me wish it never ends.

    Tell us a bit about Carpigiani Gelato University! Who is it for?

    When I started there, I simply loved gelato. Among my best students, there are some from creative industry, finance and IT professionals, smart students and savy entrepreneurs who come from the most different backgrounds. The Gelato University was established in 2003 to educate people in the art of artisan gelato and soft serve ice cream. 

    Today, Carpigiani Gelato University is recognised internationally for educating successful gelato entrepreneurs around the world. Featuring a comprehensive training programme, cutting edge teaching and a team of internationally recognised Gelato Instructors, over 7.000 students globally pass through our courses each year. If you are ready to change your life with gelato and if you wish to add gelato to your menu or business, just register at the next course!

    is it important for anyone to start with a top gelato machine like Carpigiani?

    The success of your gelato shop depends also on the quality of the equipment you use. Just think about what can happen if your machine or display cabinet suddenly stops working. If you start with a reliable brand (years of experience always help), you will reduce daily and extraordinary costs. High performance and energy saving technologies are the best investment ever. Don’t forget to let your clients know about it. They will be grateful for your sustainable commitment, and they will have one reason more to order more gelato.

    Since Carpigiani not a cheap machine, how can you tell it’s a good investment to have one?

    Carpigiani Technology offers the highest level of innovation you can find in the gelato industry. The Research & Development team has been awarded for its pursuit to excellence. The engineers are always listening to the market’s needs. Furthermore, Carpigiani went the extra mile in order to create specific programs that help beginners to obtain the best results since the very first time they start using a gelato machine. It’s definitely an investment that pays off in the short run.

    How important is it for someone to learn about pastry before turning into a Gelato Chef?

    It definitely helps, but most of the students that start the “Become a Gelatiere” complete program at Carpigiani Gelato University have no experience in pastry or culinary arts at all. When you wish to attend the Carpigiani Gelato Pastry University courses (located in Tokyo) which targets professionals who want to upgrade their menus with first class gelato and pastry creations, a background in culinary, pastry or gelato art is compulsory.

    What are the most common mistakes people make when they start their own gelato business?

    Without passion you will never be successful, whatever you do. You should enjoy your gelatiere career, or it’s better you choose another job. Everybody doesmistakes, in Italy we say that only the ones who do not do anything, don’t do mistakes. The secret of success in a gelato business? Learn the basics, plan in advance, choose reliable partners. If your gelato equipment suddenly stops working, you won’t be able to produce gelato until the problem is solved. Remember that when you do a purchase, a good after sales support will save your wallet later on. Then, be open to learn new things and discover unexpected ways to create new recipes every day. Try, learn and smile!

    Is it true that Italian Gelato Chefs are encouraging people all over the world to use their local ingredients?

     I mean, it doesn’t always make sense business-wise for just anybody to use the imported Sicilian pistachio, right?If your clients don’t know how a Sicilian pistachio tastes and they can’t recognize the difference between an Iranian or Italian pistachio, then let me recommend you to make a kopi gelato! I’m an Italian Gelato Chef and I definitely recommend to use local ingredients. In Italy we change flavours considering the four seasons (lemons and oranges are better in winter times, peaches and apricots during the summer), we prefer to use fruit and veggies cultivated in our own region. Why shouldn’t you use your amazing mangoes, coconuts, bananas and spices if you operate in South East Asia?

    What’s the current trend in gelato industry? Are there any trending flavors,production methods, or business models that we can anticipate? 

    The trend is definitely low GI gelato and no added sugar gelato, Carpigiani allows to produce guilty free personalized creations with its new Adaptive Technology. Italian and European gelato chefs are required to attend specific courses and to get certifications, too.

     Gelato is a treat, we should be able to meet the demand of those who have got intolerances or the ones who follow specific diets. We all need to update our skills, attend continuing education modular and work with the right technology. The beauty of gelato? It can be interpreted accordingly to all the culinary traditions. From Bahasa to Malay, from Kosher to Halal, Chinese and Japanese. Any country you live, just start pushing the gelato boundaries. I tried out an excellent Azuki Gelato in Japan, an unforgettable Durian sorbet in Thailand and a tantalizing Goat Cheese and Bacon in Canada. I look forward to be surprised again, maybe in Indonesia.

    You’ve been all around the world, which places have the most interesting, local influenced gelato?

     The best gelato is where the biggest passion lives. Indonesian Chefs are very similar to Italian Chefs. Indonesia is a huge country, the land produces delicious fruit, veggie, coffee, chocolate, spices. An increasing number of Indonesian students register at Carpigiani Gelato University courses every year, famous Italian gelato brands already opened in Indonesia.

    When Carpigiani Gelato University organized the very first Gelato World Tour in Singapore, I tried Curcuma Gelatom that was delicious. And when I was in Jakarta last year, I tried a surprising gelato that contained rujak. Go the extra mile, Indonesian Gelato Chefs, transform your favourite desserts in gelato and create fresh emotions.

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  • 22/04/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    A Refined Transition

    Mengepalai suatu organisasi berkelas nasional tentu bukan pencapaian yang bisa dipandang sebelah mata, dan hal itulah yang membuat pribadi Wilson Widjaja begitu menarik untuk dikulik. Commis Chef restoran Clay Craft milik Hotel Rennaisance yang juga menjabat sebagai ketua YCCI regional Bali ini berjumpa dengan PASSION untuk menceritakan latar belakangnya serta transisinya di dalam dan di luar dapur. Bagaimana kiprah pria yang sempat menyabet sejumlah gelar internasional prestisius di bidang memasak tersebut hingga saat ini? Yuk, kita simak bersama!

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  • 08/04/2019 - dwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Partnership Issues

    The story of closed-down business because of the disputes among the owners are classic stories that has happened, and will always happen. However, for seasoned businessmen, there are things you can do to prevent, to minimizing the impact of this dispute. Here are some tips to build healthy partnership from Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, The President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA).

    What are the things we need to consider before making a partnership agreement?

    Since the beginning, you need to understand your own character and your future partner’, and then look for complementary figure. Let say you’re an aggressive, dominant person, you’d better find calmer partner. If you’re fire, look for the water, vice versa.

    In addition, everyone should understand business consequences. It’s a bit difficult for those with worker attitude. Let say, a 5 star hotel chef who demands certain brand of expensive butter, or 3 sous chefs, might need to compromise when he builds his own business.

    What’s commonly happening is, investor without F&B background persuades a great chef to open a new restaurant together and expect BEP within short time. We need to do some feasibility study beforehand, estimates the business calculation for the first year, second, and so on.

    Most people only think about proft, but they weren’t prepared to deal with loss. Those who work in the F&B business for years will know that it’s not an instant business, you can’t suddenly change taste preference. Business is built with blood, sweat and tears. If you see new brand with sudden, rapid growth, they’ll be bleeding for quite a while.

    So, big number of outlets doesn’t mean big profit?

    Not necessarily. I know exactly because I had some similar experience. One thing for sure, the bigger the investment, the bigger the expense, and the BEP will be longer. For F&B, usually BEP is reached in 5 years, having one in 2 years is a rare case. Especially for chain brands, they think long term. Investor without F& background will be surprised with the actual BEP length, moreover, for those who are used to trading stocks.

    Most partnerships come from friendship, then, how important is the legal agreement?

    Crucial, I’d say, it’s the main thing. When it comes to business, there’s a saying “business is business”. Don’t let money ruin your relationship. In the beginning, you need a clear agreement about the share of each investor, along with his job descriptions. If someone in charge with the operational, perhaps the other will be responsible in the back area, such as finance or HRD.

    Please note, the amount of share you have not only affect your profit share, but also you responsibility when you lose money. And then, I suggest you appoint 1 major shareholder to avoid deadlock. It’s even better if you use the service of the public notary for the agreement letter, for the sake of your own legal standing.

    Sometimes, it’s a bit awkward to talk about formal contract, especially with close people…

    Don’t be. Let alone friends, without formal agreement, even husband and wife will have issues in the future, believe me. Of course we have some people who make partnership without legal agreement and they’re being true to their own responsibilities, but it doesn’t happen very often. When you have disputes, you’d wish to have legal standing.

    Let say husband and wife has a business partnership, and then because of some reasons, they divorce, even though the business is growing. What will happen next? In legal agreement, you’ll have consequence in the face of dispute. You shouldn’t feel awkward to initiate a legal agreement, on the other hand, if your partner refuse to sign the contract, you need to be careful.

    What are the most common causes for disputes?

    The most common ones are impatient investors, too much bleeding, or unclear chain of command. Therefore, for business partnership, it’s best to appoint a person to be in charge for the operational, the other can supervise as commissioner. In the operational level, too much command will create confusion for staffs.

    When the most influential figure leaves the partnership, usually the brand will lose its soul. Similar to a music band, when a band member dies, will it break? If it’s the vocalist who gives so much character to the music, it’s not easy tofind a replacement.

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  • 05/04/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    A Warm Vibe of Home and Happiness

    After establishing his career as one of theisland’s most sought out Wedding Master of Ceremony (MC), Arnold Warembengan expands his horizon and fulfilling his talent in culinary through Arnold’s Coffee. In this edition, PASSION get to sit and talk with the charismatic gentleman himself about goals, challenge, and fine things in-between good food and career routine.

    So, how did it all started? What makes you plunges into culinary business?

    First of all a friend come to me and asked; ‘hey, Arnold, we got this space next to our barbershop if you want to make it into something, and I said ‘yeah, sure! Lemme think about it!’ I do like drinking coffee, but moreover I love preparing breakfast. For me, it is the most important meal of the day. I’ve been creating breakfast menus of my own; I love smoothie bowls, I love waffles, so I just try to put them out there and see if people like it.

    What is the most challenging part of establishing this coffee / brunch café so far?

    The most challenging part is to find my own style. Because there’s so many similar brunch or coffee place in Bali, so the challenge is how to not be like everyone else; how to stand out, how to stay true with my own brand, and how to have our own ‘voice’. I want to send message to whoever comes to Arnold’s that we are a home, comfortable, friendly space for you. I want to make it feels like you’re having breakfast at your own home.

    So who’s your target market?

    First of all, I want to serve our neighbor as many as possible, like, all the tourists that stay in private villas. I want to make impact in my neighborhood for before the other area in Bali.

    As a professional wedding MC as well, how do you relate your current business with your main profession? And how did you maintain the balance of both?

    It is who I am, being a wedding MC, and this whole new thing of coffee and breakfast place, it started out as an hobby, but then I realize that I can try to merge these two worlds. Very soon enough, I’m going to bring Arnold’s coffee brand at the wedding parties that I’m hosting. I just try to merge these two things into one, because I love to do it!

    What do you want to convey to your customers through Arnold’s?

    I want my customers to feel that they’re at home here. We want to be their friends, their family, to serve from the heart, really listen and care of what they want. We want to be a place that will missed them if they don’t show up, basically just to make them feel right at home.

    Tell us a bit about your brunch specialties; any story behind the menus?

    So, for example, my favorite brunch menu is waffle and bacon, and I’m so influenced by Southern American, they love to add bacon and maple syrup, they know how to eat, and they got big portion. When people come and see the portion here they said ‘wow, it’s so big!’, I said ‘yeah, I want to show you how to eat like Arnold!’, so, waffle is our specialties, people loved it. If you’ve ever been to American diner, there’s a lot of waffle, bacon, hash brown—it’s coming very soon here, and eggs, avocado & toast, you know, just simple breakfast that you can have any time of the day.


    How about the coffee? Do you prefer to use imported or local beans?

    We have decided since day one that we will use local beans, not that we don’t love imported ones, we just think that people who come from outside of Bali or Indonesia, they want to try something organic, something that originally from here, so we provide local beans for their coffee. Of course we will eventually have other choices for single origins; Guatemalan, all beans from outside Indonesia, but for now, our beans mainly comes from Bali, and we mixed it with a bit of Aceh because we love the nutty aftertaste.

    Any parting words for our readers?

    Dear customers; of course we want your money (laugh), but we also want to make you happy, so try our coffee, try our food, and always let us know what you need; we would love to hear from you. But, bottom line, we want you to have the best brunch-breakfast experience. Come, we want to make you happy!

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  • 05/04/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Rise of Homebrewers

    If you said you’re a coffee roaster before 2012, most people would cringe and ask, “what’s that?” Now, coffee roaster is one of millenials’ dream job thanks to the vast growth of coffee shop trend over the past few years. We met Arief Said, one of the most influential Indonesian roaster who worked in St. Ali, Melbourne, Morph Coffee, and currently focusing on Gordi. Here’s our interview with Arief Said about the coffee subscription concept, the growth of homebrewer, to the Indonesia’s coffee trend that’s no longer stuck to the world’s trend.

    Since you started Morph Coffee in 2012, how do you see the growth of coffee industry today?

    Very happy! Most people think coffee market is already saturated, there’s no more place for anyone to start something now, but what most people don’t realize, is that the pie gets bigger. We’re no longer fighting for the same market as our coffee consumption grows continuously. I really think that, now is the best time to start, because the market gets bigger. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be natural selection, there’s up and down, and the industry will get mature. But we’re not there yet, we’re still developing, I even say that in 2019, we’re just getting started.

    Start in 2019? What’s the base of your statement?

    Just look at new players like Fore, Kopi Kenangan, they just started recently. Of course, you need to be careful and equip yourself with business plan. They might have strong capital support, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start.

    I’m curious with Gordi’s coffee subscription concept, would you mind explain it a bit?

    Have you ever been confused with manu coffee bean selection today? In Jakarta, there are more than 100 coffee roasters who claimed themselves as “specialty”, let alone Tangerang, Bekasi, and other nearby cities. Even for me, as someone who’s been in the industry for years, I got dizzy, what about other people out there? For beginners, it can be quite overwhelming to find “good” coffee.

    It got me thinking, “what if we become the first point of contact, so we can select the good bean for our subscriber? Let us be your guiding hand, that’s the reason why I started Gordi. We’ll find good coffee beans for you and ask, “Which sort of coffee do you prefer? Fruity? Chocolatey? Deep body? Bitter?” we’re not here to judge you, we’re here to help.

    On the other hand, if you’re a homebrewer and bought lot of coffee. You might not be able to finish them, because most coffee are sold in 200 gram packaging. With this coffee subscription, you don’t have to buy too much, so you won’t be burdened to finish them.

    How does the coffee subscription works?

    It’s similar to magazine subscription. You pay for subscription and you’ll have the magazine sent to you every month. On our subscription, you have 3 choices: Filter Package, Espresso Package, and Black Package, then we’ll send it every 2 weeks. Just like the articles in the magazine, you can’t choose which coffee you’ll get.

    Actually, it’s not a new business model, it’s a true and tried concept in America, Australia, England, but it seems no one has done this in Indonesia. We’re happen to be the first one to introduce the concept here.

    Please explain about those packages!

    Each package comes in different size and price, starting from 100, 200, 500 to 1.00 gram. Espresso Package is designed for those who have espresso machine, meanwhile, with Filter Package, you’ll get 2 bean selections: local and international. We deliberately gave both because there are times when many people feel Indonesian beans are the best. To me, that’s blind belief, because to be the best, you have to know the competition. Have you tried beans from Ethiopia, Peru, Panama, Brazil, or Rwanda? We’ll take you to a journey to explore those flavors, taste it, and you give judgment.

    The last one, Black Package consists of rare bean, expensive, or experimental. You know you’ll get quality bean, but due to the high price and limited stock, it only comes in 1 size (70-100 gram) and we send it once a month.

    Does the growth of homebrewers threaten coffee shop? Or is it the other way around?

    I don’t think it’s threatening. Homebrewers have their own motivation, some just need the caffeine fix, saving money, but most of them are learners. They want to dig further, they love to experiment. If you come to a coffee shop, most of
    the times, people who sit in front of the bar and talking to the barista are the homebrewers. You might assume homebrewers are bunch of newbies, but they can be experts, because we have so many homebrewers who turn to be coffee shop owners, or coffee roasters.

    Wait, I knew you as coffee roaster, but in Gordi, you don’t roast your own bean?

    In the beginning, I was a roaster. But I no longer felt the excitement in retail market, and I decided not to do the roasting in Gordi’s formative years. It doesn’t mean I won’t roast anymore, because actually, I miss to experiment and try to bring the potency of the growing number of coffee bean selection.

    After we have 2 outlets, we started roasting just to meet the demand of our internal house blend, and some special requests from customers. However, Gordi will stick to the first pillar of the brand, curating coffee. Therefore, we’ll prioritize customer’s needs and coffee journey.

    Why did you finally decide to be a coffee curator?

    I want to help people in their coffee journey. Some have just started and they need guiding hands on their adventure in this dark world. Some are more experienced, but they don’t have the time to try and look for any variants of coffee from roasters. Some are well situated with their knowledge, but they just need the convenience of having coffee supply for their consumption. Business-wise, we can target the larger retail audience.

    Why did you say retail (homebrewer) market is bigger? Why don’t you keep being a coffee roaster?

    When I started Gordi, I have no idea about the homebrewer’s market size. However, I can relate to them because I started my coffee journey by brewing my own coffee at home and offer it to friends who came over. Based on my experience,
    homebrewers will be the early adopter in the industry. They are the market movers who finally make the coffee industry as it is now.

    I feel… homebrewers are very passionate people. They’re willing to leave their career to be a coffee roaster, open a coffee shop, and they all started as homebrewers. The vibe is very positive! And it attracts like-minded people from coffee communities in a very positive way. They’re the ones who come to One Fifteenth, Tanamera in the early years, then they built their own coffee shops. But as you can see now, the mass market finally follows these small communities.

    Back then, coffee shops only offers snacks and pastry products, now, everyone is offering main course, what do you say?

    In the end, I guess it’s just business choice from the owners. Of course everyone want be sustainable, right? How many cups of coffee you can drink per day? Not everyone drinks more than 5 cups a day, but if we assume everyone has 2-3 cups, probably a coffee shop will have the 1-2 cup share and some snacks in a visit. Thanks to the heavy traffic, people who visit a coffee shop expect to do anything in one place, from having a cup of coffee, lunch, meeting, etc.

    Some people regard coffee shops that sell main course as selling out, changing from its initial concept. Back to the beginning, can your business model be sustainable just by selling coffee? If yes, why not?

    In your opinion, what’s the next coffee trend? Especially when we compare it with the world’s trend?

    Honestly, in some ways, I feel that we’re ahead, from the quality of the barista, to the quality of coffee in the cafes. Put it this way, if you come to 5 random coffee shops, you might have 4 good ones in Melbourne, 3 in Jakarta, but in Perth, you might only got 2.

    Another example, La Marzocco in Indonesia is like a standard for a coffee shop. Out there, they would think, “is using La Marzocco a wise business decision?” When La Marzocco Leva just came out, we only have 90 units all over the world, but we have around 10 in Indonesia, that’s huge man! Imagine, from hundreds of countries, we have 10 out of 90 units.

    What  I’m trying to say is, we’re not that far behind, all the new technology in the world, will already be here within 2 months. If you ask me, “what’s next”, perhaps it is time to ignore the world’s trend and see our own unique domestic market.

    Our own market, what do you mean?

    Iced coffee milk, that’s a very local product. You may find iced coffee all over the world, but they have winter. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, we have 365 days of summer. It’s very make sense to create iced coffee milk. Moreover, most people
    still love sweet taste in their drink. Another contributing factor of the iced coffee milk trend’s success is the affordability. I think in the future, there will always be market who demand that product, and there will always be new customers who switched from instant coffee, or non coffee drinker, into fans of iced coffee milk.

    When you see the upstream, you’ll find the coffee price “C futures” in NASDAQ. It’s the lowest coffee price as commodity in the past 10 years. But in Indonesia, the price is keep escalating each year because of over demand. In addition, many of our local farmers end their export contract and decided to supply the local demand. As a result, Indonesian coffee became of the most expensive bean in our own domestic market.

    At the moment, you can get green bean Brazillian coffee for Rp 70.000/kg, meanwhile the bean from West Java with similar quality costs you Rp 100.000. Imagine, the difference is 30%...from Brazil, to Singapore, then to Jakarta, but it’s cheaper than the ones that was shipped from Bandung to Jakarta. It’s an amazing thing or local farmers. However, I guess there will market correction in the next few years.

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  • 27/03/2019 - ​Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Burden of Privilege

    Seperti anak orang terkenal lainnya, Xena Sawitri tentu mendapatkan berbagai macam privilege yang belum tentu bisa didapatkan semua orang. Namun, tentu ada sisi negatif dari privilege semacam ini, ia selalu berada di bawah bayang-bayang Ibunya, Chef Ucu Sawitri. Simak pembicaraan kami dengan Xena soal caranya menangani hal tersebut, cita-citanya, hingga alasan kepergian Wakil Presiden YCCI ini ke Bali.

    Bagaimana rasanya berkarir di bidang yang sama dengan orang tua Anda?

    Saya bersyukur sekali bisa mendapatkan privilege seperti networking sehingga bisa mengenal banyak orang. Ibu saya tentu sangat berpengaruh pada karir saya. Meski kemanapun saya pergi, orang selalu menanyakan Ibu, namun saya tidak mau terus dibawah bayang-bayangnya. Saya ingin memiliki branding sendiri. 

    Menurut Anda, apa pengaruh terbesar dari Ibu Anda?

    Mengenalkan saya ke orang-orang di industri ini, sehingga saya tahu apa saja yang mereka kerjakan. Saya jadi memahami dunia pastry tidak hanya sebatas hotel, cake shop, atau mengerjakan pesanan hingga ribuan pax. Namun, jika Ibu saya lebih fokus pada pastry art dan showpiece, saya lebih suka membuat produk pastry yang bisa dimakan.

    Apakah Anda sejak kecil dibimbing untuk mendalami dunia pastry oleh Ibu Anda?

    Dari kecil saya sering membantu Ibu di dapur. Setelah lulus SMP, sebetulnya saya ingin menjadi seorang dokter hewan, tidak terpikir sama sekali untuk bekerja di dapur. Namun ketika melihat workshop Ibu, saya mulai berpikir, “barang-barang ini mau ditaruh mana jika ia sudah tua nanti?” Dari situ saya memutuskan untuk meneruskan ke SMK jurusan Pastry, selain karena prospek ke depannya cukup baik, saya juga senang melakukannya, Ibu saya tidak pernah memaksa saya untuk mengikuti jejaknya.

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  • 08/03/2019 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Ressurecting YCCI

    Ketika bergabung YCCI (Young Chef Club Indonesia) beberapa tahun lalu, Fachri Yudatama, Presiden YCCI saat ini, mendapatinya dalam kondisi yang kurang begitu baik karena kesibukan para pengurus periode sebelumnya. Namun setelah berbenah diri, YCCI kini berhasil membuat berbagai aktivitas dan menambah jumlah member dari sekitar 220 orang hingga kini menjadi 380 orang. Kami menemui pria berusia 20 tahun ini di sela-sela kesibukannya

    Apa tujuan utama YCCI?

    Berdasarkan pengalaman, kegiatan belajar mengajar di SMK ternyata berbeda dengan di industri. Tujuan YCCI adalah menjembatani keduanya melalui berbagai workshop yang kami adakan dan membuka pikiran para peserta, bahwa di industri kuliner, kita tidak bisa terpaku hanya pada 1 hal saja.

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  • 01/03/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    The Explorer of Textures

    Charins Chang’s passion for science and baking brought her to Indonesia after many years living abroad. In no time, she has captured the hearts of many through her well-crafted cakes and desserts. What are her hopes and struggles living the dream in Jakarta? Here, Charins shared the story for everyone. 

    What got you into baking in the first place?

    I started baking since high school and that’s because Betty Crocker’s brownie mix. I was amazed even with the process of just mixing the powder with water and then it becomes a cake. But the reason why I love baking is because it is so closely related with science and all about the chemical reactions! You don’t really see it with your eyes but it’s happening.

    Did you study at a cooking school after that?

    Interestingly, I went to Australia not to learn more about baking, but I was studying Biotechnology for five years there. After graduation, I moved back to Singapore and started working in the petroleum bioengineering industry. However, I never lose my love for baking. I did it almost every night and shared the cakes with my friends, to the point that my family became so sick of my baking! (she laughs)

    That’s why I started my cake business online on and then after a year, I finally decided to study more properly about pastry. I did a bit of school in France and an internship with a champion pastry chef there. I was immersing myself with the language and the countryside, steering away from Paris. After that, it’s time to move to Jakarta.

    What made you move to Jakarta instead of Singapore?

    My parents have always been very supportive with my plans and when I told them that I want to move back here, everyone came along! We all still visit Singapore from time to time though.

    Why Jakarta? I think it’s because the people are more chilled and fun here. There’s also something charming about the city, despite of course – the traffic. I saw also a high demand for quality desserts and pastries in Jakarta, but you could only find a handful of good pastry shops here a few years ago when I came. That’s the opportunity that I had been looking for.

    What happens next?

    Originally, the reason why I moved back was to open my own dessert shop here. After a few years though, it’s easier said than done. I don’t want to just jump in recklessly and struggling unnecessarily just because I needed more experience in the industry. So, I decided to just take my time exploring the city and looking for opportunities. I keep my Instagram active and the online cake shop helps me get by.

    From there, turns out that I received a lot of opportunities for consulting, creating menu, and for supplying. There’s even this café from Myanmar which was asking to collaborate. Benedict and Heavenly Sweet found me also on Instagram.

    Care to share us a bit about your dessert creations?

    When I first joined Benedict, I revamped the whole dessert menu. That time, there was this hype for the Thai mango desserts, and I decided to jump in by creating my own interpretations. Surprisingly, the Mango Sticky Rice Tart was a huge success and people started posting about it.

    I also created a sister dessert for it called Tart Ketan Item – with coconut and black sticky rice. It’s basically a twist of our traditional dessert of bubur ketan hitam. There’s also Marie Regal Cake because yes, everyone loves Marie Regal!

    I also started making bite-sized desserts like bonbons since people are not always wanting to eat a whole cake. In each bonbon, I created a whole dessert that can consists of elements found in cakes, crunch, cookies, and ganache. I put also many things like potato chips, wajik, nastaar, and talam. For my creations, I just love doing my own formulations instead of copying recipes.

    Why bonbons by the way?

    I’m more interested in chocolate because it’s very science-y and no one’s making bonbons seriously yet as far as I know. I suppose it’s because the high level of difficulty to mass produce it. Bonbons must be made carefully because it won’t be good otherwise. You need to temper chocolate to a certain degree, or the fat crystals won’t crystallize properly so it won’t get the good snap. It’ll be pasty, thick, and won’t have good texture.

    But I think the challenge is that most people may find it hard to understand why it costs the same as buying a whole chocolate bar instead. That’s why I’m trying to find the middle ground here to still maintain the quality but also creating time efficiency.

    Lastly, what are you plans next?

    Opening my own shop, that’s for sure! But for now, I enjoy teaching at Heavenly Sweet every month. I have own classes and I also create my own syllabus based on science! We do one-on-one series about sponge cake, butter cake, pound cake, or only egg whites. We explore why each recipe is made different, why adding this and that yield different results, or how to decrease the sugar content without compromising texture. It’s not about the usual recipe sharing class and for you to bake at home. It’s about how to make the student think more about the process and how to remake recipe in their own version.

    Other than that, I am also sharing my expertise about baking with less fortunate kids. We are creating these baking classes for them and showing that everyone can bake. We want to let them know that they have options in this industry for their future.

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  • 01/03/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Homecoming

    We knew Nana Jamil, the new Executive Pastry Chef Raffles Hotel Jakarta on an ACP’s (Association of Culinary Professionals) regular event, thanks to Chef Rahmat Kusnedi. After Passion Media was established 2 years ago, we met many chefs in culinary organizations, especially in Jakarta, actually we’re quite surprised that there’s still a senior Pastry Chef we haven’t known yet. We found it understandable, as Chef Nana left Indonesia in 1998 and worked in Dubai for 20 years.

    Behind his rather intimidating appearance, we found a warm-hearted Pastry Chef who told us the stories of his current activities, his experience in Dubai, to his view on chocolate industry in Indonesia. “Busy… very busy… did you know? My kitchen is actually a mess,” he said as he opened the conversation.

    What’s your current activities?

    We’re preparing Patisserie, second Raffles’ cake shop in the world, after our first one in Istanbul. So far the progress is already 80%, but it’s a pity you can’t see the outlet now, we work on it during the night.

    Patisserie is a cake shop that combines Asian elements, as the brand Raffles came from Singapore, with French touch from AccorHotels. Some of our signature products are Kokkay (coffee, coconut, kaya cream) and Pandan Cake, but because you have chocolate issue, we decided to give you the Kokkay recipe. We also have products such as the Asian inspired Luwak Coffee Éclair and Banana Chocolate Tart, we even develop durian-based product. I just tasted musang king durian from Singapore, the taste was very cool, my goodness! No joke!

    Hahaha! What’s the definition of “cool tasting” durian?

    I don’t know, I like durian but not too fanatic. But this one is very good! Other durian might leave you with some unpleasant after taste, meanwhile, when I tried this one, it has no after taste, clean, amazing!

    By the way, when did you return to Indonesia?

    Approximately 7 months ago. I worked as Cluster Chef and responsible for 2 properties in Dubai for quite a while. Actually, I wanted to return since 2017. I moved to Dubai after the riot (1998), at that time, I couldn’t even get back home, I had to stay at the hotel. After working in Dubai for 6 months, I brought along my wife and child until I came back last year.

    Then, why did you return?

    I don’t know, suddenly I really miss Indonesia, the food, my family, especially my mother who started to have dementia. Every year, it’s either I came back to Indonesia, or I sent my families to Dubai. Last year, my mother asked when will  I come home, actually, I just got back, perhaps she missed me, FYI, I’m her only child.

    I also miss my friends. The hotel industry started to boom, and I saw many of my friends active in organizations. Thankfully, I also started to be active in ACP and IPA (Indonesia Pastry Alliance). Actually, when I returned, I planned to take a break for a while to avoid culture shock, while planning to open my own small cake shop or teach. However, when I arrived here on April 15th, I had to start working 10 days after that.

    Did you apply here?

    A friend of mine told me that an art hotel which has operated for 4 years was looking for Executive Pastry Chef, but I didn’t know exactly the name of the hotel. I knew about the hotel (Raffles) since its pre-opening period. “I guess it’s the hotel that has Hendra Gunawan’s (painter) paintings? If it’s meant to be, I will work there,” that’s what I thought.

    I was right, at that time, Matias Ayala (Raffles’ Executive Chef) called me. Actually, I knew him when I worked in Doha (Qatar). We worked on the same place, Jumeirah International, even though we didn’t have the chance to work at the same time, we knew each other, hospitality community isn’t that big after all. So, when Matias gave me a call, I was like, “hey, it’s you!”

    Did you deliberately bring the trending local taste concept?

    Perhaps, because Chef Matias really loves local elements, and it seems that all the chefs are doing the same approach. Personally, I’ve played with local elements  since I was in Dubai. Back then, it was quite difficult to find Indonesian sweets (jajan pasar), so I brought Asian influences such as mango, coconut, srikaya, Kue Sarang Semut, to other Asian elements from Vietnam, Thailand, to India. I’m used to such fusion concept.

    We never imagine this fusion concept, let say, 20 years ago?

    Because we were so western minded back then, right? We just knew KFC and McD, if you were to introduce local taste such as papaya, people wouldn’t care.

    How do you descibe your pastry style?

    Fusion, modern, but it needs to have classic elements. I love classic because people started to forget about it. Classic is the original, genuine taste, if you’re eating Black Forest, you’ll immediately know the elements in it, amarena cherry, chocolate, and it doesn’t have to be as a cake, you can apply the taste in, let say, mocktail.

    What I mean by classic is more to the production method. We have some people that rely so much in gelatin, as a result, all of the products will be rubbery, meanwhile I love the combination of textures in pastry. In presentation, I prefer something that’s simple and clean cut, not too many ornaments as they can ruin the texture. That’s the integrity that’s engraved within me for a long time. However, it doesn’t mean that I can’t make something extravagant, it all depends on customers’ requests.

    How did you see the development of chocolate products in Indonesia?

    The people here are not used to exploring new stuffs, perhaps only limited to those who worked in hospitality industry, meanwhile, common people tend to eat only what they love. In addition, it’s a fact that chocolate products such as praline are quite pricey. People will think, “a small piece of praline costs Rp 15.000, meanwhile, with that amount, I can have a bowl of chicken noodle.”

    We have some notable local chocolate brands, but they’re so expensive, even more than the brand from France, I don’t know why. Even Chef Matias always says, “how come? How come?” when he sees the price tag. I was very happy to know local chocolate brand that has single origin from Bali with high acidity. Of course, we want to introduce local chocolate to the world, but when our domestic market couldn’t afford it, what can we do?

    Are the majority of customers in Indonesia able to tell the quality of chocolate that you use?

    Perhaps not all. But honestly, as a Pastry Chef, I can’t lie to myself by using lesser quality chocolate. In addition, using quality chocolate is like the pride of a hotel.

    Therefore, I always say, if you are to sell quality products, just make the best ones and sell it with premium price. The reason? Because the true rich people don’t bother with discount. They are willing to pay the price as long as they can chill, the place’s not too crowded, and the quality is good. Otherwise, you can aim for the middle low market, it’s whether you sell Rp 200.000 product, or Rp 15.000? Don’t go in between.

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  • 26/02/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Proud Chocolatier

    In this edition, PASSION digs deep into the brilliant mind of Giuseppe Verdacchi; an architect-turns-chocolatier who’s driven by utmost passion and concern to create quality chocolate from Bali local cacao plantations through Primo Chocolate Factory.

    It was in a cloudy and humid afternoon when Mr. Verdacchi greets me on his café, which located just in front of Primo Chocolate Factory; a space where he explores his creativity to create bars after bars of quality chocolate from Balinese local-growth cacao beans. He looks more like a painter; with his glasses, oversized green shirt and beret hat, with genuine aura of an artist. “First of all, because I’m curious” he said when I asked why he choose to make chocolate for living. “Secondly, why in Bali, because here there are about 7000 hectares of cacao plantation, and I never heard anything such as ‘Balinese chocolate’” he added.

    Then our conversation continues on as he praised the local government, which has this idea to introduce kakao as new crops two decades ago so they can sell it as new import products. “A hot commodities” he remark. “But after they (the government experts) come and set up those 7000 hectares in Bali, they left, and farmers were not told what to do  with it. Nobody new, until today, the farmers don’t know what to do with the ‘brown gold’”

    The condition doesn’t sit right with Mr. Verdacchi, and his deep concerns for Balinese local farmer and wasted potential of the raw materials then drives the man to take the matter by himself. “Most of the traders only care about the quantity” he said. “This disregards for quality and the lack of training may contributed to left the cacao plantations in Bali in depleted and abandoned state in these last 15-20 years”

    “When I learned all of these scenario, I thought ‘this could be a good social project” and I tried with a group of friends to start a community-based cacao program in order to introduce the knowledge of how to handle cacao to local farmers, and they can gather income from its value”

    At first, Mr. Verdacchi approach the Balinese government to help him on this project, but when it didn’t actually worked out, he decided to do it all by himself, and the origin of Primo Chocolate Factory established.

    Having no background in cacao business doesn’t hinder Mr. Verdacchi to pursue his passion. “I am passionate about many things” he said. “I am passionate about chocolate but I didn’t have the knowledge, so look it up, I meet with other people from this industry, I interact and tried to understand more about the main aspects of this business” First things first, he searched for the best raw cacao producers around the island; a process that took ‘few years’ until he find the right one and start producing.

    In creating his products, Mr. Verdacchi clings unto a simple philosophy. “Chocolate is not a necessity, it is a pleasure” he gleefully said. “When we all agree about this, we will start making the finest chocolate possible, because it is pleasure!”

    He also fully realizes the importance of all elements to run his business, and he never forget those who give the source to all of the raw ingredients “Without farmers we don’t exist. Cows don’t grow on market shelf; someone has to take care of them”

    “My next concern would be production” Mr. Verdacchi continues pouring his thought. “99,99% chocolate in the market is machine-made with quantity in mind, but low in quality. I don’t know why they did this, market is bizarre”

    Primo Chocolate Factory has actually gain global acknowledgement when they get featured in one of Netflix culinary series, Chef Table by Will Goldfarb. “When someone like Netflix come knocking at your door and said ‘can we come and shoot the way you produce chocolate’, then you start thinking that you’re not doing something wrong, but going to the right direction” said Mr. Verdacchi. “The highest quality, the most recognizable people, they have come looking for our chocolate”

    During our session, he stopped for a brief moment and let us taste one of his finest product; a Single Origin 80% dark chocolate bar. “This has rich aftertaste” he said. And he was right. The  chocolate was mild-sweet with a hint of bitter, and there’s a pleasant soft aromatic, fragrant and nutty aftertaste that lingers for some times after the chocolate enters my digestive system.

    Then Mr. Verdacchi go on to discuss the ‘enormous potential’ of Bali’s cacao plantation. He personally impressed with several Non-Government Organization which has relentless dedication to aid local farmers and turn their fortune, one of them is Kalima Jari. Lead by a Balinese lady called Agung Widi, Kalima Jari assists cocoa, coffee and seaweed farmers. The volunteers, with little salary but work really-really hard side by side with the farmers and they have succeeded to create a big cooperative in Negara region, and get them an international certificate organic where they supply for big company such as Valrhona. They make this happen in one of the poorest cocoa plantation region in Bali.

    After our pleasant chatting session, Mr. Verdacchi took us through the chocolate factory, just a walking distance from the roadside café. Runs by his son, Gusde and his wife Komang along with several workers, he shows that his method of receiving, sorting, roasting, crushing, winnowing, are still mainly done by human touch, because he believe in honoring the earthly produce by gently processing them.

    Being a talented architect, Mr. Verdacchi also creates his original ‘Cocoa Grinder’ device; a semi manual automaton consisting two slabs of huge round stone with jagged surface. “I originally create this with my partner, but then he left. I made the stones in Surabaya but they also has stopped producing it, so now I try to find Balinese carver who would do it for me” and refer it as one of the most important process in creating his chocolate. This process, according to him, gently release the cocoa butter so they create a fine brown cocoa liquor with smoother taste, right before the tempering process which was done in a low temperature room (and also by hand)

    Pleasure and happiness are two of the main aspects for Mr. Verdacchi to create a quality chocolate. “We are a happy chocolate family!” is one of his parting words with us that rings very true. If we can take only 20% from his genuine zeal and passion, that would have been very awesome.

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  • 26/02/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Sky’s (Not) The Limit

    A lawyer and a dancer walks into a yoga, this is not a punch line for a joke, but what exactly happens when Amanda and Paul meet one another in Bali. Having been successful on their previous career path, the two then decide to ditch it all and follow their lifelong dream, and thus, Elevated Cacao was born. PASSION got the chance to sit down and have a pleasant chat with the dynamic duo to understand a little bit more about what they trying to do (and revolutionize) through their raw vegan chocolate + super foods combo.

    1. So how did it all begun? What inspires you to start Elevated Cacao?

    We met on the Yoga Trail in Bali. We are both in position in our work where we’re looking for something new, fresh and different. We don’t know what that was, but then we met at that Yoga Training. I guess that’s where Elevated Cacao was born. The seed was planted then, and Amanda never leaves Bali afterward, but Paul, still switching time between London and Bali. During that time we sort of put together our business plan. Our friends like Paul’s chocolate, they’ve been eating it, and we thought maybe that’s where the future lies for us.

    In our bucket list we always want to live in an island and start a business. We just don’t know what it would be! But then Paul always took some chocolate that he makes to our Yoga Party, and allour friends always suggest that we turned it into business. Then we said, this is it, I think we should do it.

    2. Can you explain more about ‘raw vegan’ chocolate and what distinguish it from the regular one?

    ‘Raw Vegan’ chocolate is basically our specialty. The ‘vegan’ is very-very simple to explain; we don’t use any animal products whatsoever. Of course, (in regular chocolate), milk powder is what gives the chocolate its milky-ness feels, melt-in-your-mouth sensation, but we don’t use that. Our chocolate is essentially dark. ‘Raw’ means that the beans that we use to make our chocolate have been fermented and sun-dried, but then we don’t do the roasting process at all. In the raw world, if you keep thetemperature below 45 degrees during the making process, which we do, we the nutritional value of the cacao stays in, and it’s much easier for your body to

    So you don’t roast your beans? Then what method did you use? Isn’t that impossible?

    Well, roasting is basically just one of the stages that the beans has to go through in chocolate manufacturing. We just skip that step. The beans are sufficiently dried in sun-drying process. We don’t need the roasting to dry them; it will change the flavor if we roast them. The roasting in traditional chocolate-making process is for the taste, but it was done in 90-260 degrees, so in the raw world we would say that all the nutrients of the chocolate are destroyed in that process. For us, we are
    focusing so much in quality rather than quantity. We also successfully find the method to temper our chocolate so it would not melt when it sits on the (supermarket) shelf with other non-raw chocolate brand. As far as we know, we are the only raw vegan tempered chocolate in Indonesia.

    3. What is the main type of your chocolate? Is it compound or coverture?

    Coverture is basically just plain dark chocolate, and we would say because of the high percentage cacao in all of our chocolates, we tend to be more coverture than compound. Chocolate is composed with three main ingredients; cacao beans, cacao butter and sugar. We use no chemicals, stabilizers or emulsifiers whatsoever. So ours is a very dark, pure chocolate. We only use local-grown ingredients and make sure that we know all the sources by ourselves; how they were grown, treated and even the condition of the farmer itself. We really care about supporting Indonesian farmers, so we will do our best for that.

    4. Any defining moment or notable achievement during your career as a chocolate maker so far?

    Amanda: For me, we really just come around to celebrating our first year in this business and for me that is a massive achievement. When I look back, I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We have made beautiful product that everyone  in Bali and Jakarta can enjoy. We are about to open a new production space, a shop, we will start exporting, and we’re doing this amazing trainings led by Paul a few times a year, we’re the only people or company in Indonesia offering raw-vegan chocolatier certification training and we’ve done it in such a short periods of time. It was really amazing for me. The most defining moment for me is being able to build all this with a friend; to do something that I care about with people that I care about. It just has been the most rewarding experience.

    Paul: My mentor in London once said to me that there is no way that I would be able to make raw vegan chocolate here in Indonesia that is well-tempered and shelf-stabled; there’s too much heat, humidity, and that gives me the challenge. It took many failed times, frustrating month or two where all the batches just wouldn’t come out, and we have to check each process one by one. But now it’s pretty much foolproof and we can say that we are the only raw-vegan chocolate that is tempered and concede on a shelf next to big brands. That, for me is a massive achievement because I can prove my mentor wrong. Now we have seven flavors that are beautifully varied and balanced for our consumers.

    5. Looking at the fact that Indonesia is the 3rd biggest cacao bean producer in the world right now. Do you think that we can compete with countries like Belgium or Switzerland in term of producing quality chocolate products?

    No question! I think that’s what we have been doing now! (Laugh) When we say some countries like French, Swiss or Belgium as the best chocolatiers in the world, they still have to get the beans from the Equators; including Indonesia. So yeah, absolutely, we can make great chocolate product in Indonesia. It is a hundred percent possible. We would put Indonesian cacao up against anyone else in the world. We think the flavor is just as good.

    6. How do you want to be remembered in this endeavor?

    We would like to grow to the point that we are the premium Indonesian raw-vegan cacao company that is exporting to other countries, and we think we were all about supporting Indonesian cacao beans, and we think that’s where we’re headed really. We want people who love milk and people who don’t eat milk alike to enjoy our product, to open their eyes about what food can be. Food is more than just what you put in your mouth, but can be something nutritious for body and spirit as well. That would be a great legacy for our company.

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  • 23/02/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The 3 Shades of Joy

    “I haven’t done this (contributing recipes for magazine) for more than 3 years now,” said Jose Pelo Jr. aka Joy. “In fact, my interview with Passion Magazine (our very first issue) was the last interview I had with the media,” he added. Since he moved to Bandung 2 years ago, Joy seems to stay away from the limelight while preparing for his new venture, retail Chocolates and Snack Food under D’Lanier brand. Now that he and his team got everything ready, we visited the factory in Bandung and we had the opportunity to peek around at their production facilities, and later we had the chance to catch-up and interview the revered Pastry Chef slash Chocolatier slash Teacher, while insatiably munching some of the highly addictive D’Lanier’s Chocolate Pearls.

     You were born in the Philippines, but I heard you’re an Australian citizen?

    Yes correct, I finished my study (Bachelor of Science in Food Technology) and worked in 5 star hotel as a Pastry Chef for 2 years in Manila before moving to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 21. At the time I moved to Australia, I was already a qualified Pastry Chef and there I had a chance to worked and expand my skills in the Hotel Industry for 10 years and achieving my goal at the age of 27 to become the Executive Pastry Chef in a 5 Star Hotel Chain.

    Then, I moved to Hospitality Training and Education industry, I taught in one of the largest culinary school in the country called William Angliss Institute of TAFE. I guess teaching is also one of my calling. I think, I’ve taught more than a thousand students for almost 7 years before I moved to Indonesia in 2008.

    Why did you decided to move to Indonesia?

    I started my own Chocolaterie & Patisserie Café at FX Sudirman, Jakarta called Creole. Me and my wife (an Indonesian) could have stayed in Melbourne for good, but she decided to come back here in Indonesia. Since, it’s actually very challenging to set up your own business in Melbourne, thus I decided to join her in moving back in Indonesia. Creole lasted for almost 2 years because the mall became very quiet after only 6 months, so we shut it down. I left Indonesia and worked for Beryl’s Chocolate in Malaysia for 2 years before I met the owner of PT. Wahana Interfood Nusantara and joined Schoko for 2,5 years.

    I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, doing my own thing, so I thought I’d be able to do a consulting business and at the same time teaching at my own school, then that was the time we opened JIPA (Jakarta International Pastry Academy). Yet the market for a proper Pastry School in Indo is still too raw. Realizing uncertain future, I decided to go back to the corporate world. That is the time I rejoined PT. Wahana Interfood Nusantara, my role is to develop the product for D’Lanier. Perhaps you can say that I’m the person behind D’Lanier product development. D’Lanier aimed to produce artisanal chocolate pearls, a wide range of sweet treats and snacks.

    What is the story of D’Lanier?

    The idea of chocolate when people talk about it, to have a good one it must be either from Switzerland, Belgium or France, yet they have never realized that a good chocolate can also be produce within Indonesia.

    D’Lanier is an Indonesian company based in Bandung, West Java. We created D’Lanier to utilized and promote Indonesian produced especially cacao, and to put Bandung in the map of chocolate world as one of the city that produced a decent chocolate that you can compare to a premium or semi-premium product with a very decent and competitive price. It’s an artisanal end-product that you can buy online or in our shop, you can just open the jar and savour the unique flavour and taste.

    We’re trying to really uplift our standard, you can see it in our product, we use real chocolate (Couverture). You’ve seen our production facilities, we basically produce our own chocolate from cacao beans, we even roast our own cacao beans to maintain the quality, and 90% of the ingredients we use are local. We aim to have few shops all over Indonesia. Currently, we have 2 stores in Bandung: at Paris Van Java and 23 Paskal Shopping Centre. Soon, we’ll have one in Sun Plaza Medan, in Beach Walk Bali, and hopefully in Surabaya, and few outlets in Jakarta.

    I know you as a Pastry Chef with a very high-standard, why move away from boutique style product?

    Actually, I’d say I’m not moving away from a boutique style or high-quality Patisserie stuffs. My background basically is what I call 5 Star hotel pastry and chocolate product. What I’m doing now is more on artisanal, but in manufacturing process, which means, I’m exploring on how to produce in bulk yet still achieve a very good and high-quality product.

    The product you just had is actually an artisanal Chocolate Pearls. If you take a good look at it, you won’t really see that kind of product in the market. It’s either you go to Europe, or other places that do artisanal chocolate in a small scale, but here, we do it in big scale. I’m a Chef, a Chocolatier, my background is not from manufacturing, but now I’m blending them all in one, which is quite challenging.

    In manufacturing, we’re talking about quantity and volume per hour, meanwhile as a Chef, it’s about the highest quality you can do, the presentation, how it looks, and you can only manage to make the products in a very small scale. To combine these two is very time consuming and challenging, because you need to make it looks good, taste good, but somehow doesn’t taste like mass produced. In fact, we’re still making chocolate pearl manually, or I would say semi-automatic. We’re still using our hands and feelings. It’s artisanal process yet the quantity is in bulk.

    How do you market your product?

    At the moment, you can find us online. Although, having these (offline) stores in different cities are the one that will help us a lot. People can reach us easily while walking around in the mall, and you can just buy the products. Indeed, online is a very good channel of sales, but the difficulty is in the stability of the product itself. Since we are using real chocolate, it becomes challenging for us through the shipment process, we really need to pack it with a cooler box and with therma-freeze, otherwise it’s going to melt. As for overseas market, we’ve already penetrated Singapore, and next we are eyeing Hong Kong, Philippines and Japan.

    Tell us a bit about D’Lanier’s product lines.

    We have 18 variants of Chocolate Pearls and Healthy-Sugar Free-Chocolate Cubes with 82% Cocoa Solid content. We also have 4 types of Dried and Texturized Fruits, 3 types of Granola and 3 types of Mixed Nuts. So, it’s not just about chocolates. Soon, we’ll have Italian style Nougat Bar, and a wide range of Sugar-coated Nuts. Later, we’ll tap into the bean to bar market, in which I am quite excited.

    We’re aiming for retail market, but the Socioeconomic Status (SES) is A&B, because our products are based on medium to high market that understand and know how to appreciate real chocolate (couverture). Most of the lower end market doesn’t understand the difference between compound and couverture, they think all brown in block is chocolate.

    From opening your own Chocolaterie-Patisserie cafe (Creole), what’s the best lesson you’ve learned so far?

    I would say, what I learned most about the industry in opening my first shop, is to understand the market whether they’re ready or not. People should understand that before opening a shop, or any business, you really need to familiarize what the market needs and what you can offer to that needs. Is it going to work for certain a period of time, or is it going to be sustainable for the next 3 to 5 years? You always need to think about longevity.

    I’m not saying we’re the same as Godiva, but with Godiva it has a longevity business, so does Silver Queen. It’s a snack, an indulgence, when people have the opportunity to buy it, they’ll go for it. As for our D’Lanier product, you can enjoy it for yourself, or they’re also ideal as a gift. Gift is an everlasting business.

    So, there are 3 sides of you: a Pastry Chef/Chocolatier, a Teacher and a Businessman? Typically, people focus on only one…

    This is what I call maturity. I learned a lot as a Pastry Chef/Chocolatier, and when I started my own business, I made mistakes and learned from those mistakes. Teaching is a very good tool when you’re managing or training people. It’s become much more efficient to train people when you know how to teach, rather than just being a Chef. Aside from those background and experiences, I got involved and learned about sales and marketing, and they’re all good ingredients for what I do now.

    If you can live another life and you can only have one of  those jobs, what would it be?

    That’s a good question… from all the experiences that I have… I think… most of my contentment in life is becoming a Chef, that covers pastry and chocolate. I guess, I would still be doing the same things, these things give me more pleasure and contentment in life. It’s not all about money, it’s about the satisfaction that you feel when you create something that people appreciate and enjoy, and especially when they know you’re the one making it.

    I wouldn’t become a teacher, businessman, nor be able to meet many people, if I’m not a Pastry Chef. It connects me to this process in life. I have no regret, I enjoy every bit of it. I wouldn’t say that I have success in everything that I do, but I think success comes in every stage or journey of your life. When you finish your college studies, you are considered as successful. When you become a full-fledged Pastry Chef, it’s another success. You start a business and people buy your products, and you have people queuing in your store is another success. For me, success is the fulfillment in every stage of your life. I am contented in life, especially moving here in Indonesia… I’m happy, fulfilled so to speak.

    Is there any chance I will see you as Pastry Chef again?

    I will always be a Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, I can always make cakes, and chocolates, it will never go away. Who knows, maybe one day I will have my own production kitchen again…

    I saw many chocolate shops and cafes open and shut down, even chocolates pralines are not too popular here. Is Indonesia still too early for hi-end chocolate products?

    In my personal opinion, Indonesia’s boutique style chocolate (hand-made Pralines/Truffles) market is still very early. Yes, there are people who will buy it, but they won’t buy it religiously, I mean they won’t go there every day, or every week, or month. Unlike Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, or Korea. Not to mention European countries and US, because they have to buy chocolate, they need to eat it. While in Indonesia…, I’m a bit awkward to say this, but the reality is, Indonesia is still too early for this kind of stuffs (Boutique style Chocolate Praline).

    Please tell me a brand that’s been around for 10 years, still open and making money by selling artisanal chocolate products, such as praline and truffle. Even in hotel, they put it as display, but that’s all.

    Of course, there will always be one or two brands coming up, but after a year or maximum 2 years they will close-down.

    But, how about other industry such as the third wave coffee managed to grow rapidly over the past few years?

    It’s back to the costing and selling price. For a decent cup of coffee, you can pay Rp 15.000-30.000 per cup. How about for a good or decent chocolate praline which cost around Rp 15.000-25.00 per piece!? This is the reason why I’m saying it’s too early, we’re not ready yet to pay for that kind of indulgence. Coffee is a necessity for me, I need to have coffee in a day, yet I can simply pass the chocolate.

    It’s a bit ironic though, because the research says chocolate is Indonesian’s favorite flavor…

    No, not in Indonesia. Chocolate is the number one favorite flavor in the world! Whether you’re producing cakes, ice cream, dessert, drink you need to have it in your menu, even in bread or croissant. People will keep on asking for it!

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  • 23/02/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Colorful 2019

    Everybody agrees that, following trend, or just knowing, is one of the crucial points in planning your business ahead. To understand the 2019’s chocolate trend, we met Tia Hariani, B2B Brand Manager PT. Gandum Mas Kencana, the holding company for brands such as Haan, Bendico, and as we all know, Colatta.

    What is your future plan for Colatta in 2019?

    Marketing-wise, we always plan to hold baking demo to increase our branding and we want to present it differently, in term of social media or (offline) events. Colatta has its own annual event called Trending Demo Chocotrenz.

    Last year, we held it in 27 cities in Indonesia, this year, we has planned it for 25 cities. We’re always trying to bring new theme every year. In 2017, we chose “classy” theme, classic pastry application for classy and interesting presentation, meanwhile for 2018, the theme was “tropical delight”. For 2019, we can’t spoil it yet as the campaign will just start on March, but generally, the big theme is, it will be based on color.

    We talked about big demos, but we also have smaller scale demos we called Colatta Creation Class that will be held in baking centers with more limited capacity, 50 people maximum. In 2018, we held them in 46 spots all over Indonesia, this year, it can be more as people are eagerly waiting for them.

    Does the Chocotrenz only involve Colatta?

    Actually, for this event, PT. Gandum Mas Kencana has 3 main brands: Colatta, Haan, and Bendico, also some other brands. However, Colatta is the biggest one so the other brands will follow.

    Are you still the market leader for chocolate?

    The data we have is different than the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) data. Colatta has 2 main markets: retail and B2B (Business to Business), at the moment, our B2B market is still the largest. For chocolate product, we can claim that we’re still the market leader, based on our internal survey, as we haven’t got data from third party that specifically research the FMCG, meanwhile, we’re mostly into B2B. However, to make things simple, if you go to any baking ingredients shop all over Indonesia, you can see that Colatta is the most sought after chocolate brand.

    Have you ever conducted a research why people love Colatta?

    Yes,we did the research to our customers, however we don’t have any third party data as no one published it yet. From our internal survey, people chose Colatta because of product quality and service.

    Colatta is well-known for its versatility, it can be reheated numerous times and the application will still be as good. You can also use the product in various applications and the handling is quite easy. Taste-wise, as pioneer of chocolate in Indonesia, this is the first chocolate taste Indonesian people fell in love with, so we have many loyalists. In term of service, we’re always quick response to answer customers’ needs on product supply. We’re trying so hard to supply so customers won’t stop their production. Those were our customers’ testimonies, even though price-wise, we’re quite premium, compared to competitor’s products.

    Lately, big bakeries complained the declining sales because of the presence of small, online industries. How does it affect Colatta?

    For us, our B2C (Business to Consumer) is the one who use our 250 gram packaging, most of them are housewives who want to try making some products for families. When they start doing online business and use 1kg products or above, we see
    them as B2B market, aside from where they got it from, be it baking ingredients shop or directly from distributors. We also heard complaints on the issue, but it’s a fact you have to take as the number of this home industries is keep on growing. Like it or not, everything will be online, right?

    What’s your current trending product in the market?

    Whenever you hear about Colatta, people immediately think about our chocolate block. Actually, we have 2 product categories: multi function and specific function. Our compound chocolate fell to the first category as it can be used for many
    applications, from making ganache, coating, glazing, or decoration. But we also have specific products such as Colatta Glaze that’s booming for the past 2 years. It’s a glazing product with many variants, from dark chocolate to mango flavor.

    In the beginning, customers use Colatta Glaze as topping for donut or banana nugget, but now they’re using it to make pudding, brownies, sponge cake, martabak filling, to beverage. Our specific product becomes multi function. We also have couverture lines that’s often used in hotel industries, especially in Bali and Jakarta.

    What about your export market, any countries that you’re currently focusing on?

    Countries in Middle East, China, South East Asia, to Africa. But at the moment, the biggest growth is in Middle East. Before, China was our back bone for our export market, but because of its trade war with US, we tend focus more on Middle East. The growth in South East Asian countries such as Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore is also pretty good.

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  • 20/01/2019 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    The Effervescent Chef

    Always on the move, the energetic Chef Fernando Sindu is forever seeking new ways to improve himself and expanding beyond borders. With several restaurants under his leadership now, the sky’s still the limit. Join us as he told a story about his struggles and a recipe for you to try at home.

    How was it in the beginning for you?

    I always have that one wish to become a chef since I was in high school. However, my dad declined my proposition as he was very conservative when it comes about education and career. It happened again when I was about to enter college, and that’s why I have a degree in computer science!

    But, upon seeing that I was very persistent to pursue my career as a chef, he eventually agreed to let me try it. However, he wanted me to choose only the best school and the choices were between Le Cordon Bleu of Paris and Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. I chose the latter for language reason and thus began my life as a New Yorker.

    How was the New York story then?

    I graduated after a year and eight months from CIA and started working at Michelin-starred restaurants. First at Oceana, it was one Michelin-starred and specializing in seafood. The second one was at Boqueria and it was among the best Spanish restaurants in the city.

    I worked there for around three years and I really enjoyed it. Under the guidance of Chef Jason Hua – famous now as the head chef for The Dutch in New York, I was entrusted as a sous chef there. But quite unfortunately, I was only able to stay there until 2012.

    What happened?

    Found out that foreigners – especially in upper management positions, were having a hard time to extend their working visa around that time. It was the election year and the reasons were purely political.

    Boqueria had plans to expand and I was promised for a head chef position. The restaurant sponsored my visa, and we even hired a lawyer to try to win this but to no avail. Disappointed, I returned home, but my dad encouraged me to start my own place here in Jakarta.

    While waiting for the opportunity to open my own restaurant at Kemang Village – which eventually did not happen, I met with a fellow CIA alumnus - Ivan Wibowo. Seeing that the private dining business was not a thing yet in 2012, together we formed up Good For Eats (G48). I received ample advice from the pioneer himself - Chef Adhika Maxi, about the know-how in the business. He had been well-known in the business, years ahead from us.

    Tell us your career journey here in Jakarta starting from there.

    Our first gig was with a huge company’s executives and the private dinner was priced at 350,000 rupiahs per head. We barely made a profit, but it was the experience we had been looking for. From there the words start spreading and we did around two gigs per month.

    Not wanting to be complacent, we actively sought other opportunities. We approached The Cook Shop and they agreed to let us run the place for a pop-up gig once a week. The audience liked it and after quite some time, they wanted us to do it every Saturday and Sunday instead!

    Our next target was a restaurant back then at Panglima Polim, Mama Goose. They let us run the pop-up during the weekdays and we began picking up more attention. Offers coming in for collaborations, but it was with Union Group that we finally landed the deal. With them, together we built Benedict and it now opens at Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place. My latest project was Cork & Screw Country Club at Senayan Golf – a brand new addition to Union Group’s already long list of esteemed restaurants.

    How do you define your cooking style?

    I like to be inspired from many cuisines of the world. I also like my dishes to have stronger flavors. I feel very energetic every day and that’s why I like to bring up a wide spectrum of flavors in my dishes – from acidity, a bit of bitterness, salty, spicy, and umami. For the past two years however, I have been diligently playing with more Indonesian flavors.

    That side was inspired by my Manadonese wife who love to take me around many Indonesian eateries, especially the cuisine of her people. Many of these are places that I won’t normally visit by myself. That, and the encouragement from a friend of mine who wanted me to do a cooking demo for Ubud Food Festival prompted me to learn more about Indonesian food.

    How do you see the Indonesian food movement nowadays?

    I’ve had my fair share of experience living abroad, becoming a chef at Michelin-starred restaurants, and working with great people. However, we will never be truly credited if we, as Indonesians, don’t promote our own cuisine to that level. I have a dream that someday my restaurant will get that one place among the ranks of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants. But surely, we must all work harder for that.

    So, for us to be appreciated by these institutions - like Michelin also for example, we also need to improve the palate of our diners. I’ve seen by myself that Indonesians still order the same menu every day. It’s mostly rice-related dishes for Asian cuisines, or pasta aglio olio for Western. Indonesians need to be more adventurous than this, so chefs and restaurants can come up with creative ideas to serve their diners from time to time.

    Other than this, there are friends who have been collaborating with the government to promote the Indonesian cuisine. Albeit limited, we’re yet to see good progress in the future. As for me, I’m planning to travel more for the next two years and see how far Indonesian food can take me. There are more markets to visit and more traditional food stories that I need to discover.

    Can you tell us about what you are serving today?

    Satay is a highly versatile dish and you can easily cook, you can carry anywhere, and a lot of twists I can play with. Today I have prepared Sate Maranggi with pickles and crispy rice, Balinese Sate Udang with Base Genep seasonings and sambal matah, and lastly - we have the classic Sate Ayam.

    I’m creating a platter here that everyone can try at home or alternatively, you can instead cut the meat into cubes and grilled it. I hope you can enjoy my recipe here.

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  • 20/01/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Culturation of Love

    Creativity (and love) is at the heart of I Wayan Eka Sunarya’s culinary creations. By combining his talent with the fondness of Balinese culture, the family lover local born-and-grown lad has develop a style of cooking which never strays far from his indigenous roots. Now bringing his skills as Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Ubud Chef de Cuisine, Eka spoke to PASSION about Indonesian cuisine and also his unique ‘Nasi Goreng’ menu.

    How did your love for the food start? Can you tell us the story?

    I get inspired by my mum and our (Balinese) culture. In Bali we have many kinds of food that we can cook with variety of spices. I love Balinese and Asian cuisine because I eat them daily. All the ingredients are also unique and contain lots of benefits. For me, food is not just about the taste, but the healthy elementsas well.

    As the chef of Mandapa, what did you usually do to maintain the quality of your cooking?

    First, we have to respect the people, and also the ingredients. It is important that what you cook and serve to the guests all comes from your heart. What you put on the plate have to be based from your passions. That’s how I maintain the quality of my creation.

    For this edition, you have been challenged to make ‘Nasi Goreng’. Could you elaborate more a bit of your creation?

    We called this creation ‘Sawah Nasi Goreng’; ‘sawah’ means ‘rice field’ and everybody in Bali eat rice, so the inspiration comes from the culture and social life aspects of Balinese people. What makes it different from other nasi goreng is we made it using ‘suna cekuh’ spices, unlike the common one which use lots ketchup, soya sauce, MSG or chili, ours is made using only organic traditional ingredients. For the rice, we made it in form of ‘nasi bira’, a Balinese yellow rice which names philosophy means that the thing that you eat have to be something beneficial for the body. Yellow in Bali also represents the goodness of gods, so when you eat something with yellow color, the goodness will come inside of your body as well.

    So could you specify the basic ingredients of this ‘Sawah Nasi Goreng’, and is there any notable modifications that differentiate it from other dish of the same type?

    Basically the main flavor is garlic, aromatic ginger, turmeric, chili and shrimp paste. The vegetables we used are coming from our own garden; such as long bean, leek and a bit of spring onion to enrich the flavor. We complement our nasi goreng with chicken leg, sate and also sambal sauce. One thing that differ our nasi goreng from the rest is the way we cook it with natural ingredients. We didn’t put ketchup, soy sauce or any preservatives other than ‘suna cekuh’ spices mentioned above.

    According to you, what is the fundamental difference of Indonesian nasi goreng from other countries variety?

    Actually ‘nasi goreng’ comes from China, but then Indonesia made several changes and adjustment to make it our own. Basically, Indonesian fried rice is richer in terms of flavor; because we use lots of our original spices to combine sweet and savory taste altogether. Chinese fried rice commonly taste lighter because they only use soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a lot of fat, especially pork’s. Thailand also develops their own nasi goreng, but they enhance it with a lot of sour flavor. Other countries such as Malaysia and Singapore also have their own fried rice, which developed from the Chinese one as well.

    If you become the international food ambassador of Indonesia, what traditional food from this country that you wish to introduce globally, and why?

    It’s a very difficult question for me! I love a lot of Indonesian food, but if I have to choose one, it would be ‘Sate’. Because sate is very famous in Indonesia, it’s like our own take of ‘meat skewer’ which exist in several countries around the world. But sate, especially in Bali, has some unique characteristic. We have two types of sate here; sate tusuk and sate lilit. Why this kind of dish is so famous in Bali, because here we celebrate some of Hindu’s religious day with sate. We also believe that sate is essential in the protection of the community. For example, if you hold a ceremony in Bali and you make a lot of food, including sate, and you invite the communities to come and eat together, sate is one of the most accessible dishes for all. Sate is also very nice because you can actually use many kinds of ingredients; from chicken, beef, lamb to seafood. It’s very flexible and simple to make, either for main dining meal or light snacks.

    If you can cook for one person, who would it be and what would you make for them?

    I believe my wife is the most important figure in my life, so I will make something very special for her, anytime! (Laugh) She always supports me to do my career up until now. I will not make something so complicated for her, but the food will definitely come from my heart.

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  • 17/01/2019 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Enriching Creativity

    As a child, Akwila Rizky Dilla Sibarani garnered a keen appreciation for good food and develops the interest to work in the kitchen from helping her mom’s catering business. After finishing her study in France, she returns to Indonesia and found a mentor in form of Indonesian renowned Chef Ragil Imam Wibowo. Now Chef Ragil’s second-in-command at Spicy Geg x Javara Culture, Chef Willa continues to do what she does best so far with joy, love and excitement. PASSION caught up with her to speak about her experience in the world of cuisine and also challenge her to make her own takes of Indonesian ‘soto’ creation.

    So tell us why you love to cook, and how did you know you wanted to be a chef at the first time?

    The reason why I love to cook, it actually comes from my heart. Since I was a kid I really love to watch cooking show from some of celebrity chef. I just felt that when they cook, they didn’t have any pressure; they do everything by passion, not stress. Also, when I was a kid, my mom owns a catering and I used to help her make wedding cakes and every kind of meals. In my senior high school, I really don’t know what to do after I graduate so I decided to just live my life happily without any pressure whatsoever by becoming a cook. You can also do this profession for as long as you wish for, there are so many possibilities with food by being a chef!

    What is the experience that you wish to impart to your diners through your cooking in Spicy Geg x Javara Culture?

    I just want to give them the experience of flavor. Maybe a lot of people get used to eat with plain salt-and-pepper ingredients, but in Indonesia we have plenty of spices that they don’t know about, most of it they can only taste by visiting this country, so I want to give them the authentic flavor of Indonesia. Our country is really rich in spices, and people from outside should know and get the real experience of its flavor.

    Where do you usually draw inspiration to make dishes for Spicy Geg x Javara Culture?

    My inspiration mainly comes from Indonesian chefs, who are so adept in using plenty kind of spices to create authentic dishes. For example Chef Ragil (Spicy Geg x Javara Culture Executive Chef / One of Indonesia’s finest national cook), he always make food which heavily inspired from Indonesia itself and takes ingredients from every region in Indonesia; from Aceh to Papua. For the plating, I got inspired from chef all around the world. Every chef has their own character; if we go to Australia, for example, they love to make the food looks minimalist and simple, but in France, they put condiment everywhere and make the plate looks full.

    Your plating is amazing. Is it self-taught or you having someone else mentoring you in that area?

    I learned from experience. I had some internship before I work here and I learn a lot there; from how they plate to the character of each dishes. I also look in social media like Youtube to try and make them myself. After I made some trial, I send them to chef Ragil and he will suggest me of how to make it better.

    For this edition you got the challenge to make your own take of Indonesian ‘Soto’. Please elaborate a bit about your creation, and what kind of modification that you made from its original version?

    First, I just want to give the authentic flavor, that’s why, in the making of this soto, we cooked it in both modern and traditional way. We made the chicken stock ourselves with ‘tungku’ (traditional stove) for two to three hours to bring out the flavor from the chicken bones. The main reason of doing this is to get the real and rich taste of all ingredients. Here in Spicy Geg x Javara Culture, we want to keep everything authentic, but when we present it to the guest, we want it to be something interesting. That’s why this soto is made in the form of ramen. The chicken is uniquely made in rolade shape, and we slow cooked it in a sous-vide oven to get the tender texture. It is an authentically-flavored Indonesian soto, but with modern and interesting presentation. It looks complicated but actually easy to make. It’s all about creativity.

    What are the mandatory ingredients to make this soto creation, and where did you take the influence?

    The main ingredients is of course turmeric, ginger, coriander, shallot and garlic, lemon grass, lime leaves and of course, chicken stock / broth; these are the main ingredients if you want to taste the real Indonesian soto. If you only use water, you would not get the delicate flavor of the chicken. For me, when you want to serve authentic flavor to someone, you have to use all the right ingredients because they have their own elements to create rich flavors. We take the influence from the Javanese one; soto ayam Lamongan, because they have their own distinctive yellow-ish color. In Indonesia, there are several types of soto; such as Bandung, Betawi or Makassar one, each with their own different characteristics.

    How would you spend your free time outside the kitchen?

    (Laugh) To be honest, I prefer to spend my money on food. So on my free time, I always go to various restaurants or buy food from online delivery, only to try and find out why this is so famous? What are their characters? What can I improve if I want to make them myself? I love to try every kind of food; from the simple ‘warung’ (street stalls) to high-class one. I love to compare one food to other, even for the same type, to understand their differences and how can I apply them to improve my own creation, gain more knowledge and sharpen my palate.

    Any words of advice for other young and aspiring chef like you?

    Being in culinary industry is not a mere job. If you want to be a chef, you need to know what kind of chef you really want to be; because a lot of people don’t know their passion. In kitchen you have to pour all your heart unto the food you create. You also should prepare your mental, physical and everything, because being in the kitchen is not easy.

    Especially for a woman?

    Yes! you have to work like a man; you have to spend more time in the kitchen rather than outside. You have to be ready if you can’t go hanging out with your friend because you have to work overtime. Working in the kitchen is all about sacrifice. It’s something different from other kinds of job; you can’t just graduate from any prestigious school and hope to be instantly good on it. It’s all the matter of process. You have to start from the very bottom and work very hard and put a little bit of extra effort. Everything is basically extra in the kitchen.

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  • 17/01/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Devil in the Details

    In his tender tender age, Aditya Muskita, Potato Head Jakarta’s Executive Chef has worked in many famous fine dining restaurants. Born to a family of restaurant owner, Aditya is familiar with culinary industry since he was 14. He also worked in Relae, a fine dining restaurant located in Copenhagen, Denmark, which was ranked 45th from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Now, he brought the knowledge he gained and applied it in Potato Head Jakarta. He also made his own version of rendang using modern technique that seemed simple, but has great deal of details behind it.

    How did you start your career in the industry?

    I began when I was 14. My parents had a 3x3 m stall in Pasar Modern BSD that sold Chinese food, such as porridge and dim sum under the name Oen Pao. We started to get bigger and had some outlets in Sarinah building and Radio Dalam, but now we’re focused in supplying to supermarkets. Before school, I had to help to make the sauces, became the cashier, and after school, I worked again. My parents were quite strict, we’re always taught to keep on working, even on weekends.

    After high school, I went to At-Sunrise University, Singapore and I had an internship in a French bistro restaurant called Daniel Boulud. From there I went around.

    Then you returned to Indonesia?

    Yes, I worked for a while in Moovina (Plaza Indonesia) in the end of 2013. Thanks to my chef in Moovina, I was able to get a reference to work in Paris, I went there right away. Unfortunately, it was summer so many places were closed down. I worked in some restaurants for some few days because I was already there.

    From there, I had a friend who referred me to work for Olives, New York, a W Hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant. I worked there for a year, and then returned to Indonesia, actually to get my visa, but my chef in Olives was fired for some reasons and I didn’t get any sponsorship from him.

    I couldn’t get back to America, and I contacted Mozaic Bali to ask for vacancy. At the time, it was Blake Thornley who replied and he asked me to come to Bali for an interview. Finally I worked in Mozaic Ubud until I heard the news of Will Goldfarb came to town to open Room 4 Dessert. Ubud is actually very small, news spread so quickly. Finally I worked there for a year.

    You seem to be very interested in Will Goldfarb?

    Working with Will is probably the most important decision I’ve made in my career. He taught me not just about skill and attitude, it was the whole package. He always says to his staffs, “you work with me not just to become a chef, but to be the owner of a restaurant”. So, I had to understand ambience, service, plants, how to pay to Banjar (local village), to the legal stuffs. I can say that Will is my most important mentor. I could even tell if the music played in the restaurant wasn’t loud enough. Will is quite tough, at the same time, he was also very rewarding, he was easily approachable and a nice guy to talk to.

    From Room 4 Dessert, where did you go?

    Because of Will’s recommendation, I was able to land a job in Copenhagen, Denmark in Noma (only for 1-2weeks) and Relae, a Michelin Star restaurant which was ranked 45th from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Honestly, even though I worked in many places before, I never saw people working with such high standards, from technique, speed, performance, to the way they talk and see ingredients, very detailed. With modern Nordic fine dining concept, Relae’s kitchen only had around 8 staffs.

    I was about to quit because of fatigue. We worked 16-18 hours every day, but luckily, we had 3 days off in a week. Relae is also called the most sustainable restaurant in the world. They plant the ingredients themselves, recycled their own waste, and worked with local farmers. One of the most important aspects I learned there, is that sustainability is not all about ingredients, it’s also about man power. They treated their staffs very well, we had meals 3 times a day, even on our days off. We never starve, it was a very eye-opening experience. Unfortunately, I could only worked there for 6 months. Again, I failed to extend my visa. This time, even though they wanted to give me sponsorship, they have limited sponsorship quota.

    So, you’re forced to return to Indonesia, again?

    Yes. At that time, I contacted Will again and he offered me a job in Attarine, Jakarta where I worked with Jacob (Burrell), again. Actually, it wasn’t the first time I worked with him, we worked together before in Room 4 Dessert. Attarine had the concept of unique, modern, progressive cuisine, farm to table.

    I can tell that you are quite influenced by Jacob’s cooking approach?

    Yes, Jacob’s style might looked simple, but behind it, there’s so much details. Let’s take our Tomato Soup for example, it seems that we only have tomatoes, right? But if you broke it down, it had 15 ingredients. If other chefs want potatoes to have certain flavor, Jacob wanted to have more intense tomato flavor from tomato. Even though the tomatoes in Indonesia aren’t really that good, it wasn’t an excuse for us. We even added some ingredients such as bell pepper and cumin to get more of that “tomato flavor”.

    You brought the same approach to Potato Head?

    Potato Head has this modern comfort food concept with foods such as burger, sandwich, and pasta. With my backgrounds in fine dining restaurants, I bring the simple concept with modern process and lots of details behind it.

    Why did you choose rendang for this challenge?

    I have this love hate relationship with the dish. I was born and raised in Indonesia, in the middle of spicy foods, but actually, I couldn’t eat spicy food so I was never able to fully appreciate Indonesian cuisines. But thanks to rendang, I started to enjoy spicy food in the past 3-4 years.

    Back then, my (late) mother who came from Bandung loved to make rendang. She once said that rendang is the most difficult dish because it took a long time to make, you had to stir it for quite a while, and have tons of ingredients. The idea was engraved to my mind, the idea of making rendang scares me. Even though she showed me the process, my mother never really taught me how to make it in detail. So to me, it was quite challenging.

    What sort of rendang did you make?

    Basically, it’s a Minangkabau’s rendang inspired by my mother’s version. Actually, rendang is a cooking technique, not a name for a dish. Rendang is closely related to gulai and kalio. When you start to reduce the ingredients and stop when it’s still watery, we call it gulai, if it started to get dry and reached 4 hours, it became kalio, if you go further for 7 hours, then we have rendang.

    There are lots of ingredients going on in rendang, but the thing is, there’s no one spice that’s overpowering. To me, actually the most dominant one is the caramelization. I serve it with white rice made of the dry Solok’s Anak Daro rice and singkong leaves.

    Traditionally rendang uses shank, why did you use short ribs?

    Actually, short ribs is similar to shank, they both have lots of collagen, but short ribs tends to have more fat and it resulted in more meaty flavor and more tender. We are used to eating tough and dry rendang beef, similar to dendeng but it’s thicker and chewy. I guess the use of short ribs would be more acceptable to wider range of audience.

    The process is similar to making traditional rendang, it’s just that I didn’t put the meat along with other ingredients in the reduction process. I used the rendang spice to marinate the short ribs with sous vide technique in 75o C for 12 hours. I can’t say that it’s a sous vide, because normally in sous vide, people use the low temperature, so let’s just say it’s a braising method using sous vide.

    The result is tender, juicy meat, you can even cut it with fork. Another notable difference is, the beef flavor isn’t dominated by the rendang spice like traditional rendang, I also put some lemongrass and orang leaves as contrast to keep the flavor balance. Other than that, for the rest of the process, I kept using the simple, traditional methods.

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  • 17/01/2019 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Slowing Down Market

    Most of F&B practioners complained about the slowing down of economy for the past few years. On the other hand, some optimists see this kind of pessimism happens all the time. Instead of choosing between optimism or pessimism, we choose to be a realist. We met Chef Rahmat Kusnedi to understand what’s actually happening in the market, from the cause, current situation, to how to deal with it.

    The weakened purchasing power is merely pessimism of industry’s practioners, or is it the fact?

    It’s a fact. Especially in the middle of fluctuating currency like we have nowadays. Imagine, 2 years ago, butter was priced around Rp 1.900.000 – Rp 2.300.00 per carton (25 kg), now it can reach up to Rp2.900.000. If bakeries could sell a piece of bread for Rp 8.000, now it’s Rp 11.000. If you have to eat 2 pieces of bread, I guess most people will opt for nasi Padang. People think foods are getting more expensive, if they eat out 3 times a week in restaurants, probably now they just do it once a week.

    It all began from the scarcity of ingredients that was caused by government’s policy. I understand, government has good will, to protect local farmers, but the problem is, the policy was applied before the farmers were ready to produce. For example, we restrict imported pineapple, the local ones are given incentives, tax free, but actually, our local producers weren’t ready yet, as a result, the price escalated.

    How does it affect F&B industry?

    Decreasing buying power, but I guess it’s not because we don’t have money, I see it more as distribution. If people used to buy cakes in cake shops, now we have online home industries coming up, they disrupt the big companies. Many of these home industries specifically produce 1 type of product so they have higher cost efficiency, let say they only produce donut or cupcakes, then they work together with companies such as GoFood and GrabFood. It also happens in retail and electronic industries. If the big players used to monopolize the market, now the market is more distributed.

    Of course, we have some parties that benefit from the current phenomenon. Most home industries wouldn’t order directly to distributors due to their small demand, therefore, they prefer to buy ingredients from the local baking stores. Of course, the owners of these baking stores would say, “who says the business is declining? We are continuously growing.”

    So, the slowing down that was felt by practitioners isn’t caused buy the economy, because, if you look at our inflation rate, it’s stable. It’s just our currency is fluctuating, and it affects industries which rely heavily on imported ingredients, such as packaging and F&B.

    So, how should we deal with it?

    You have to keep customer’s trust, don’t disappoint them, and engage with them. Most of practitioners are faced with 2 options: looking for cheaper substitute ingredients, or downsize the product, both have their own risks.

    If you go with substitution, it has to make sense. If you’re used to using grade 8 wagyu, don’t replace it with local beef, instead, use grade 4. If you do downsizing with the same price, customers will think you’re cheating. Downsizing hurts customers more, because humans tend to rely more visually, meanwhile if you substitute some ingredients, not everyone will notice.

    There are some things you can do: launching new products and work together with banks to create sales promotion. If you don’t want to risk for the sake of consistency, launch new products with new theme. For example, if you’re selling chocolate donuts, make some hazelnut or mocha donuts, anything with lower cost. For second opetion, at the moment banks are loaded with cash, but no one wants to borrow from them due to economy’s slowing down. As a result, they often create credit card promotion. You can take advantage of this situation.

    Last one, you need to maintain your relationship with customers to retain their loyalty. Don’t see them merely as your money maker, treat them like family, talk to them, give them understanding of the current situation. In the end, your engagement with customers will be a strong support in your business. At the time, the most important thing is to keep the customers in the right direction and keep their trust in us.

    According to you, how long the slowing down will last?

    No matter what, business is closely related to the current political situation. Don’t forget, 2019 is a political year. It might not be true, but some investors I knew said that President Jokowi tends to side to most commoners by giving many incentives, meanwhile the private sectors were suffering from the continuously rising minimum wage. Not to mention the trade war between America and China, when 2 giants collide, other countries will also suffer.

    I guess the 2019’s presidential election is a defining moment. If it goes well, the economy will be fine, vice versa. However, don’t let these things stop you from starting. We have to keep the optimism, it’s just we have to be more extra careful and prepare for alternatives for anticipation because business is not determined by assumptions.

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  • 17/01/2019 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    The Adventure of Oka Diputra

    Most of the times, in order to become a chef, you need to have proper culinary education, work in restaurants and hotels, and then you build your own restaurants. However, there are some chefs who have unusual career path like Oka Diputra. Starting his career in advertising before he realized that he didn’t like the industry, Oka planned to move to Australia for good, but fate brought him back to Indonesia to build his own business Mie Chino, become an F&B consultant, and now, as Corporate Chef of Food Freaks Group who handles Hause Rooftop and Arrack & Spice. We met him in Arrack & Spice for an interview, also asked him to make his own rendition of our national salad dish, Gado-Gado.

    How did you start your career?

    You can say that I’m a latecomer, I just started in 2008. I went to college in London School, majoring in Advertising. I love it so much that I began my internship right on the first semester, but after knowing the industry for quite a while, I didn’t think I fit in. I can’t lie to people by selling products that I don’t like. Let say, I have to sell milk with added chemicals, but we shouldn’t mention it. After graduated, I was clueless, then I turned to my second hobby, cooking.

    But you finished your study, right?

    Yes, in fact, I was almost a cum laude. When I was in college, I sold “kampong” spaghetti in a high school’s art performance and I thought, “I love the industry”. After being clueless for quite a while, finally I had the chance to go to Australia. However, my parents can only help me financially in the beginning, so I said, “okay, this is a new challenge!” I planned to live there for good because I didn’t think I fit in here.

    After getting some info, I found that the best way to move to Australia was through education. To get a Permanent Resident (PR), I needed to take college in some fields that are needed by the government. At that moment, the choices were IT, accounting, nursing, and culinary. Finally, I took cooking course in Carrick Institute, Melbourne, and I live in Australia for 6 years.

    Then, why return to Indonesia?

    Life has its own way. The skill assessment was changed, therefore, I wasn’t eligible to apply as PR. I become temporary resident while hoping for sponsorship from my workplace, but in the end, I didn’t get one.

    What did you do in Melbourne?

    On my first 2 weeks there, I got a job in an Indonesian restaurant called Bamboe as, let say the lowest possible position in a kitchen. Everything they told me to, I’d do it. Like most Indonesians who live abroad, I was shy. But when my saving ran low, I got the Power of Kepepet just to survive. I printed my CV and I went through all restaurants in CBD to apply for a job. Finally, I had the chance to work in various places, from Italian restaurant, Morrocan, Greek, coffee shops such as Seven Seeds, to hotels.

    What’s the most important thing you learned there?

    About life and passion. One of the most interesting experience was when I worked in an Italian restaurant where I went through hell. From all employees who worked there, almost all of them quitted because they didn’t get paid. I was the only fool who stayed there and I only got my salary after 6 months. There are days when I had to work 18 hours per a day. When I got hungry, I’d prefer to smoke a cigarette than to have a proper meal as it was cheaper. I had to borrow money here and there, just to survive.

    The Italian restaurant had an open kitchen, so, there was one day that I had to cook, wash the dishes, became the waiter, make coffee, do the billing, pouring the wine, and do the closing, all by myself. There was a guest who was impressed by what I did and the gave me the biggest tip from a table that I ever had, it was $400.

    And then, how did you got back to Indonesia?

    In Melbourne, I had 6 months to think about what would I do when I returned. I started to contact my old friends and I heard the news about Pasar Santa. My go to food is chicken noodle, when I was a child, I dreamed of having my own noodle stall. Jakarta’s chicken noodle is quite different than any regular noodle, so whenever I miss it, I made my own noodle, invited my friends to eat and to improve the recipe.

    In June 2014, I finally returned to Jakarta and by the end of August, I opened Mie Chino in Pasar Santa. I picked the name because of my advertising background, I love making stupid copywriting ideas in my head to make people curious. At that time, chino pants was happening, so people started wondering, “do I have to wear chino to eat the noodle? Or is it, micin no?” However, most of the times I said that it was because the seller is a Cino, a familiar term for the world to refer to Chinese people.

    What is the concept of Mie Chino?

    It’s a regular rubber noodle (mie karet) that you usually find in Chinese populated areas in Jakarta. But, because I run the business in South Jakarta, I sell the halal version. I sold it for Rp 15.000/pc (now it’s Rp 18.000) with some optional condiments such as meatball or wonton for @ Rp 5.000. As predicted, my customers in South Jakarta was a bit surprised because they’re not used to eating chewy noodle (al dente). At that time, Pasar Santa was a tourist destination so my customers came from all over the world, and nobody said that they don’t like it, because they think, noodle is supposed to be al dente.

    After running it myself for 2 years, I did some pretty powerful branding. I came as tattooed kokoh-kokoh in white “Swan” shirt, with “Good Morning” towel hanging around my neck because I wanted to bring Chinese experience to South Jakarta. Of course, people always ask, “is it halal?” Along the way, the idea backfired, people started to come to Mie Chino because of my figure, not the food. Slowly, I retreated and stayed away from operational, and today, I had my staffs run the business.

    I heard that you also act as consultant?

    After Mie Chino, my initial plan when I returned from Melbourne was to be an F&B consultant. I’m quite confident with my work experience in Australia. In Jakarta, I don’t have too many friends, most of them are coffee people, especially ABCD Coffee community which was located also in Pasar Santa.

    Along the way, I heard of a consultant named Ronald (Prasanto). I had the chance to meet the man in Tanamera Coffee in 2015 to discuss about the profession. After that, I started handle some projects as consultant, from a restaurant in a resort in Uluwatu, Bali, to coffee shops in Jakarta. But, you know consultant, the projects are not always available, meanwhile I need steady income. I heard Ronald was looking for a Chef for Food Freaks Group, we met again with the owner and we’re just clicked because we share the common open mind. Finally, I became the Corporate Chef in this Food Freaks Group.

    Would you explain a bit about Arrack & Spice’s concept?

    Arrack & Spice has 2 different venues, restaurant and bar. For the bar, I’m not too involved, but it wants to be some sort of speakeasy bar, an underground bar that’s not begging for attention, I love the concept. For the restaurant, we want to expose the Silk Road concept as the trading route for spices, from Asia, Africa, to Europe. That’s why our food has wide range of variation, but we always emphasize on the spices.

    You also have the modern warteg concept?

    It’s a request from our owner, he wanted to have something that’s out of the box. The foods here are quite “fine”, but we also have some sort of upscale warteg to accommodate customers around here, let say, the management level who, for some reasons, didn’t want to go to regular warteg. Our owner see the opportunity for that market segment. We even design the counter to be similar to warteg where you can directly choose anything that you want, but we only offer the concept on 11.00 am to 3.00 pm.

    Tell us a bit about the gado-gado you made.

    There many types of gado-gado but I don’t think there’s any classifications, each region has its own version, but I love Gado-Gado Jakarta the most because to me, it has the right amount of composition, from the nut, palm sugar, garlic, some places even put sambal terasi in it to make it more aromatic.

    What are the main ingredients for gado-gado?

    Peanut sauce and vegetables, that’s the core of the dish. Gado-gado was made because Indonesians were so poor, their food were taken by the colonizers and they only had the harvest’s leftovers. To me, gado-gado only needs to have peanut butter, then vegetables such as string bean or morning glory, that’s it. Some other ingredients such as chayote, bean curd, tempeh, egg, or bean sprout are often used, but not crucial.

    The key ingredient of delicious gado-gado is the peanut butter. It should be sweet, spicy, salty and it has the aroma of lime that gives a nice twist. In the middle of the super rich peanut butter sauce, the presence of lime tones down and manipulates your palate, as if saying, “no, the flavor’s not too rich”.

    What sort of modifications you make in your gado-gado?

    Because the brief was Indonesian’s national dish which has ingredients that can be had anywhere in the world, instead of peanut, I use the chunky Skippy Peanut Butter to get nutty texture and the more nutty flavor. On the other hand, the creamy one has too much additional oil. I also put some orange leaf slice and lime to add the aroma, and some cashews to give more umami for the peanut sauce.
    If you have a hard time finding morning glory, cucumber, and other local vegetable, I deliberately add some salad mix that you can buy anywhere. In fact, you can eat peanut butter sauce with salad mix, it’s already good, so it’s like traditional with a twist.

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  • 26/12/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Retirement Planning

    In some occasions, Chef Rahmat Kusnedi  (CRK), the President of Indonesia  Pastry Alliance (IPA), always stress the  limited working time of the professionals  in the kitchen. For most chefs, retiring  is a nightmare as the big incom they  always get each month vanish into thin  air, meanwhile the living cost is escalating.  Judging from his peers’ experience,  CRK recommends all chefs to prepare activities outside their working place that  can support them when they have retired.

    How many years do the chefs actually have in the industry?

    The retirement age for women is 50,  meanwhile it’s 55 for men. At most, the  contract can be extended for 5 years, but  it’s based on contract, not permanent, it’s  also for very specific position and people.  If we assume a vocational school graduate  who finished his training start his career in 20, actually we only have 30-35 years,  it’s relatively short. Actually, if I were still  working in hotel, I only have 5 years left. Evertything has its own times. Our  productivity is the highest i 20-30, it’s  time to get knowledge and income as  much as possible. Meanwhile, in 30-40,  we start to be in comfort zone, but we have to good in finding opportunities. I  can say that you may eat anything as you  wish in 20-30, but when you’re in 30-40,  you have to be more selective, perhaps  you have high uric acid, high cholesterol  level or high blood pressure.

    Why do the kitchen professionals have to start planning activities outside the workplace?

    Don’t assume that everyone in the kitchen will retire as Executive Chef. The same with military, some retire as general, some as corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, colonel. For the mid level position, mathematically speaking, they will have hard time when they retire.

    I’ll give you the illustration, an Executive Chef in 5 star hotel, may get Rp 500 million pension money, at most. Meanwhile, for supervisors it can be Rp 160 – 300 million. Many people that’s quite large sum of money, however, if we assume the minimum monthly living cost is Rp 5 million, with Rp 300 million, he can merely lives for 5 years.

    When should we start thinking about the issue?

    I’ve been thinking about it since 35, I planned to retire in 40, if possible. Therefore, I started to look for other activities, I started to give lecture in 36, I built networking and my dream to make association. I already knew what will I do when I retire.

    Of course, as an ex Executive Pastry Chef, you can spare times, how about those whose positions below you?

    You can, absolutely. The point is, everything is manageable, in a sense that, any position can do it, if you have the willingness. I understand, one of the biggest challenge in the kitchen is the time management, but I’ve been a chef in various 5 star hotels, and I always managed to spare some vacant times.

    Everyone has the same 2 days off in a week. The hardest challenge in moving on actually comes from ourselves. That’s why, I always encourage every chef I know to pursue highereducation, or having another activities outside workplace, not just to find more opportunities, it’s more to perfecting our personal character.

    What are the opportunities for retired kitchen professionals?

    In general, there are 3: starting your own business, becoming consultant, or teaching. For starting a business, don’t force it to be ideal, choose the one that’s make sense and within your capacity. Actually, there are many unthinkable opportunities, but they are very prospective, even if it’s beyond your scope of work. You have to bear it in your mind.

    Once, I had a colleague in laundry division who built a soto ayam restaurant because his wife is very good in making the menu. After bringing some sample, it’s actually quite something, I recommend him to focus on selling soto ayam and some fried foods, that’s it. The sales grew from 50 portion a day, up to hundreds.

    Your business doesn’t have to be about F&B. Another colleague of mine was a steward, a dish washer, but he’s quite smart. He collected the hotel’s service charge to buy some land near train station. Initially, he wanted to build a boarding house, but he realized an opportunity to build parking spot for motorcycle and car for commuters who work in Jakarta. Finally, his income from his business far exceeds his main job. He has no problem of working as dish washer in hotel with Rp 4 million salary/month, but from his parking business, he earned Rp 2 million/day.

    For other professions such as consultant and lecturer, you need time. For consultant, you should at least start 10 years prior to retiring. Perhaps it’s just by helping a friend to build a restaurant, you might not get anything from it, but after keep doing it for years and making some success stories, he can start to set proper fee for his reputation.

    The last one,teaching is a good one. In addition to giving knowledge that can be blessing for other, teaching actually trains your motoric nerve, that’s why, generally most lecturers and teachers live longer. For lecturer, the retirement age is 70, meanwhile, if you’re a professor, you may teach as long as you can.

    What are your plans to overcome the chefs’ fear of retirement?

    One day, I’d like to make a post retirement training, that’s my dream. I want to teach how to build a business from A to Z, because business requires management, system, and feasibility study, not just relying on your gut feeling. Most F&B business fails because of mismanagement, not because the food is bad. Also business doesn’t have to be too complicated, let say you want to start donut business. Simply focus on making the best possible donut, don’t mind other products, and then focus on conquering a region, let say Tangerang.

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  • 26/12/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Breakthrough Educator

    In this edition, PASSION meets Kertawidyawati; the President of Indonesian Sommelier Association Bali Chapter and Development Manager of Hatten Wines Bali, to discuss about her genuine vision, perspective and plan to enhance the nation’s wine scene through education and international standardization.

    1. Let’s start with an important question: why does wine taste better when you’re travelling?

    So the taste of wine will be different when you’re drinking it alone by yourself, or when you’re drinking it together with partner, friend; different atmosphere. It’s because of the environment. If you are travelling for holiday with your best friends, your mood level will be higher, thus everything will taste better. It’s on the psychological aspect as well. Wine is a liquid for celebration in togetherness. It would be so miserable to drink it alone in your room anyway. So bottom line, yes, the taste of wine could differ depending on the occasion, but it’s not coming from the quality itself, but with who and where you’re enjoying it.

    2. As a mother and sommelier, how did you balance your career with time for your family?

    Actually it’s not that balanced now to be honest! (Laugh). I was working in hotel before, and back then I thought this is where one would work long hours and lead to unbalanced life, but then when I move to winery, I do a lot of travelling for such long time, and my daughter really complaint about it. So to balance that, I always try to bring something home from the place that I visit to make her happy. But on the other side, we get more networks through travel, not only among Indonesian but also overseas. So it’s all worth it.

    3. As the President of ISA (Indonesia Sommelier Association) Bali Chapter, what is your vision and goal for the island’s wine scene in near future?

    Just a bit background about Indonesian Sommelier Association, our headquarters is in French, it’s called Associate de la Sommelier, and they have one association per country all over the world. In Indonesia, our central is at Jakarta, but because Indonesia is too big, we divided it into two chapters; Bali and Jakarta. Our main idea is to develop sommelier. Actually when you called yourself ‘sommelier’, you have to own a type of certification. We try to give a platform for those who want to learn about sommelier, who are working in the industry and very passionate to learn about wine. In ISA, we also held annual competition which will leads into world champion. To be able to send one guy from Bali to international competition is something big, and actually the current best Indonesian Sommeliers are from this island. These two guys will compete in South Korea for Asia’s Sopexa Wine Competition with other 9 countries. So basically from that kind of association we are giving them a platform to learn, build network and at the same time doing international activity.

    4. What were your background / experience with wine? How did you become a sommelier in the first place?

    My background is hospitality industry. As I mentioned before I worked in hotel, always in Food and Beverage division. My last position was actually as Executive Assistant Manager of Food and Beverage, so I’ve been in that industry for quite long. During that time, I became the President of ISA, and Hatten is actually gives the biggest contribution to this association. When Hatten build this facility (The Cellardoor); with private dining room, classroom, program, etc., they are looking for somebody who have F & B background and also passionate about wine and training. I stepped in and join Hatten. It’s been more than three years now, but that’s where it started. I choose to become sommelier because I love to drink wine and I started to become more passionate about wine.

    5. According to you, how has the role of sommelier has changed in the past 20 years? Should there be better education and training for aspiring somms in Indonesia?

    If you are talking about twenty years, I think that’s a big gap, because it’s only recently that the position of sommelier is being acknowledged in the industry; especially in Indonesia. What’s happening in Indonesia now is that big outlet, independent restaurant that owns wine cellar start to acknowledge the ‘sommelier’ role. But the thing is, particularly here in Indonesia, that position is just given by the owner to someone who is ‘quite good enough’ in the knowledge of wine, not because you are certified. This is different in overseas, where they only give that position to someone who officially certified. Unfortunately in Indonesia there is currently no certification body for wine knowledge or sommelier, but we’re happy to share that just around two weeks ago we, through Hatten Education Center, just received the approval to be the official agency for WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust), a UK-based association which certify wine knowledge-related program. So now, we are the one and only in Indonesia who eligible to do international certification for wine knowledge. This is a big thing because it means you don’t have to travel overseas to get your certification. I believe that the more we have possibilities to do this kind of classes, the more Indonesia people will have the opportunity to be successful in international wine industry.

    6. Do we still have to follow the old rules; red with beef, white with fish?

    I don’t think so. This is interesting. So, a lot of people asking about this, but actually in Hatten Education Center, we have one food pairing program called ‘Wine Appreciation’ which actually break that said rule. General perception still think that we have to pair red with red and white with white, but through that program we learned about the different characteristics of wine based on its complexities, not color; full-bodied, light-body, semi-sweet, dry, and then pairing them with four kind
    of sauces, representing most flavors including rendang sauce. During that process, people need to break through their mindset, because they are no longer thinking about protein (beef or fish meat), but must taste the pairing through basic flavor. The most interesting thing is that people who did this eventually found that beef rendang is actually great when paired with semi-sweet white wine! My idea first to make this class for entry-level wine drinker and those who work in restaurant with second to none knowledge about wine, but it turns out that many tourist and foreigners who attended the class came to me and said that this is a ‘life-changing’ experience for them.

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  • 26/12/2018 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Nurturing The Next Generation of Pastry Chefs

    Working in a hotel’s kitchen is definitely tiresome, both physically and mentally. That’s why we see not too many women choose it as career. However, Aan Nurhasanah, one of the first Indonesian woman who was promoted as Executive Pastry Chef, has walked the talk of this time-consuming job, along with some sacrifices. To Passion Media, Chef Aan told us how she got into the industry, her mission, her perspective and the reason why today she chooses to focus on the education industry.

    When you start your career, is it common for a woman to work in the hotel’s kitchen?

    When I was still studying in IKIP (now UNJ) majoring in Culinary Art, my friends weren’t willing to work in hotels because they knew it was tough, tiresome, and you always got home late. Even though the salary is quite good, most people didn’t want to sacrifice lot of their time.

    How did you start your career in hotel industry?

    Back in early 90’s, when I was still studying, I took 2 semesters off to work in Sheraton Lagoon, Nusa Dua, Bali. Hotels had pretty good mapping for their employees skill development. Let say, for 3 months I was stationed in chocolate room, the next 3 months would be in production, then to restaurant, finally in banquet. That’s why I took the chance in the middle of my study, because hotels give you specific training. In addition, at the time, the number of 5 starred hotels were still very few, It was easy for me to land a job.

    After that, did you manage to finish your study?

    Yes. Back then, my chef was disappointed because after a year, he planned to send me to Germany, but I thought, it’s a shame for me not to be able to finish my study, as I could only took 2 semesters off. In Indonesia, educational background is still crucial. At the moment, I started to think far to 15-20 years in the future, I knew I wouldn’t be too long in the industry. With such long working hour, it’s very difficult even to take care of yourself.

    How many hours did it take when you worked in hotel?

    Unlimited (laugh)! But in general, I spent around 12 years. The concept of 5-2 (5 working days 2 days off) was just applied lately, back then, it was still 6-1. So, I used the only day off just to sleep all day. That’s why most hotels prefer to employ men, they need the stamina.

    So, you see women working in the kitchen as a disadvantage?

    Yes, but actually, with my experience as Pastry Chef in hotels, women tend to be more detail oriented in lot of ways, such as in making chocolate decoration and preparation for ala carte. It’s the reason why I always have both men and women in my team. It’s very rare to see a man who’s as detailed and neat as woman.

    After you graduated, where did you work?

    I worked for 6 years in Aryaduta Jakarta, Gambir, it was known as Hyatt back then. In my first 2 years, I worked as Lal De Silva’s (owner of The Harvest) assistant, the next 2 years under Gerald Maridet. I went to Dubai for a year before returned back to Aryaduta and handled the pastry.

    As an Executive Pastry Chef? Were you the first Indonesian woman to get the position?

    No, actually I don’t know because I never pay too much attention for such stuffs, I only know work work work, that’s it. When I returned from Dubai, the Executive Pastry Chef was still vacant, I was offered the position, but I turned down the offer.

    Why? You didn’t want to be promoted?

    Because the pressure will be immense, I didn’t want to take such risk. My official position back then was Assistant to Pastry Chef, but what I actually did was the job of an Executive Pastry Chef, some sort of Acting Pastry Chef, I guess.

    After Aryaduta, I wanted to move to a bigger (production) scale hotel, to Shangri-la Hotel. When I moved there, the Pastry Chef, a Swiss Chef, only lasted for 3 months, and again, I became the Acting Pastry Chef, actually I did too much acting (laugh)! I was getting used to handling events with 5.000 - 8.000 pax. Our General Manager noticed it and they decided to promote me as Executive Pastry Chef. “Even though she’s local, she’s capable of handling the job,” perhaps that’s what they were thinking.

    At the time, they planned me to be assigned to learn in 3 countries, but because the hotel was so busy, in the end they sent a chef to Indonesia to teach me, his name is Anthony Collar. I learned so much from him, from pastry, management, set up. From there, I moved to The Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place, and ended my career in Sheraton Bandara Hotel. So, my career was started in Sheraton Lagoon and ended in Sheraton Bandara.

    Before I quitted, I had planned my juniors to replace me. I didn’t want some outsider to replace me, meanwhile my juniors were not promoted. Form my experience of working with expatriate chefs, I got very valuable lessons on leadership. From the beginning, they expected us to have the same level of knowledge with them. I was thankful that it went the way I wanted to be. The Executive Chefs admitted that my juniors are able to replace me, even though with some notes.

    As a woman, did people treat you differently?

    The same, when I made mistakes, they screamed at me, if I was late, I was scolded. As a woman, I never want to have special treatment, we have no difference in terms of position or salary, be it men or women, so we try to respect each other.

    It’s just that, in Indonesia, people still think relationship is more important than leadership. I mean, the closer we are to colleagues, the more we hesitate when we try to warn them when they make mistakes. Indonesians are very hesitant, even though we can warn people with jokes.

    For example, if I see commis chefs make a mistake, the one who’s responsible to tell them would be the Chef De Partie (CDP) or Sous Chef, not me (as an Executive Pastry Chef). When I worked with expatriate chefs, we always apply the system. But what happened is, some CDPs hesitate to warn them, as a result, I had to get my hands dirty, because actually, whenever we see a mistake and we let it happen, the fault is ours.

    The fact is, most Indonesians are still very sensitive.

    Yes, I have to admit it, but not only limited to hotel industry, it also happens in education. However, you can’t do that when I was working with expatriate chefs. When we cry, they would even got angrier, you can’t let get feelings get in the way, so it’s more like military system. Whenever scolded, you stand strong, your eyes should never drop any tear!

    Why did you decide to turn into education? Any personal mission?

    I want to transfer my knowledge to everyone, that’s what I’m doing now. No matter how small or detail, I never let anybody make any mistakes. In hotels, I never let anyone to have wrong piping techniques, my mouth was itching whenever it happens. Actually, if we don’t correct mistakes, it will be bad for them. When their career progressed and they kept doing the mistakes, they will teach the same mistakes to the next generation.

    Some retired Pastry Chefs prefer to do business or act as consultants, why did you choose teaching?

    Because of my background in education, there are so many doctrins about education that I hold strongly. There’s not to many ex-Pastry Chefs from industry who are interested in becoming a lecturer, one of the reasons is because the lack of educational background, because in order to teach in Universities, the education requirement is S1, meanwhile most chefs only have D2 or D3.

    Teaching gives me different level of satisfaction. I’m not talking about money here, because if you want money, go to hotel, but how long should you focus on money? If we give our knowledge to other, psychologically, the satisfaction level is very different, at least, that’s what I feel.

    Where did you give your lectures?

    At the moment, I’m teaching in Pradita Institute, Matana University, and Universitas Pelita Harapan.

    Compared to the past years, now we have more vocational schools. Does it affect how you give lectures?

    No, teaching is always the same, it’s always from the basic and getting more advanced. Actually, teaching nowadays is easier because of access to technology. Let say, if we want to teach how to make a product, we can ask students to see how it was made beforehand through Youtube videos, so when the class is on, they can click immediately. In addition, they will be more active in asking, the questions will also be more developed.

    On the other hand, as teacher, we have to equip ourselves with sufficient knowledge, as students often ask things beyond the subject that we teach, just to test us. For example, a student asked me about laugen (German bread, similar to pretzel), I
    knew he asked that just to test my knowledge. Therefore, if we don’t have  enough knowledge, teaching nowadays kids is quite a challenge. To be able to teach, it’s not enough with just background from industry, because teaching is a discipline study itself. Perhaps you don’t need educational background like me, but read books about education, be it the psychology of educating, the target of lesson, which language should you use.

    When you were still working in hotel with tight schedule, do you sacrifice your family?

    It’s a bit neglected, but fortunately my husband is also working in hotel, in finance division, so he understands the hectic times in the kitchen, moreover when you have an event involving 2.000 – 3.000 set menu. Imagine this recipe that I give you, and you have to make thousands of them.

    However, the biggest sacrifice is the quality time with my child. When he was little, my child became closer with his babysitter. When it was holiday, he preferred to be held by the babysitter than me. I leave home at 5.30 am and got home at 11.00 pm, we barely met each other. Perhaps this is why most women don’t want to work in hotels. But, I just took the leap; I planned to quit from the industry in the next few years anyway. Since I became a lecturer, I have more free time, as the job doesn’t require me to go home late.

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  • 21/12/2018 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Woman in Coffee

    When it was introduced in Europe in the 16th century, people thought coffee might cause women to be frigid, even infertile. In Constantinople, a law was passed giving husbands the right to prevent their wives to drink coffee. Maybe, that’s why, until today, most women aren’t good in making a good cup of coffee. Coffee is identical to man’s drink. Yessylia Violin, Common Grounds Coffee’s Operational Manager, also the Champion of Indonesia Cup Taster 2018, grew up as barista in the middle of the myth.

    Honestly, as a man, I hate to admit it, but according Yale University’s research has found that women actually have more taste buds on their tongues. The fact is, around 35% of women (and merely 15% of men) can proudly call themselves as supertaster, someone with better ability in identifying taste than other. We can argue about it, but according to Yessylia, the most important thing for a cup taster is the state of mind. She told us the story of how she became a barista, joining competitions, became the national champion, and her story in 2018’s World Coffee Event in Brazil.

    How did you get into coffee industry?

    Back then, I was studying Travel Industry, as I got a scholarship, I needed to do internship for 6 months x 3. For the first semester, I did the internship in a tour company in Bali in ticketing division. Ticketing is very boring, I ask myself, “is this what I really want?”

    My interest in coffee began to grow as I started to visit some coffee shops. Once I visited ABCD Coffee (back then) in Pasar Santa. Finally a friend suggested, “why don’t you do your internship in coffee shop?” By the beginning of 2015, finally I landed a job in Common Grounds Coffee, thanks to a senior of mine who worked here in the first place.

    Did you become a barista straightaway?

    No, at first I was in charge for the floor & service, after a month, I was allowed to get into the bar and get some basic barista training. However, at the time, I had to make some juices, smoothies, and other non-coffee drinks. In Common Grounds, coffee machine is the last thing you can touch before doing the other job.

    After 6-7 months, we had a national coffee competition, 2015’s Indonesia Coffee Events. Yanto (Daryanto Witarsa, Commong Grounds’ Roaster / Co-owner) suggested me to join the Cup Taster competition just to get a feeling of what it’s like to compete. The rule is simple, you have 8 sets of coffee, each set has 3 cups of coffee, there are 2 same cup, and 1 different cup. Our task is just to find the different one from 8 sets of coffee within 8 minutes. When you have the same amount of right answers, the time you spend will be put into consideration. I started to get some trainings and do some palate diet.

    Palate diet, what’s that?

    I have to taste mineral water from various brands and tell the difference. I wasn’t allowed to eat spicy, deep fried, oily foods, anything that’s too sweet, salty, and anything excessive, so mostly I ate bland foods and I became so thin. Imagine, I’m already like this, and I used to be much thinner.

    In the competition, from regional to national’s semi final, I always got the first place, but in final, I only managed to get the first runner up because the last one was pretty hard. After the competition, I was promoted as the Head Barista, and then for the next 4-5 months, there was the next regional Indonesia Coffee Events, this time I participated in the Barista Championship. I managed to get into the final, at the time, Yoshua Tanu (Common Grounds’ Co-owner) was the crowned champion.

    For my third competing year, I decided to participate in 2 categories: Barista Championship and Cup Taster, merely just to have fun. Fortunately, this year, both categories were held at different time and place. Actually, you can enter all 4 categories, as long as you can do it. This time, Muhammad Aga (Shoot Me In The Head) was the winner, I only got the third place, but for the Cup Taster, I managed to become the National Champion and represent Indonesia for the 2018’s World Coffee Events in Brazil on November 7-9.

    How did you win the Cup Taster competition?

    To me, the most important thing is confidence; it’s not always about finding the right ones. We have to be confident and trust our first choice; it’s always been that way. Other might try all 8 sets of coffee, if they found something they’re not sure, they’d skip it and return to it after tasting other sets. On the other hand, I never go back to previous sets. That’s why I can finish so fast, most of them are under 3 minutes.

    You have a unique approach, pleas elaborate!

    For example, you’ll have a hard time recognizing the smell of your room, because you live in it every day, meanwhile, the one that can sense it are other people. It’s similar to all aspects in life, when you try something for the first time, it would be easier for you to absorb things.

    Cup taster is interesting because it’s a sensory experience, most people can do it. You don’t have to be a Q grader in order to tell the taste of natural, honey, or full wash process, because in this competition, you just have to find 1 different up of coffee, that simple.

    Tell us about your experience in World Coffee Events in Brazil last 7-9 November 2018.

    Honestly, the first round was pretty easy, even our national final was much harder than this, I managed to be the fastest one. But when I got to the second round, it was so difficult. First round was to eliminate over 40 competitors from all over the world, on second round, they picked the top 16, I only managed to get the 14th position.

    Not bad, since we’re talking about the world’s 14th Cup Taster. Will you try again next year?

    At the moment, we only have 4 categories: Barista, Latte Art, Brewer, and Cup Taster. Latte Art is not my thing. One day, I might try Brewer, but I will certainly join the Barista Championship. For Cup Taster, I haven’t decided yet. The thing that made me win last time is because I didn’t take it too seriously. You have expectation, you will stress about it. Cup Taster is about someone’s state of mind, so, I’m still considering to join it again.

    I really feel the urge to ask this to you: Common Grounds won so many competitions, and then we have rumor that it was because one of Common Grounds’ owners, happens to be PT. Sukanda Djaya’s owner, a company that become the sponsor of the event. As an insider, what do you have to say about it?

    I can say nothing about it. Actually, for the last one’s Barista Championship, as far as I know, Sukanda was no longer a sponsor, perhaps they’re still a sponsor for Latte Art Competition, but it’s no longer the biggest one. There are many aspects in a competition, and in any competitions in the world, politic always finds a way into it. Perhaps, we can argue about 3 other competitions that involve judges’s subjectivity, but for Cup Taster? You can see the right or wrong in front of your own eyes.

    To me, Common Grounds often win because we train very hard. We have our own internal competition. If you don’t win, don’t expect to represent us in any competitions. Many baristas apply to Common Grounds just for the competition, of course, we don’t randomly pick any people.

    For Barista and Latte Art, if you know how we train, you’ll get the idea. If it’s 2 week before competition, after finished our job in outlet on 5.00 pm, we started training from 6.00 pm to 1.00-2.00 am. Our coach, Daryanto Witarsa is often referred as World Champion Coach. He’s the best coffee roaster I’ve ever met; he also roasted our bean for competitions. He doesn’t enjoy half-assed person, basically, if you give your 100%, he’d give you 200%. In training sessions, he’d stay in our training facility all day, even if it means leaving his family at home. That’s why many finalists from other coffee shops train together with us.

    It seems like Common Grounds put special attention to competitions.

    Competition is one of the things that build our today’s image, that’s why it’s important and very meaningful to us. Personally, competition is a good event for us to get better opportunities, meeting new people, learning more.

    If you don’t take it seriously, we wouldn’t do it, because training costs so much time and money! People say that Common Grounds win because we have lot of money to afford expensive bean. Coffee is one thing, but in competition, there are more important aspects, such as discipline and how you present yourself in front of the judges.

    Do you find any gender preference in coffee shops?

    To me, man or woman is the same, but we try to balance things. Let say, if we need 10 baristas, we want 5 male baristas and 5 females.

    If you’re looking for balance, there must be some special features required from a gender, right?

    There are many physical tasks in the industry. If we recruit too many women, I wouldn’t say we’re not able, but physically speaking, our capacity is definitely incomparable with men. About the myth that says women are more organized, I
    don’t think it’s relevant. Yanto is a very organized man; meanwhile I met some messy female baristas. Other than physical capacity, there are no differences between men and women in this job, because I’ve seen men who don’t want to do heavy lifting, and they don’t even care if they see women do it. Just look at St. Ali, the Head Chef is a woman, and they have many women working there.

    Have you ever discriminated because of this gender issue in your workplace?

    In all industries, you’ll have gender issues. Perhaps we had some sexist people who think that coffee is a man’s drink, so they see men more capable, meanwhile women know nothing. In coffee competitions, the female participants are only 10% at most, because traditionally, people think women can’t make proper cup of coffee. However, in 2018 World Barista Championship, a woman won it for the first time (Agnieszka Rojewska from Poland).

    About the discrimination, I had one, we had a customer who didn’t take me seriously, simply because I’m a woman. However, customer is customer, I need to treat them in a nice way, but I also have to be able to prove them wrong.

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  • 21/12/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Bakers at Heart

    Hailing from Germany, The young, aspiring Lara Frenzel who currently leads the pastry division as Executive Chef at Padma Resort Legian certainly didn’t come into the scene unprepared. We get the chance to meet with the lady and compile some of her sweetest thoughts; from the career to wave-riding hobby. Check them out!

    1. Share us a bit of your background. Why did you decided to become a chef, and why pastry?

    Basically the decision was made when I was really young. All the women in my family were into baking, so I grew up sitting beside the kitchen counter watching my mom baking cake. Then I decided ‘yeah, why not make it into a profession’. I’m actually the first one in my family to take it as a profession.

    2. What was the first thing that you learned about creating pastries that surprises you the most?

    Good question (laugh). Probably the diversity of what you can do out of simple ingredients; such as sugar. It is such a regular thing no one really cares about it, but you can actually treat it like glass i.e mold it or make it into pretty pieces for your cake, or how it affects if you just add it to your pastry creations. It’s just so interesting for me how all the ingredients work together and just by using different amount you can create different end product, and that’s what really surprised me about pastry : things are not as simple as they seems.

    3. What would you do to maintain your health and energy during your bustling daily activities as a professional chef?

    It’s not easy! I mean especially as a pastry chef, you have to eat a lot of sweet, and at the same time I know what am I eating and its super unhealthy. So I always try to nibble; try everything in small portion, and also eat a lot of vegetables. I’d try to balance it with my meals. If I can, I also go surfing. Whenever I could, before work, I would just grab my board, go surfing (on Padma beach), come back and bake some pastries (laugh).

    4. What’s the main difference of being a ‘pastry chef’ from ‘kitchen chef’ in general?

    One of the main differences is that we, pastry chef, work with much more mixture than normal chef, who’d try to keep the ingredients plain; they don’t just blend or mix everything up. In cake, because you have to work with lots of mixtures; creams and whatsoever, you have to stick with your recipe.

    You mean you can’t improvise a lot on making cakes…

    I probably could, but then again the end results will be always different. You need to have a lot of experience. If you don’t know how to measure everything, your result will be completely out of your expectation. So you can’t just stir some things together and hope for the best. That’s not how pastry works.

    5. Nowadays, where do you get ideas and inspiration for Padma Resort Legian’s extensive pastry creations?

    Basically my inspiration comes from all the fruits and ingredients that we have in here. Most of them are not even available in Europe, so I find it interesting to work with stuff like original palm sugar, and also the local fruit like rambutan. Even the chocolates here are different. So I try to integrate them in my creation using my European technique and recipe with local-grown ingredients. And since it’s super-hot in here, I had to rethink every recipe that I had. I try to make light desserts that are easy to eat even while it’s hot outside.

    6. What is the advantage & disadvantage of being a woman in a man-driven work field (professional chef)?

    Probably the biggest advantage as woman is men would more likely try to help you, and usually not as rough to you as to their male counterparts. But I don’t really want to have that as an advantage; I just want to be treated as an equal. Of course I wouldn’t try to be a man in the kitchen, because it doesn’t make sense to me. But I don’t want any extra treatment just because I am a woman. As for the downside, many times men don’t really take you for real. I think that is one of the biggest issues that still happen.

    Did you do something to respond the downside?

    Usually I’d try to prove myself. When I see a challenge I would just go for it. Actually the first time I worked in hospitality is not in cake shop or bakery but in a restaurant where there are only guys around me. They treated me rough, but that was a good school for me, and also to show that I not only I can catch up with you guys, but I can actually do it better. So if men said they do it in 20 minutes, I would try to do it in 18 minutes.

    7. What is your most favorite beach to surf? Is there any dream spot you would go?

    It’s tricky! Because I just got my own bike so I just go to the front (Padma beach), or Kuta just in front of Pullman Hotel, that was my favorite spot. But my goal would be going to Padang-Padang. Been there a couple of times already, it’s so nice! But I haven’t got a chance to bring my surfboard along so I would just sit there and speak to myself ‘next time, I will surf here!’ (Laugh)

    8. What is the most challenging pastry creation that you’ve made in your career so far? Elaborate the story with us!

    Maybe one of the hardest is a cake called ‘croqembouche’, it consist small profiteroles cake dipped into caramel sauce, and then you  assemble it in giant pyramid-shape. My former chef used to be a French pastry chef, and one time we got a wedding request to make that cake in his absence and I was the sous chef. I think it was mainly about the pressure since I never done such a big thing; it was more than one meter-tall. I have to go to the city, buy some thick paper to make a base, and you have to glue all the profiteroles with caramel, that was tricky, but I get it done. I feel super excited afterward. Usually I didn’t take to many pictures about the cake I created, but that time I was just like snapping it with my phone. That’s an achievement for me.

    9. Tell us about your most favorite kitchen tool…

    A thermal mixer; it’s a blender with thermal function which is super handy. It blends thing for you, cook thing for you, and so on! It is actually a German brand and I was fighting for three months to get it here (laugh). At first all of my staff was just like ‘what was that thing?’ ‘Too many techniques’ but it just run all day long and make life easier. Now everyone here already use it as well!

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  • 21/12/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    A Wellness State of Mind

    Idea about food as a healthy sustenance for our body is supposed to be the common practice, but people nowadays tend to forget about it and eat just to satisfy our palate. We sat down with chef Elisabeth of Livingwell; a strong-willed cancer survivor and talented food maker, to dig deep into her mind about hope to get rid of disease in society through clean-eating diet.

    1. What drives you into the world of culinary making?

    For me, culinary is related to health. Often time we eat something that has no benefit for our body. So, it’s not only about the good taste, but also health as well. I was diagnosed with womb cancer, and I have to travel to various countries just to find a cure for my sickness. Then when I stayed in Japan, I learned a lot by practicing ‘natural healing’. I refused to do chemotherapy. Then I gradually learned that everything we eat can affect our body in many ways, so I changed my diet accordingly. When I did, I found the amount of cancer in my body was reduced significantly, up to 50%. So I continue doing that for me and also to help others through my cooking.

    2. As a cancer survivor, what message are you trying to convey to people through your cooking?

    First; when you get diagnosed with cancer, calm your mind, think about what your body need. Cancer exists in your body because the lack of something, or we make mistake through our diet, lifestyle, food that enters our body. People who tend to eat unhealthily, they might feel okay for one or two years, but after, they will experience the negative effect. Nowadays kids, they get their menstrual at the tender age of 8, and that’s just not right. Normally it is at 12. So, again, if you have cancer, you can’t feed it with the food it may like; animal oil, preserved dishes, chemical coloring, sugar. It’s okay if you lost weight as long as you’re healthy. Don’t feed your sickness, but instead, we can still feed the body with healthy food made from organic ingredients; we can substitute it either through natural composition, or the way we cook.

    3. What is ‘healthy food’ according to you?

    Healthy food is something that won’t make us feel guilty when we eat. ‘Feeling guilty’ is not healthy for our mind as well, actually. Our body doesn’t need chemical, not even sugar! Healthy food supposed to be friend for our body, not its enemy.

    4. How did you find inspiration to create a dish?

    I really like this question. I see myself like a painter who wants to create a beautiful painting, pouring out my heart’s feeling through cooking. I want to create something that’s not only adored by the people, but also can make them healthier. For example, I avoid using too much oil in my dishes, but some of the food requires a lot of oil on its original shape. So I will play around, tinkering with the menu, like pasta, for example; aglio olio, how could I make it with less oil? I roast garlic in 40 degree, half-cooked and I soaked it in olive oil until the flavor comes out,then I pour the garlic unto the pasta, garnished it with other spices, and it will taste almost no different from the original one. If you boil every kind of oils for more than 50 degrees (Celsius), it will produce dangerous carbon dioxide, so it’s better if you use as little oil as possible in your food.

    5. What is the most important aspect for anyone to be a professional chef?

    Professional chef is not all about being able to cook, but being responsible as well. Every food that I make must have benefit to those who consume it. You can turn it into business, but make sure that it is a beneficial one for others. I have one customer who loves to come with his bicycle here to Livingwell. One day, he come to me, shake my hand and said ‘Ma’am, ever since I eat here, I feel more energized, my health gets better, why is that?’ And then I asked what did he had for breakfast, lunch, and try to suggest him of what to order so he can feel more benefit from my food. This is the essence of being professional chef. If you just want to make delicious food, anyone can learn to do it.

    6. What is the main concept of Livingwell’s dishes menu?

    I want everyone to be able to eat here at Livingwell, regardless of where they came from. That’s why I make various types of menus; Asian and Western, but with healthy concept. For example, our quesadilla, even the wrapping is made differently with more healthy ingredients, but everybody can enjoy it. Through Livingwell, I also want to invite the society to eat more healthily, spread awareness to fight disease through delicious healthy food.

    7. How do you want to be remembered?

    Maybe I couldn’t answer this question. Basically I don’t want people to appreciate me, but I wish that they could understand my cause; why I want people to eat healthy food. It’s not about Elisabeth, but about how people can make their family healthier, not only from my food, but I am willing to share tips as well, and from there, everyone can get the benefit. This is my goal.

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  • 20/12/2018 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Sharing Happiness Through Pastry

    Since its inception in 2014, Nomz Kitchen & Pastry has set a new standard for restaurants in Jakarta. Some part of the buzz was the fact that it was owned by Chef Arnold Poernomo, a young handsome chef who also happens to be one of MasterChef Indonesia’s judge. However, we also believe that the pastry division contributed an important role to Nomz’s success. Back then, we were quite surprised to know that the pastry kitchen was headed by a young, talented woman, Kim Pangestu. Finally, we had the chance to interview Nomz’s Pastry Chef to know more about her background, her dreams, and her role as a woman in the kitchen of a restaurant.

    How did you get introduced into the world of pastry?

    I have a mother who really loves to cook. One night, she baked a cake and I was so excited to see the process. I saw her mixing the flour, sugar, egg, and other ingredients, then put it into oven, and suddenly when it was out, it gave a very nice, pleasant aroma. When I ate it, it was warm, soft, very delicious, I was ecstatic! It brought comfort to me. I decided that I want to bake and make desserts for other people so they will feel the same happiness feeling I felt like that night.

    As a Le Cordon Bleu Sydney graduate, what’s the most important lesson you got there?

    In Le Cordon Bleu, I learned a lot about European pastry. I learned how to make cakes form various countries, and it really broadened my horizon. The teachers in Le Cordon Bleu came from various countries, I learned many techniques from them. To me, formal education is crucial as it will be a guide when we start out career as a chef. Perhaps not all of the techniques will be applied, but at least you understand the basics of pastry making.

    What’s your dream as a Pastry Chef?

    I want to expand my dessert catering business, and in the future I want to have my own pastry school. I want to share my knowledge to future pastry chefs in Indonesia.

    How do you describe your pastry style?

    My background is mostly resolved around very fine plated desserts, but I also really love chocolate and cakes. My style is about innovation, always try to make something unique and new.

    I heard you opened you own business Kimmy Patisserie, would you share a bit about that?

    When I returned to Jakarta, I have no idea how start my career in Indonesia. I turned my room into small kitchen. In the beginning, I sold eclairs online while learning about the Indonesian style and market. I worked alone and start everything from zero.

    Then, how did you join Nomz?

    Because Kimmy Patisserie, my name was started to be recognized and I got the offer to open Nomz along with Chef Arnold Poernomo and some other owners. The concept is about making comfort desserts. I was given the freedom to create anything I’d like, something innovative and creative.

    I heard you were an assistant to chocolatier Kirsten Tibballs, how do you compare the chocolate business here with Australia?

    In Australia, we mostly use couverture chocolate. In Indonesia, I see that mostly people use compound. For pastry products such as mousse, most of the times I use couverture, but for decoration I use compound. The use of couverture will give a more pronounced chocolate flavor, but I deliberately chose compound for decoration because of our rather hot and humid climate, compound is more resilient in that situation.

    How did you see the role of woman in F&B kitchen? What’s the biggest advantage and disadvantage of being a woman in the industry?

    To me, being a female chef is very interesting. I know that the  job is quite tiresome and we have to do some heavy lifting. However, if becoming a chef is our passion, I guess they’re all worth it. We just need to be smart in managing time.

    I really love to be in a team with men. I never see it as competition, nor a problem, because both male and female chefs have their own strengths and weaknesses. As long as we can communicate properly, we can complement each other in the kitchen and become a very strong team.

    As women, one of our advantages is that we can grow strong both mentally and physically, and we’re more organized. However, the disadvantage is that sometimes we need to work long hours and we have to sacrifice our time with family and loved ones. Sometimes the job is also very physically demanding because of the heavy workload.

    Among numerous tasks in the kitchen, which one is your most favorites? And what’s the one you don’t enjoy?

    I love creating new recipes the most, that’s what I’m always looking forward to whenever I’m in the kitchen. I like to express the ideas in my head. I don’t really enjoy making promotion, perhaps because I’m not a marketing person, I’m more to the creative person. I prefer if I have a team that works on the promotion.

    If tomorrow is the apocalypse, and you have a chance to dine in any restuarants in the world, where would it be?

    I’ll take (Jimbocho) Den, Tokyo.

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  • 20/12/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Making Jakarta Healthier One Step at a Time

    Contributing the success of Berrywell and Fedwell through hardships and teamwork, Kareyca Moeloek is now seeing Jakarta in a new light – smarter and healthier. She told Passion about her life, her gigs with the Leafwell Group, and how she’s shaping the future with her talented chef-sister Renatta Moeloek.

    How was it all in the beginning for you?

    Believe it or not, I wanted to become a professional dancer initially! Growing up in Jakarta, I was trained in ballet since early. And it was during high school that I decided to move out to Perth. My plan was to continue my study at a dance academy there. Turns out, I didn’t make it and I was utterly devastated!

    Everyone was already in college around that time, so instead, I joined short courses and collect a lot of diplomas – from marketing to event organizing. In the meantime, I had to do part-time jobs as well to make it there - since my parents wanted me to return home.

    What happens next?

    The easiest job I can get? The hospitality industry. Working at a bar, I was quite enjoying it. I started out as just a glass polisher, and then I was gradually entrusted with the floor and then the café. From there, I realized that a degree in hospitality would certainly accommodate me working in this industry. Moreover, I could make myself eligible for applying as a permanent resident - which my parents eventually supported as well.

    Meanwhile, it was finally time for Renna (Renatta Moeloek) for college and she had always known exactly that she’s destined to cook. She wanted to learn at the best place and that would be Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. So, we kept ourselves in touch across different continents through Skype – hoping that one day we can do cool collaborations.

    Sounds like you guys were all set to live abroad, but why did you return here?

    Renna was promised for a gig in New Zealand after her internship finished at a Michelin-starred restaurant in France. As for me, after my internship at Sheraton, I wanted to explore my opportunities also there.

    Turns out, we had visa problems and got stranded in Indonesia. Many years living abroad made me unsure about what I can do in Jakarta, until we decided to embrace any opportunity we can get. We did pop-ups, food trucks, and private dinners. Renna handles the kitchen and me in the service.

    But one day, I met an old friend of mine Dio. He started this healthy catering company - Leafwell Group with his friends and wanted me to collaborate for the opening of Berrywell.

    So, this is the part where you decided to stay in Jakarta?

    Initially I was torn in-between working at a big company, or to help this promising startup company. I decided to choose the latter and began as a store manager at Berrywell’s first outlet in SCBD. Turns out it was a huge success for the company! We have been riding the momentum where people are getting aware with healthy lifestyle.

    Long story short, Berrywell then opened new outlets at Plaza Senayan and Menteng Shophaus. Finally, the next best opportunity for me and Renna to work together again came when the group decided to open a new concept of healthy dining called Fedwell. There, I will be entrusted again with the operations and Renna with the menu! We did a lot of research, food tasting, and prepared everything. However, the team was still very busy with Berrywell and couldn’t find the right time to launch Fedwell.

    Can you tell us about Fedwell?

    Fedwell finally opened on April 2018 and started out again with just normal expectations. Again, much to our surprise, people have been flocking here like crazy, so we had to assign the kitchen crews as well to help with service! Steadily, we’re hiring more people and now we’re enjoying the dynamics here.

    So, the concept is similar with salad bars where people can choose the ingredients and the crews will assemble it for you. However here, we serve wholesome, healthy food instead. We don’t do frying here, but we do roast, torch, and steam most of our ingredients. Fedwell is basically a DIY diner where customers can use the order form to create their own dish or to choose from what we have assembled. There are many choices for carbs, proteins, vegetables, and the dressings.

    The challenge is to introduce the DIY culture to our customers and creating this mindset that healthy food can also be flavorful. We want to help creating a new, smarter Jakarta where people gradually know how to live healthily and get themselves in touch with good quality ingredients.

    What are your plans after this?

    The Leafwell Group is still growing, and we are planning for more surprises in the future. As for Renna, we’re currently transforming this place owned by our mom with a new kitchen and a nice place to eat. It’s a small, but we’ll invite people for private dinners. In the meantime, we help each other whenever we have the opportunity, but I do look forward for our new gigs in the future.

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  • 20/12/2018 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    Conquering The Impossible

    In 17th century, Dutch’s Verenigde Oostindische Compagnieatau (VOC) came to Indonesia and stayed here for 350 years to colonize the land. Their objective was simple, to monopolize the right for spice trade and sell them as commodities. Now that we’ve reminded you a bit of history lesson, you might be wondering now, “if our spice attracted a country from half the world away, shouldn’t we be doing something more about our local produces?”

    Finally in 2009, Helianti Hilman, the founder and CEO of Javara, marketed our local, forgotten products, not as commodities nor ingredients for industry, but as artisanal products. She’s also on a mission to help the farmers to preserve Indonesia’s vast biodiversity. Sounds like a suicide mission? Even her father tsaid she would be bankrupt within 2 years because the business lacked market validation. 

    However, there’s something extremely sexy and interesting about doing a mission impossible. With strong belief and dedication, in less than a decade, Helianti has managed to get the attention of world, whether it’s French chocolate factory, Michelin star restaurants to the local millennials, by offering not just the the products, but also the story and people behind them, the culture, and the values.

    Before you found Javara, I heard you were a lawyer?

    I was a lawyer for IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), but I also acted as consultant for rural economic development, mostly abroad, in countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

    How did you build Javara?

    In the beginning, I was invited by my farmer friends who were still maintaining Indonesia’s food biodiversity in 2006. They knew I love cooking and travelling, then they invited me for roadshow for 3,5 months where we lived in with farmers in Java, Bali, to East Indonesia. From there, I realized that Indonesia is incredibly rich. Let’s take rice for example, we have more than 7.000 rice varieties with various color, such as purple and pink. These rice can also grow anywhere, from beach, swamp, river, we never knew such things exist.

    Every year, Indonesia lost 1 million farmers; as a result, our biodiversity heritage will be extinct soon. The farmers are still growing these unique varieties just for private consumption, finally we decided that the only way to preserve the biodiversity is get market participation to consume the products. When we have many people consume the products, farmers will be motivated to keep producing. Finally, in 2009, Javara was officially launched.

    We came from products that are based on Indonesia’s local wisdom, of course they’re organic. However, we’re not happy just for being organic by default, we always try to get organic certification. At the moment, we have 900 products, and 200 are already certified organic with European, American and Japanese standards. Adding the certified organic products is one of our main focus.

    What were the response of your friends and families about your business idea?

    My father is a agribusiness lecturer. When I presented the idea to him, he said, “you will go bankrupt within 2 years, because there’s no market validation for forgotten food products.” At the time, in the world, there was no dedicated company who was serious on bringing back forgotten food as its main business.

    Then, why did you keep on doing it?

    I saw my farmer friends, especially the older ones, they’re so dedicated not merely because of the business. They just don’t want us to be unthankful beings; we have been given vast heritage but we don’t take care of them, their motivation is just to be grateful. I was thinking, “If they never give up, why should I?”

    I met my mother, who’s more pragmatic, for an opinion. She supported me and said, “just follow your heart, you don’t have to listen to your father. If you believe it, just do it, you’ll find a way.” And she was right; we became the pioneer for this “crazy” business.

    What were the first products you sell in the beginning?

    A set of ancient rice that consists of 8 type of rice. In 2009, we distributed the products to Ranch Market’s 15 outlets. We sold a set of 8 rice because the rice ge got was very little, only 25 kg for each type, it was impossible for us to sell them with 5 kg packaging.

    What we actually sell is not the food, we sell food culture: the story behind it, the people, the philosophy and values. If you look closely, we’re very serious when it comes to packaging, because we believe the farmer’s effort has to be presented seriously. They gave so much love, effort, passion into the products.

    How come there was no company before you that realize the prospect of the business?

    For a long time, we’re trapped between 2 choices: as commodity or industrial. When we export the products, it will be considered as commodities, other companies did the packaging and branding. It’s similar to the “telur mata sapi” (sunny side up egg) case, the chicken own the egg, but it’s the cow (sapi) that gets the naming.

    After commodity, they were treated as industrial ingredients. Industry doesn’t care about your story, traceability, or the unique production, as long as it tastes good, affordable, and accessible. I started Javara with only 10 farmers and 8 products, it was impossible for me to get into any commodity or industrial market, that’s why we positioned ourselves as artisanal food producer.

    How was your marketing strategy in the beginning?

    We have some advantages as supermarkets like Ranch Market and Kem Chicks love to distribute unique products. The more unique, they’ll be more interested. Because we had products that were like no others, they gave us some amenities, such as no listing fee, no service level penalty, basically, no barrier to entry. When Ranch Market that was considered as standard had our products, other companies started to be interested in distributing our products, of course with the same trading terms.

    In the first 2 years, we focused on domestic market. We had been present in almost all premium supermarkets, but the growth was too slow. We found 2 reasons: first, most Indonesians weren’t ready for local organic brand, they have more
    trust on imported products. Second, people weren’t familiar with the term  “artisan”.

    In 2011, we took the risk of exporting our products to Europe, as we saw European countries as the most ethical ones. We came at the right moment, back then, anything artisanal that involves traceability, preserving biodiversity was very trending, and we were seen as organic ++ products. If in 2011 our portfolio for export was just 20%, in 2014, it became 90%.

    We felt there was something wrong if we were too focused on export, therefore, after 2014, we started to get serious in working on the domestic market. Fortunately, in the last 2-3 years the appreciation for local food started to take off. Finally, this year, the ratio of export to domestic product is 50:50. In 2009, our clients were mostly either expatriates, or older people, over 50, with some special needs, whether they had cancer or diabetes. Thanks to social media and the rising of many food channels, our target audience age is changing into average 25-34. We even have 18-19 years old customers, it’s quite surprising for us.

    What do you think has happened in the past few years?

    I guess the whole market has started to get more educated. Let’s take Australian MasterChef for example; they’re very into local produce and very explorative. In addition, travel channels reached more audience. Indonesian youngsters who are travelling a lot became very explorative when it comes to food. When they returned, they start digging into local foo. With such enthusiasm, now we’re working together with Chef Ragil (Nusa Gastronomy) to open our own restaurant to educate the market about our products’ applications. Along with our outlet in Kemang, we also have another restaurant in Nusa Dua, Bali under the name of Spicy Geg.

    Who’s the main target audience for Javara?

    We had some customer profiles. The first one is the supermarket chain, the second is the industries. Some of chocolate companies in Europe have been using our coconut sugar. The last one, we also get into the food service, we have a dedicated importer that supplies our products to the horeca. Some of our specialty spices are used in some of Michelin starred restaurants in France.

    What’s your biggest challenge in running the business?

    Until today, we’re still bootstrapping, especially in financing and infrastructure. In Indonesia, there’s no supply chain financing for farmers. They depend on us when it comes to financing, not just for the capital, also to buy machines, certification fee and test labs. Imagine, in addition of giving some capital upfront, even though we haven’t got the products, we have paid them, meanwhile in supermarkets we just got the payment in the next 1,5 month. The gap can be 3 months, it’s quite a challenge for our cashflow.

    It’s also a burden for us, every time we want to have more farmers, we have to be ready for the next financing. On the other hand, we’re not bankable as we don’t have fixed asset collateral. For personal loan, the interest may reach 39%, meanwhile it’s only 6% in Thailand. This is why Indonesian products are not competitive enough in international market, especially for community-based products, we don’t have the same level access to financing.

    Second one, is about the infrastructure. Don’t think the access to infrastructure, telecommunication and internet is like the one we have in Java. It’s funny, but we had some farmers who have to put their cellphone into a bucket, pull them on top of a tree just to get any signal and get order from us. This is the reality, especially in remote areas.

    Then we talk about the logistic. Sending goods from Flores to Jakarta through air may cost you Rp 27.000/kg, even though the product merely costs Rp 10.000/kg. If we use cargo, we can press the cost into Rp 5.000-8.000/kg, but it may take 3 months, and they can’t guarantee the condition of the products. Ideally, we have our own containers, so the cost can be minimized into Rp 900/kg and the shipment will only take 1 week. Imagine the price difference from Rp 27.000 to Rp 900. The problem is, when the climate and the wave get rough, usually no ship dares to sail. We had crashed shipments in Labuan Bajo, there’s virtually nothing left. Managing the logistic is quite a big challenge for us.

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  • 20/12/2018 - FX Felly 0 Comments
    A Matter of Persistence

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts,” you’ve read the line somewhere, but if you’re looking for someone that live by the words, meet Luc Debove. As a self-admitted competition addict, The MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) failed his first and second time to get the prestigious title, but it didn’t stop him to give another shot.

    Luc has worked as Pastry Chef in Grand Hotel Du Cap Ferrat, Hotel Royal Riviera in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, and as Trainer in Pastry at the Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil Paris, and won awards in artistic sugar, ice sculptures, and achieved victory with the French Team in Gelato World Cup 2010. Finally, in 2011, Luc finally acquired the title MOF. Now, Luc is travelling around the world as brand ambassador and teaching classes. We caught up with him in the middle of his class at Heavenly Sweet Academy, Jakarta.

    Where did you come from? How did you start working in the kitchen?

    I was born Nice, France to a family of bakers and pastry makers. I start very young at pastry. I started 30 years ago, when I was just 18. I always know I wanted to do this job. I trained at Ecole Escoffier in Cagnes-sur-Mer, then did an apprenticeship at Patisserie Cappa in Nice. I worked at Casino Ruhl for 10 years as Sous Chef. I also made my second exam to be a Master in pastry, it’s a very important (job) in France. At the same time, I was also teaching in a school after finishing my job in the hotel.

    How did you get an MOF?

    I applied for one. It’s a competition that was held every 4 years, but the first time I entered in 2004, I went to the final but I didn’t win. I made my second attempt in 2007, also didn’t win.

    What was the test like?

    We made lot of things for 3 days, such as ice carving, sugar piece, chocolate showpiece, entremets, etc. We didn’t even get proper sleep for those 3 days. Finally I got the MOF at my third attempt.

    Iadmire your persistence, I believe most people would quit on their second, or even their first attempt.

    There was a moment that you’d think about it (quitting). Once you got into the competition, sometimes you forgot your recipe and tried to make a new one. I didn’t win just because of 1 point difference. Then I started to think, about the best quality product that I can make, why should I use certain process for certain flavor, that sort of things. Now, actually I’m very happy not to win for the first time.

    There are some subjects in the competition, which one is your favorite?

    For artistic reason, I love ice carving. After that, I also love nougatine carving. It’s very difficult because you work when it’s hot, and it breaks very easy.

    You seem to enjoy competition very much, why?

    You don’t start at your table and said, “Ok guys, now we make this or that product” to your team. If it’s competition, it’s only you, you don’t have any helping hands. If you’re in the kitchen, you can always ask the chef, “Chef, is this product okay? Chef, I want this or that.” You’re thinking only about your recipe and your showpiece.

    How does the title MOF affect you?

    When you have this title, people don’t look the same way to you. They see you as an MOF, not just as a person.

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  • 26/11/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Anticipating The Internet Era (Part 2)

    If you think onlines business as temporary trend, perhaps you need to think twice. Indonesia is noticed as the country with highest e-Commerce growth in the world, and the Bloomberg research said that in 2020, more than half of our population will be involved in e-Commerce activities. Like an incoming big wave, you only have 2 options: drown or surf on top of it. Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK), The President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA) shared some of his opinion further on the development of online business, especially in the realm of F&B.

    Who actually gets the most benefit by Internet existence in F&B business?

    Online doesn’t belong just to new players, actually old players share the same opportunity. However, of course creative people are the ones that get the real benefit, especially millennials who grew up with gadgets, I’m sure they’re faster than the older generations. Based on my observation, if you see old players which are active Internet, you’ll see that it’s actually driven by their children. Most of online entrepreneurs are new practitioners, from students, and those who just got their first jobs. I haven’t got the exact numbers, but it will be interesting if people survey the data, especially if you need a topic for a thesis.

    What sort of food that can’t be sold online?

    The ones that required special handling, actually, it’s not that they can’t be sold online, it’s just we can’t guarantee their quality. When people fail to guarantee the quality, they will lose trust, without trust, businesses can’t grow. One of the examples is ice cream or gelato, when it reached the customer, will it still be frozen? Meanwhile for products that has to be made fresh, such as coffee, it’s still debatable, some love to order it online, some don’t.

    The interesting thing is to see how the more idealistic players behave, like Kopi Klotok in Yogyakarta. There, they serve hot coffee with various very tasty fried foods, I won’t be surprised if I see people eat 5-6 pieces of it. The problem is, when you want to do takeway, they won’t give you any. They want their products to be enjoyed at certain condition to keep the high standards. They want customers to consume the coffee and fried foods fresh and steaming so when they tell other about the experience, it will be positive.

    Does selling your product online will alter the costing structure?

    Not necessarily, but one thing to note is that products that are sold online can’t have too much margin because online business tend to fight on pricing point. Let say you see a croissant sold in café for Rp 15.000, people can see the product directly to tell its size, texture, and presentation, meanwhile in Internet, you can’t sell it at the same price. Even though you can save some fixed and variable costs, like rental fee, smaller number of employees, but you will also have less margin, then what’s the difference? Costing components in offline business still exist in online business, it’s just they will have shifting percentation.

    The negative side of online business, is that the product often doesn’t meet customer’s expectations, so it’s a bit like gambling. I was fooled when I bought a wallet online. In the description, it said that it’s for both men and women. After arrived, actually it was very feminine, in the end, I gave it to my daughter, otherwise I’ll be laughed off.

    What sort of anticipations we should do in this Internet era?

    Internet system relies heavily on network, when we have earthquake, satellite damage, or falling supporting towers, what will happen to your online business? In addition, our Internet system still depends on other countries, what if they intervene? It’s like when dollar reached Rp 15.000, we have some much business corrections. The philosophy is, the world will turn back to stone age, as written in Alquran. The sophisticated technology is not permanent, it will down one day, it’s just we’ll never know if it’s next year, 10 years, or 1.000 years. Business has to be able to run both online and offline, like you need plan A and plan B. So, I highly suggest, if you have online business, it will be better if you start thinking of the offline counterpart. We have to be able to live in 2 eras, even though I wasn’t born as millennials, I have to understand them and their technology. This way, you can find the comparison for both, which one is more profitable? I haven’t seen a report that says that online sales are significantly bigger profit. One thing for sure, there are 2 party that gets the most benefit from Internet, user and the provider, because everything you did online will consume your internet quota.

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  • 26/11/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Western Zeal, Eastern Wisdom

    Even before his coming-of-age, Dean Keddell already discovered the passion of the culinary universe. His experience then brought him to work in some of the most prominent hotels in Australia, where he met someone who introduce him to the world of Asian cuisine, and the rest is history. We get the chance to meet first-hand with the mind behind Ginger Moon and Jackson Lily’s to unveil some of his most interesting thoughts and stories. Here goes..

    Tell us about your trajectory in the food world. When did you first get drawn into Asian Cuisine?

    I started cooking professionally at the age 16. Way too young for anybody to know what they want to do for the rest of their life, I believe. But I knew I didn’t like school, and that was enough. In order to leave school my parent said that I should first get a job. Living in Eildon, a small country town in the middle of Victoria, Australia which because of its lake was a massive tourist destination the hospitality industry was an obvious choice. I started in the local pub at the age 16, I did my apprenticeship there and I qualified as a chef at age 19. From there I went to  work at Sheraton Towers in Melbourne. I started working at the main hotel and after 6 or 8 month I was moved to their signature restaurant.

    In this restaurant there was a chef called David Turner, who Sheraton found with their talent scouts while he was working in Hawaii, and he was the one who introduce me to Asian cuisine; to the world of chili and spice and all of these things. He changed how I saw food and it no longer become a job, it become my life, it open the doors for exploring, travelling the world and the reason of why I am here today.

    What was the first big break in your career?

    I never see my career as a ‘big break’, I think it’s just experience, it’s just flows and one thing leads into another. I’ve travel the world, my first job overseas was working in a restaurant called ‘All Saints’ in Notting Hill, England. My restaurant was located in the heart of the West Indian community and it was there I first introduced my Asian fusion cuisine. My clientele were U2, Sinead O’Connor, Nick Cave, I can go on! There I was, only 22 years old, in my first head chef position, serving all of these famous people Asian fusion food and they love it. I also was reviewed by one of the most revered food critics in the UK at the time, Fay Maschler, and she gave me 2 out of 3 stars, amazing. That’s all ‘big break’, right? But that’s only the beginning of my career. I’m not looking for fame, I’m not seeing it as a stepping stone, it’s just where I am. I ended up there, they ended up there, it just happens.

    What is the main inspiration for your cooking creation?

    There’s many! If we can talk about Ginger Moon first, since it is my first baby, so the inspiration behind Ginger Moon was two things; one of course Bali, Indonesia, and the second one is family. I honestly believe that your food tastes better when you share it with other people. In Ginger Moon we say ‘It’s a sharing thing’, that’s our motto, and in Jackson Lily’s it’s along the same lines; ‘It’s a togetherness thing’. The food at Ginger Moon is Indonesian and Chinese, the food at Jackson Lily’s is a map of my travels. It’s everything that brought me to where I am today, a culmination of the last 33+ years eating, traveling, meeting people and being in this industry.

    How would you describe your personal cooking style now?

    I believe that my food should reflect where I am in the world. In Bali, we have a broad spectrum of people who come to visit us, so whatever dishes I create the message is clear, my guests will know they are in Bali. For example, in Ginger Moon we have Babi Guling Pizza, Rendang Pizza, here at Jackson Lily’s, I make a Margarita Pizza, but the pesto is made from kemangi leaves and kenari nut. Even though they have Western presentation, the soul and taste of the dish is local. Creating fond memories this way means to experience these flavours again our guests must return to Bali.

    What is the biggest challenge in running an Asian restaurant?

    That’s an interesting question (laugh). Okay, here’s an example: we sometimes receive comments that our food is too spicy, but it’s not actually, because we cook it with Asian taste. There are some Western tourists who say ‘my mouth is on fire! It’s too spicy! You need to tone it down!’ but we don’t need to do that. Even though my food is fusion the taste is authentic. So, I’m not going to make a sambal sauce that’s not spicy; I’m not willing to tone it down, so that’s pretty challenging. Other than that, the challenges for me being a white cook running an Asian restaurant are not so difficult because I am surrounded by local people. My wife is Indonesian. My mother-in-law cooks for me all the time, so I believe my taste (bud) is more local than Western.

    So, your biggest challenges come from Westerners?

    It’s true! My biggest challenges are not from inside (local), but outside (Western tourists) who’ve had pre-conceived ideas about what something is going to be. When Indonesian tourists come to my restaurant and they understand what I’m doing, they appreciate it, the Singaporeans, Malaysians, Hong Kongnese, they love our food, and they just can’t get enough.

    How would you describe the food you serve at Jackson Lily’s? And just out of curiosity, what is the story behind the name?

    Jackson Lily’s, we can call it Asian Fusion, or we can call it East-meet-West, my wife is Indonesian, I’m Western, and my kids are Jackson and Lily, it’s a Western name and Asian name. It balances beautifully, so that’s what we’re doing here with the food as well.

    What are your favorite local ingredients to work with?

    Kemangi is a big one. It adds instant freshness to anything, and I think kemangi is one that’s accepted by everybody’s palate. Not only food, we use it on our drinks, cocktails, basically everything. It’s really versatile. The kenari nut is also a very interesting one. I used it in salad, pesto. The texture is waxy, its unique and create a memorable flavor. Lastly, kencur, is beautiful. You can’t make a proper Indonesian curry paste or spice paste without kencur, so that’s a great one.

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  • 26/11/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    How Much is Too Much?

    If you’re into pastry, chances are, you’ve already followed him on social media. Amaury Guichon is arguably one of the most influential pastry chef on Instagram, but one thing for sure, currently, he’s the most followed pastry chef in the world (over 1 million followers and shows no sign of slowing down!). When we heard the news that he’s coming to Jakarta to teach in Heavenly Sweet Academy, of course we were eager to meet and interview the man to find out about his background, the effect of social media for pastry chefs, his approach in developing a product, and his perspective on the future of pastry.

    How old were you when you started?

    I was 14. So I started the professional school where they teach you all the manners of the table, you know, service, cooking, and a little bit of pastry. I did that for 2 years and graduated, I started to like the fact that I was actually doing things with my hands. Cooking was good but I knew it wasn’t made for me. I wanted to pursue into the culinary field, so I drifted away and tried pastry.

    Who inspired you the most?

    I think when I was very young, Christophe Michalak is the one that inspired me. He’s still a reference for me until now, because of the way he took classical pastry and make it trendy and glamorous. He started the process of taking the chef out of the shadow because he wasn’t very popular pastry chef, like 10-12 years ago.

    How do you describe your style?

    My style is definitely very intricate. I try to get a “wow effect”, it’s not just making a pastry, it’s making a concept. I don’t just put things together to make a cake, instead, I work on the design.

    How do you measure “the wow effect”?

    Social media can help especially Instagram, it’s a good way to do it, you can see the reactions of people through views/likes etc. But also during masterclasses and the level of satisfaction of my students .

    How does social media help you in your job?

    Because of social media, I got a lot of attention. I was able to have schools from all around the world calling me to start teaching my own style of pastry. So, yes it helped me a lot with that. Now that I managed my own schedule, I don’t work for anyone anymore, I have my own business, I’m able to create things and push them one step further because I know that’s what my followers expect from me. I used to create things because I had to, so I was always in a rush, I need to do things real quick. Now I can take my time to create quality contents for my followers.

    I heard you are the most followed pastry chefs in Instagram, how long did it take to get there?

    2,5 years. It went really fast, I mean, being followed is one thing, being the best is another thing. I don’t pretend to be the best, but I make quality products and I love and passionate about what I do. There are tons other great chefs all around the world that do the exact things that I do with their own style, but I find a way to approach people on social media, they like and so I kept doing it.

    One thing about social media, is that it’s quite easy for anyone to copy the work of others.

    It is, it’s the downside, but I see it as flattering if people give you credit. Sometimes people claim that they created things that they copy from you, but at the same time I have so much followers now that people know where the original comes from. I’m glad that my design can help inspire other chefs, because that’s why I do this in the first place.

    Judging from your popularity, I find it interesting that you aren’t involved in any brand sponsorhips.

    For now, not having any sponsorships give you freedom. I worked with Silikomart, for example, which I use their products. I have some kind of gentleman agreement that if I promote something, I want it to be the best, and Silikomart, they are really amazing products. I don’t want to be tied with a company if I don’t like the way they think. I’m not against having sponsorship, it’s just I haven’t look too much at it right now, so far.

    Pastry chefs are notorious for being a perfectionist, does it have to be that way?

    If you want to be a good one, yes. I mean it depends what kind of level....but in any level, even when you do rustic products that aren’t that intricate, just to get the taste right, you have to follow very precise procedures. So, yeah, I think you have to be very detail-oriented and very perfectionist.

    How much is too much? What is your definition of “too perfectionist”?

    I don’t know if you can do “too perfectionist” (laugh). It’s a good question. You know, the hardest thing when you design your pastry or cake is knowing when to stop. You start with a design idea and then you push it further and further. At some point, if it started to be too intricate or you put too much feature, it will become too crowded, it’s actually not nice. The perfect balance is when you have a dessert that you can understand the flavor, the look, and it’s not overcrowded. The same thing with showpiece, you can add more and more, but at some point, it’s gonna look “busy”. I know it doesn’t answer really your question exactly, but as far as being perfectionist, you have to know when to stop.

    I assume you prefer to work with chocolate, compared to any other things in pastry?

    I love chocolate, I use it as a platform to express myself artistically with showpiece. I don’t know, it’s just a very precious material, I think. It acts like natural thickening agent from the cocoa butter, it’s the flavor that I and most people love.

    There are some issues regarding the future of chocolate, how do you see it in the next 10 years?

    I believe so. The way I do pastry at least, you don’t need to eat pastry, right? It’s kind of luxury product. You need to eat because you need nutrients to stay alive, pastry is just an extra. I believe the high end pastry and nice quality of chocolate in the next 10 years will be reserved to a very thin part of population who can afford it, it will be considered as real high end luxury product.

    What’s your current activities?

    My main job now is to travel the world to teach, I also wrote my own book that has been released this month (pre order online), I also do consulting.

    What do you consider as your biggest challenge in what you are doing right now?

    The biggest one is accommodating to each destination I’m going to, dealing with jetlag (laugh)! Everywhere I go, back and forth Asia, Europe, America, huge jetlag each time! I manage it pretty well because the classes are pretty intense so it kept me awake, but dealing with local things, such as flour, cream, equipments, and new assistants every time is a challenge. To keep the quality as high as you can see on Instagram, I really need to have all the knowledge possible in order to make the product in each destination, and that would be the hardest thing.

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  • 16/11/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    New Direction

    Located on the second floor of the five star luxury JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta, Pearl Chinese Restaurant is a fine Cantonese restaurant and ready to bring the best of Cantonese Dim Sum to the heart of Jakarta. Chinese cooking is one of the ancient and most diverse in the world. Among 23 provinces within China, Guandong (or Canton) has the most well-known for its wide variety and cooking style. Yum Cha or Dim Sum is the most popular and well-known form of Cantonese cuisine. In Chinese, Dim Sum literally means “a light touch on the heart” which describe a happy and boisterous occasion when family and friends gather up to sip tea and eat a great variety of dishes.

    Pearl Chinese Restaurant has been famous for its starter menus, such as Caramelized Honey Salmon, Crispy Duck, Pork Belly, and of course, the famous Steamed Dim Sum like Siew Mai, Hakau, Chicken Feet and Xiao Long Bao. The distinctive food presentation of a la carte or prefix menu is carefully crafted by the new award winning Chinese Chef Pearl, Daniel Foong. To Passion Media, Daniel shared his love of Cantonese cooking and his attempt to adapt to the local taste preference.

    How did you fall in love with cooking?

    When I was a child, I saw my relative was cooking, the way he was moving while the fire is burning….it was very cool! I start cooking when I was 14, I was living in Pahang, Malaysia. I don’t have any formal education in cooking because back then, culinary schools are not as famous as it is now. It was also very expensive, at that moment my mother couldn’t pay for that, so I start learning Cantonese cooking with my master.

    You specialized in Cantonese cuisine, how do you describe that style of cooking?

    Cantonese requires the original flavor (of the ingredients), the taste is a bit light and sweet, meanwhile Szechuan is very spicy and they use lot of spices.

    In Pearl Chinese Restaurant, which sort of cuisine will you offer?

    The owner of the hotel requires us to serve Cantonese cuisine, however I will add on some other cuisine that’s suitable for the local people.

    I heard you’ve been working in other 5 star hotels in Indonesia?

    Yes. I’ve worked here for 2,5 years from 2012 to 2015.

    How long have you been working in Pearl?

    I started on September 22nd 2018, still new over here. Our concept is traditional Cantonese cooking with modern presentation.

    You’re quite familiar with the local taste preference, aren’t you? How far is it from the original taste?

    At the moment, I see the Chinese over here prefer Cantonese cuisine, however you can’t compare the taste preference with Hong Kong. In Indonesia, the taste preference is very rich and strong, meanwhile in Hong Kong, everything tastes less intense.

    Is it difficult for you to adapt to the situation?

    No, just add more seasoning, because Cantonese cuisine’s taste is very light. Cantonese cooking always requires fresh ingredients, such as live seafood, everything must be fresh. When the fish is fresh, you don’t need too much spice, just steam it, you will maintain it’s original taste and the fish will remain juicy.

    What’s the biggest challenge in running Chinese restaurant in Indonesia?

    Most of the ingredients that we use are imported from other countries. Almost everything, from fruit, meat, spice, to sauce and sometimes it’s quite hard to get them because of the custom issues.

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  • 19/10/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Return of Kona

    We met I Made Kona in 2011, in one of 5 star hotel located in Kuningan, Jakarta. We were impressed with his highly detailed cake decoration, his paintings, and his nurturing nature. Since then, we often see each other in various events, until we heard the news that Chef Kona has retired and returned to Bali, his hometown. We were surprised to know when The Dharmawangsa announced him as Jakarta Restaurant and Cake Shop Executive Chef through email on July 30th 2018. It didn’t take too long for us to arrange the schedule to meet Chef Kona to find out what happened in the past few years.

    People know you as one of the most senior pastry chef; please tell us a bit  about your career.

    Yes, in Jakarta, probably me, Rahmat (Kusnedi) and Tusyadi are regarded as the first generation of pastry chef. I’ve been in the pastry industry since 1986 where I worked for Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, after that, I moved to Intercontinental Bali, Grand Mirage, then to Four Seasons to handle their properties in Jimbaran and Sayana, Ubud. In 2003, still in Four Seasons group, I moved to, at the time was still known as Regent Hotel, Jakarta. Last, I worked in Archipelago International, the holding group of Aston Hotel as Corporate Pastry Chef where I was responsible to make standards for their 118 hotels all over Indonesia.

    After that, I heard you retired and moved back to Jimbaran, Bali?

    Not a retirement, but I have a personal spiritual duty as Hindunese priest, (aka) Pemangku Adat. So, I have to dedicate my life from my home, I reduced my other “worldly” activities. It didn’t mean I was completely disconnected from the world, but there has to be some process. After a while, I started to lecture in STP Nusa Dua, Bali. I also spent much time painting.

    Then, why did you return as pastry chef? 

    I had a call form The Dharmawangsa to help their team here, in the beginning, as a consultant. Of course, I could get back to work here, in my personal language, after getting permission as I had the chance to receive the duty and to do my service.

    Are you still a priest? 

    Yes, but it’s more universal as I don’t always have to be attached to custom conditions. Being a priest is a purity I have to maintain and execute, but now, I have wider access. Even though I was in other region, I can still do the job as a priest. Thanks to my experience as a priest, whenever I have inspiration to create products, I always try to give them meaning that can be translated through the craft or the description.

    You’ve been absent for over 2 years, after you returned, do you notice any significant changes? 

    In terms of business and trend, there’s not much change. We had Rainbow Cake trend which lasted for 3-4 years, then we had Red Velvet Cake, cupcakes. Now, I notice that we’re back to regular products, even though I’m sure that one day people will return to those products.

    Now, it’s getting harder to define the trend, there hasn’t been a single trending product like Rainbow Cake. What I see is that cake shops are trying to make their own trend through their signature products.

    Signature cakes aren’t new, are they? In the 90’s, most leading hotels in Jakarta popularize them.

    Yes, let’s take Black Forest for example, how did it become the trend back then? Because at the time, not everyone can make it, and then media help to popularize it, in addition to the massive word of mouth. In the past decade, everything’s getting easier, especially because of the existence of media and social media.

    In Jakarta Restaurant & Cake Shop, what’s your signature product?

    We’re known for our Chocolate Martini Cake and Raspberry Mille Feuille, for quite a while. In the future, I commit to the mission from the hotel, our concept is Indonesian Luxury Experience. I strengthen it with products and combinations without forgetting the classic, because my root is definitely classic French. The recipe I give you, Gayo Tiramisu is a combination of the traditional Aceh coffee bean and Italian tiramisu.

    I heard Sriwijaya Restaurant in The Dharmawangsa changed its concept form fine dining into steak house. Does it affect your products? 

    Most of it affects the bread line. For instance, we serve the country bread with orange leaf that give you aromatherapy effect, we also serve simpler, more elegant, and latest products In addition, when the guests are done dining, our waiter always presents our dessert trolley in front of the them. People who don’t plan to have dessert are interested because of the pretty looks. After they order the desserts, they can also takeaway the dessert in our cake shop. I build the concept so we can have connection between Cake Shop and Sriwijaya. It has become some sort of attraction, something unique.

    How hard is it to adopt traditional aspect into pastry? 

    We’re talking about acculturation. It happens whenever there’s saturation in the market that’s often ignored. Acculturation happens because loads of references and quality products, then people try to discover something that’s more specific to they merge the traditional aspect with nouvelle cuisine, or east and west combinations. Then we have pastry products using local ingredients. Actually, combining the two is not that difficult, but we need to have better understanding, we also have to know the initial terminology. We had a birthday cake order combined with traditional snacks. We put Palembang sugar apple, lapis legit, and local ingredients into the birthday cake.

    In the midst of declining buying power, is there a chance for expensive pastry products? 

    Yes, highly possible, moreover if you balance it with quality and other supporting aspects such as product’s uniqueness, strategic place, intense promotion. Actually high price is not obstacle, it’s more to understanding your clients. How about the middle class, can they coexist? Of course, as long as they’re consistent, committed to quality.

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  • 19/10/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    A Sweet Contradiction

    In August 2018, Heavenly Sweet Academy invited Joakim Prat as its guest tutor and Passion Media had the chance to interview the French Pastry Chef about his views on pastry industry, his current activity, and the future of specialized pastry products. Joakim has been working in 9 Michelin starred restaurants throughout his career from France, Spain, and England: from 2 starred L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, 3 starred Can Fabes, 1 starred Sauc, 1 starred Hofmann, and 2 starred The Greenhouse. In addition, Joakim has also won the golden medal for UK Best Dessert of the Year 2014, and awarded as UK Rising Talent at UK Pastry Open World Cup 2013. Despite of his great achievements, actually Joakim is one of the coolest, humble, warm French Pastry Chef we’ve ever met. Here’s our exclusive interview with the owner of London’s Maitre Choux.

    Who’s your primary inspiration in pastry? 

    Joel Robuchon and Pierre Hermes. Joel is my most important mentor as he taught me about excellence. When you do something, it has to be the best thing that you can do. If you should do a cake, it has to be the very high quality with high level of decoration.

    Pastry chefs are notorious for being a perfectionist, does it have to be that way? 

    Yeah! I think it’s very important, because if you want consistent product all the time, you have to be perfectionist. Basically, in pastry, if you mess up something, you have to start all over from zero, you have to be more precise.

    From 1-10, how perfectionist are you?


    I heard you have 9 Michelin stars? 

    No, you can’t have Michelin star as Pastry Chef, it’s given to the Head Chef of the kitchen. However, I have been a Pastry Chef in some Michelin starred restaurants, some are 3 starred, 2 starred, and 1 starred, that’s why people came up with the 9 stars.

    Do you deliberately aim for the (Michlein) stars?

    Yes, because it’s the best place to learn. We talked about excellence before, and the best food is in the Michelin star restaurants.

    How do you describe your style?

    It’s very feminine, delicate, refined, tasteful and colorful. By feminine… it’s hard to describe, have you seen what I’ve been doing?

    Of course, mostly from Maitre Choux’s and your Instagram. 

    You’ll see all the design, decoration… Actually it’s funny, because of the design, before people know me, they’d think the Head Chef is a girl, you know what I mean? It’s either I’m a girl…. or a gay. My design is very refined, elegant, more like a woman craft, I would say, but I’m comfortable with that, I don’t mind.

    You’ve been a Pastry Chef working with many pastry products, now you settled only on one specific product, éclair. Why?

    First, I really like choux pastry. I think it’s something that’s really playful, you can play with the shape and color. It’s also really technical, I mean, if I teach how to make it to a person, it doesn’t mean tomorrow he’ll be able to reproduce it. You need to practice and train to understand and to have it perfected.

    I think specialization is the future. In pastry, you got so much different products, you can do mille-feuille, baba, choux, entremets, petit gateau, or chocolate. But I really think, you can’t be very good in everything, there’s no one that’s perfect in everything. I think more of focusing in one project but bringing it to the highest level. Little by little people will concern more in signature or mono products, I think it’s the next (big) thing.

    What makes Maitre Choux different from any other choux? 

    If you come to our shop, everything is done fresh during the night, everyday! I have 2 teams, the first one start at 9.00 pm to 6.00 am. Basically, everything is baked, decorated during the night, and in the morning you will have the freshest product you can find. Some pastry shops make their choux store it for 2-3 days in the display, but I’m not doing that. If I have some leftovers (at the end of the day), they’re going to the garbage bin. Of course, you won’t get sick if you eat it after 3 days, but if you want the best texture and flavor, you have to eat it at the same day. If you want to eat some meat, would you cook it one day in advance? It’s the same concept that I apply in Maitre Choux.

    You worked in some countries, tell us some interesting stories from your journey.

    Without being cocky, I’d say pastry is coming from France, it’s like saying pizza is from Italy. As pastry chefs, we, the Frenchmen are very arrogant. When you speak about pastry to a French pastry chef, they’d think that everywhere you go, people make rubbish pastry, just because the chefs aren’t French, which is completely wrong nowadays.

    I know, most of the chefs all around the world are learning pastry to France, but when they come back to their countries, they’d twist it with their own tradition, so actually, pastry is getting richer and richer there. Meanwhile French people are not that interested in what happened in other countries because they think they’re the best. For example, when I move from Paris to Madrid, of course the level in Paris was much higher, but people in Madrid is getting better and better and as French people, we have to be careful about it.

    Why did you decide to open your own shop in UK?

    At first, I love London, it’s a very open city, and I think you got more opportunities here. Being a French chef in France just mean I was just another one more chef, but in London, I am The French chef, do you know what I mean? And businesswise there’s no comparison, I have less competition here and London people have more money to spend.

    How many outlets do you have in London? 

    Currently, I have 4 shops. The first one is in French area in London, in South Kensington, the second one is in Soho, the third one is in Westfield White City, and then I have one in Piccadilly.

    How do you find balance in flavor, also for the concept of the product? 

    I really like the combination of raspberry and vanilla, something sharp. I don’t know if I’m answering your question, but conceptually, I think shop is the opposite of a restaurant. If you go to a restaurant, people are coming for experience. You don’t have any idea of how the food’s going to look like as most of the menus only have nice names and the explanation of the products. In a pastry shop, you will see the products and you choose them, therefore, the design is more important in a shop than in restaurant. Of course, the flavor has to be as good as it looks, so people won’t get disappointed.

    Do you always trying to find new flavor combinations? 

    Yes, but I mainly work on the design, because, I think in pastry shop, there’s so many flavors you can’t take off, like chocolate, coffee, vanilla, or caramel. It’s a classic! If you go to a pastry shop and you don’t have chocolate, something is wrong.

    Do you think that working in a specialized product limits your creativity?

    Actually, no. In the beginning I was scared to be bored easily, but… how can I say it…. Actually, restrictions allow you to be more creative. After a while, I knew that I can do all the techniques I’ve learned in pastry and apply them on éclair. I can make chocolate mousse éclair, tiramisu éclair, crème brulee éclair, anything.

    What’s next for Maître Choux? 

    Right now, I’m developing savory menu, like salmon eclair with avocado, chicken and mayonnaise, and developing vegetarian choux using broccoli or carrot.

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  • 16/10/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Behind The Scene of a Sommelier

    Literally, a sommelier is defined as “a waiter in a restaurant in charge of serving wine”. However, like most professions, the role and responsibility of a sommelier always go beyond the definition.

    To understand this rather rare occupation in Jakarta’s F&B industry, Passion media met Iksan Tahdinal, Amuz Gourmet’s Sommelier, which also happens to be the Best Indonesian Sommelier 2017. Iksan told us the story of how he became a sommelier, the competition, his daily job, to his unexpected favorite wine.

    Tell us your story of how you became a sommelier? 

    I started my career as bartender, like most sommeliers I know. Bar is a good basic for sommelier because we are required to understand spirit, brandy, whisky, beer, sake, coffee and tea, to cheese, so not only limited to wine. If you’re in a good financial position, you can learn it at WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), the nearest one to Indonesia is in Singapura, of course, it will cost a fortune.

    After being a bartender for 10 years in various places, in 2013, I worked as Amuz’s bartender in 2013 and I had the chance to know its previous sommelier, Hezron Febriando, The Best Indonesian Sommelier 2012. My interest in wine started to grow as I saw Amuz’s wine cellar that has so many varieties. Hezron didn’t taught me directly, he just gave me some book recommendations, then we started the sharing session. Until today, it’s how we learn, sometimes the sommeliers gather and bring their own wines, and we’d enjoy them and learn from each other.

    When you switched from bartender to sommelier, did you ask for it, or were you appointed? 

    For the position, you can’t just be appointed; you should have your inner will. It takes extra time to learn everything, not only the the taste, also the history, the geography of wine producing countries, you can’t be forced to study it all. I was interested in the position, also because there aren’t too many of us, even in Jakarta, the number of sommeliers is no more than 50 people. According to Hezron, whenever we had bartender vacancy, we’ll see applicants lining up, meanwhile for sommelier, very few.

    What are the things that should be prepared in competition? When did you start to enter it?

    First, you’ll have written test. The topic is mostly around grape varieties, regions, and enforced law of a region. Let’s take Bordeaux for example, they only allow 5 grape varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It’s not Bordeaux if you use other than those 5 varieties. Then for Burgundy, it has to be 100% Pinot Noir. The questions also cover other things than wine, such as cocktail, whisky, cheese, beer, sake, coffee, tea, and food pairing.

    If you pass the first round, you will move to the semifinal for practical test to serve the guest. You might be asked to make some cocktails, give some food pairing recommendation, and the most difficult one is describing the wine. You’ll be given 2 wines, you have to be able to tell the grape variety, the region, also the vintage. It’s tough because you need lot of practice and experience in tasting wines. In 2014, I entered the competition for the first time but ended only in semifinal. Since then, I always participate in the competition until I become The Best Indonesian Sommelier 2017.

    How useful are those theories in your actual job?

    Pretty useful, because in restaurant, we don’t only give recommendation, we also have to educate the guests. I love it when the guests are asking lot of questions. Even, when we serve set menu with wine pairing, I’d be very happy if the guests request any recommendation outside our available wine pairing, we might find something new. Of course, I have consult with the chef beforehand.

    Education is crucial, especially in food pairing, because apparently, many guests haven’t got any idea. For example, the popular pairing for foei gras, some guests complained when we serve sweet wine because they see it as dessert wine. Actually, with its high fat content, foei gras is often served with sweet condiments such as orange marmalade or mix berry sauce to balance the fatty, umami taste. Traditionally, foei gras is paired with the sweet Sauternes wines. But still, some guests can’t take idea idea of having sweet wine in the middle of a dinner.

    What’s the biggest challenge as sommelier? 

    We have to understand what the customers want, the problem is, everyone has his own taste preference. What’s good for us doesn’t mean good for them. For example, when we offer our steak with a full-bodied wine, some customers suggested us to provide light-bodied wine because the steak was served with the light, acidic chimichurri sauce. The thing we fear the most is mistake in giving recommendation, because of the vast number of the wines we have.

    Where do the wine collection in Amuz come from? 

    Mostly from France, around 65%, the rest is from Italy, Australia, or Chile. As a fine dining restaurant, we don’t have problem in serving medium level wine, as long as it has good quality.

    Personally, what’s your favorite wine? 

    Napa Valley, California wines, such as Opus One or Allen Estate.

    Surprising! Not French wine? 

    Yes, because I think Napa Valley wines have the fruitiness, medium body, slight sweetness, and not too powerful, very suitable for local taste. For wines in Napa Valley, the most dominant variety is definitely Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine can be enjoyed while chilling out, with any food pairings, even with none at all. Meanwhile, French wines are best consumed in more formal situation, with proper food pairings.

    How do you see the growth of New World wines?

    Lately, the quality has been improving a lot. Judging from the guests’ response, they often pick the New World wines because of the taste. As opposed to the Old World which was bound by strict laws and regulations, the producer of New World wines is more daring to explore taste notes through various grape blends. For example, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, in France you will never find such combination.

    What’s your recommendation for beginners in wine? 

    Read books and browse the Internet. Start with some easy to drink wines with light body, like New World wines. Along the way, you’ll understand your own taste preference. You’ll be able to tell that the same variety can taste significantly different if it comes from Old World or New World. Then we talk about climate, the grape grows in warm climate countries like Australia and Chile that has more body and fruity compared to the ones from cold climate countries like France or Italy.

    Most people see sommelier as a fun job because they only see us tasting the wines, chatting with the guests, but behind all of those, never ignore the fact that we went through long learning process.

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  • 16/10/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Anticipating The Internet Era (Part 1)

    We’ve come to the best online shopping era for customers. With the inception of various new websitse and e-commerce services, they are fighting for their own market share. One of the most easiest and popular promotion strategy for most Indonesians is definitely discount. We met Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, The President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA) to understand how should we see the online business development.

    How do you see the online shopping phenomenon lately?

    Online business is not entirely new in Indonesia. However, if previously people are selling retail goods, now online business started to reach food and restaurant business. The problem is, when there’s no one dominating the business, the nature of the business would be to kill each other.

    Small business entities are low cost and low profit, when they become big, it will be hi cost, but still low profit in the beginning. For instance, the conversion of Matahari into In its offline business, they have rental cost, COGS, salary, utility cost, etc, meanwhile in online shopping, the shipping cost is on the customers.

    However, it’s not the only thing that’s causing lower price in online shops. Let’s take a cellphone worth Rp 10 million for example, how come online shop sells it for Rp 8 million? If you reduce the marketing, rental cost, etc, you can only cut, let say Rp 1 million, the rest will be covered by the service provider (such as Go Pay or OVO). All online business suffer loss in the beginning, event Matahari is said to burn away trillions rupiah.

    Another example is OVO, in the beginning, they give many benefits, such as free parking, 30% discount in many places. They will start to gain profit when they reach certain amount of users. As a cashless system, imagine if all of its user are doing the top up, there’s lot of cash flow getting into the appointed bank, it’s like some sort of programmed capitalism, but it’s invisible.

    It seems like the competition among the investors is very fierce? 

    Online businesses tend to kill each other, let’s say the online transportation. In the beginning, Gojek, Grab and Uber are competing in giving the best price that disturbed the existence of conventional taxi companies. When Uber was out and Gojek and Grab keep on growing, the price wasn’t as low as it was. The thing about the business is, who grow the most, they will rule the game, and they’re willing to suffer huge loss in the beginning. When they no longer have any competitions, they can do as they’d like.

    How does it relate to food business?

    Most people only see the technology, people love ordering food from Go Food and GrabFood for their practicality, especially for people with high mobility. Restaurants work together with service provider to give discounts, the problem is, not all food can go online.

    For example, in coffee business. If you have spare time, of course you’d prefer to socialize in coffee shops, especially for true coffee lovers. But, for coffee addicts with high mobility, they wouldn’t mind using the delivery service, even though the coffee is no longer hot, or the ice has melted when it arrived.

    For people in F&B industry, it’s a good opportunity because they can have programmed sales to push the production cost, but it will cause problem when you want to expand the business. Let say, an online business can have 10 orders per day, if they have 100 orders tomorrow, can they meet the demand? Of course, the conventional business is more prepared in term of stock management.

    How about products that need special handling like ice cream and cake? Not all service providers have proper handling system. For example, Harvest have special cool delivery box for their cakes, and then Hoka-Hoka Bento or Pizza Hut have special box that can keep the heat to ensure the products reach the customer in proper condition. If you force yourself to send cake using online service provider, there’s a big chance that the product won’t be in good condition.

    If the customer receives product in bad condition, who will they blame? 

    Of course, the seller, not the online service provider. They just don’t care. Therefore, you need to carefully plan the communication to customers since beginning. You can warn them beforehand, or you can sell the products that don’t need special handling. Sometimes, home industries are using these services for all products, even if it’s not suitable, it will tarnish the reputation of the business.

    What sort of foods are best to be sold online? 

    Definitely fast food, because they already have solid business chains. If you’re living in Pluit and ordering food in Ciledug, the shipping cost would be too high. It’s a different case when you order in, let say PHD, they will appoint their nearest outlet to deal with the customers, that’s why they can ensure that their products can reach the customers within certain amount of time.

    Is it wise to use current market situation as base for long-term business in the future? 

    No. Back to the beginning, our society is very discount-minded. So far, the customers are the ones that get the benefit with loads of discounts, but, when there are less competitors, the price will slowly escalate. I have to admit, the Internet gives access for everyone to build business and help them in marketing, but there are some weaknesses you need to pay attention for.

    One of them is about the tax. Until today, online transaction is taxfree, it’s one of the reason people can sell it cheaper. If you were to shop in supermarkets and restaurants, you will be taxed. Of course the government won’t stay quiet when they see the cash flow that might reach trillion of rupiahs in the business.

    On the other hand, it’s the government weakness because the fact is; we haven’t have any regulation on the issue. When the electronic money started to gain popularity through E-toll, we had a viral case when a lawyer sued the government to force cashless payment to the citizen. Legally speaking, the valid paying system is with rupiah, whether it’s paper or coin, if you reject rupiah, it’s like saying rupiah isn’t legitimate. Now, of course the government has prepared the revisions for the regulation in this case.

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  • 16/10/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Fruit, The Pride, The Harvest

    Since his arrival in Indonesia circa 2009, Pablo Gonzales has been working to establish Plaga; one of the most recognizable wine brands in the country back in 2011. Now, the Argentinaborn lad, along with his Spanish Catalan assistant in-charge, Jordi Sanvicens Moreno tirelessly put their best effort in making quality wine products for their consumers around the island and beyond. We get the chance to meet them both and discuss the wine-related matters while enjoying a bottle of their brandnew, delightfully refreshing Frizzante.

    What is your winemaking style? 

    It’s a very interesting question, because Jordi comes from Spain and Pablo comes from Argentina, each of us brings our own distinctive style. But we combine our concept together; from Europe and  South America to make international style-not something specific from some area, especially not copying style. For example our Frizzante, which originally comes from Italy, but we are not doing traditional Italian Frizzante. We’re doing the Frizzante that people would love in Bali and in Indonesia. Our style is international, because when we are choosing our grapes; from Italia, Spain, or Argentina for example, we also controlling all the process in there. We are talking with the winemakers in various countries and we learn some cultural exchanges to make our product.

    In the world of wine, who do you admire the most, and why? 

    It’s like when you say ‘who is your favorite singer’; it’s hard, because you can’t only take one particular name. As in music,  there are different aspect in wine, there are talented winemakers who make amazing creations from nowhere, and there are also winemakers who inspire you because they are hard workers in winery that are not much popular where you can learn important concept in wine making. There are lots of people that can inspire you in this field. There is no superstar in the world of wine.

    What kind of grape you prefer to use for wine-making?  Is it hard to make a good wine from locally grown Indonesian/ Balinese grape?

    Commercially, for red wine, we would say Merlot. Many people said it’s just a poor brother of Cabernet variant, but for the common people, who don’t really get into the complexity of taste, Merlot is a perfect grape to make a fine red wine. You don’t need to understand deeply about wine to enjoy it, but in the same time, Merlot will never going to disappoint you. For white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is so interesting. It is a variety that gives many different expressions around the world. We think people will enjoy more of a Sauvignon Blanc; something fresh, easy to drink, not pretentious, and don’t need anyone to be a wine expert to enjoy it.

    The second part of the question is easy to answer: very difficult. We really don’t produce with local grapes. It’s possible, but we’re not too satisfied with the result. It is our decision to make our wine with imported grape. But we do really appreciate the wine making in other companies in Indonesia that use locally grown ingredients.

    What goals in winemaking that you’re still working to achieve? 

    First of all, you always want to make a better wine. So we continuously improving our products. Second, we always like to have more products, but we need to do something that we’re going to like and the market going to approve. We’d like to target very well our drinkers / consumers so we can give the best taste for them. One of our biggest goals also understands who is drinking our wine and how we can satisfy them better, especially to identify which variety of grape from specific region in a specific country that works well for the wine consumer in Indonesia. The wine we make is not for us, but for others to enjoy.

    Is there any connection between the rise of U$ dollar rate to wine-making and selling in general? What is the implication?

    We’re wine makers; not economist (laugh) so we don’t think there is any correlation between the rise in U$ dollar and our wine-making process. Simply put, the macro-economic situation in the world, related to currency value doesn’t affect us directly. But for example, two years ago, when the global economic problem didn’t occur like nowadays yet, the weather in some area of the world is very bad for harvest. So the price of the ingredients increased significantly. Most quality of wine comes from the grapes, and most of the price of our wine also comes from the grapes, so when we are buying the grape in higher rate than usual that will affect our production cost.

    What do you find to be the hardest part of harvest? 

    We are controlling the harvest in their origin countries. So for example, we just arrived a week ago from Italy, and we’re working with wineries there, so of course the hardest part of this process is to identify what’s the best region, grape, best moment for harvest. While we were there we were taking samples, we analyze. Since we’re working with third parties, the challenge is to coordinate a lot of things properly, so to make them understand what we want and trying to find the right aspects to get our ingredients.

    What is one of the most rewarding things about your job? 

    When you go around and people are drinking your wine, enjoying your wine, and they said ‘ah, you’re in Plaga? It’s very good wine, thanks for that, we’re really enjoyed it!’ This is the most rewarding things. Because all the time we’re doing international wines, thinking about international market, but we’re just started with Frizzante, and now all the locals who didn’t like the international style, who like something more sweet and more low alcohol, they come and said ‘now I love wine, because Frizzante is what I like to drink’. People like wine because they enjoy it, and when they do, it’s what makes us really happy.

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  • 15/10/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - Every Glass A (Fine) Story

    Mengawali karirnya di lingkungan ‘fine dining’ F&B nan mewah, ketertarikan Menno Verhaar pada dunia wine hadir secara alamiah seiring berjalannya waktu. Kini, menikmati profesinya sebagai Head Sommelier untuk Double Six Hotel, pria kelahiran Belanda ini duduk bersama PASSION dan membagikan beberapa pemikirannya; mulai dari bagaimana ia mengawali karir di bisnis ini hingga apa yang harus dimiliki seseorang untuk menjadi sommelier yang baik. Simak di bawah ini...

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  • 15/10/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Every Glass A (Fine) Story

    Starting his career in an F&B fine dining environment, Menno Verhaar’s attraction to the world of wine comes naturally along the road. Now enjoying his work as Double-Six Luxury Hotel’s Head Sommelier, the Dutch-born gentleman sat with PASSION and ‘uncorked’ some of his insightful thoughts; from how he started in the business to what it takes to become an adept sommelier. Here it goes..

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  • 13/09/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Crucial Role of PPIC

    You can assume chefs are creative people. The more creative you become, the more you use your right brain, while ignoring the left one. It’s no wonder you see so many great chefs: creative in designing the product and market it, but fail miserably when they run their own business because of overlooking the other side of the F&B business, PPIC (Production Planning Inventory Control). Chances are, if you knew Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK) you’ve heard him saying his word, “business is mathematic, without proper calculation, it’s a charity foundation”. Now, The President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA) will discuss the importance of PPIC in a business, to the most common mistakes happen in reality.

    What is the actual role of PPIC in F&B business?

    Structurally, PPIC is a division of its own. You can say that PPIC’s role is similar to a bank. If the finance department has cash money, then PPIC also keep the fund in food ingredients.

    Usually, here’s the workflow. When the sales people got the order, they will report to customer service, and then PPIC will estimate the necessary ingredients. PPIC will cross check with the inventory people to ensure the availability of ingredients. If they’re out of stock, PPIC will request the ingredients to purchasing division, and then it’s up to the finance division for approval.

    For example, if the sales division has order worth Rp 1 million, and the predetermined food cost is 30%, then the spending for ingredients is around Rp 300.000. Of course, sometimes you’ll spend Rp 5.000 – RP 10.000 more, it’s acceptable because you can never have accurate ingredient purchase. I mean, when we need 800 gr flour, there’s no one produce 800 gr flour, most of the times they sell it in 1 kg packaging.

    The role of PPIC doesn’t stop there. After the finance approves and the ingredients are ordered, PPIC has to ensure that they receive the same amount as requested. There’s lot of mistakes in this phase, especially in home industries that rely a lot on feelings, not system. We will know the loss when we do the audit.

    Would you give me some miscalculation example?

    On the same case, sometimes the food cost would reach Rp 400.000, even to Rp 600.000. When you want 30% margin, I can tell you that you won’t get any profit, simply put, it’s charity. It happens all the time, even I have this some times. It will cause further mistakes in determining the price point, as a result, you’ll set the selling price recklessly.

    What’s the biggest issue of this division?

    Control. PPIC is how we plan the production. Remember, business is mathematic, there should be proper plannings. Therefore, if the record in finance department is not accurate, you should start the investigation process from the recipe. If you are to make cheese cake, you need to know how much cream cheese, cheese, sugar, egg are needed. Without proper monitoring, your 30% margin can be reduced to 20% or even minus. For example, when there’s mistake in production process and the staff request for more ingredients, PPIC has to ask, “we gave you the ingredients back then, haven’t we?” Without PPIC, most production staffs won’t admit such failures in production process.

    About the ingredients calculation, can it be 100% accurate?

    There’s always calculation for each ingredient, and almost all of them can be accurate, especially in pastry, because we always measure everything. It’s different to hot kitchen, for instance, 1 kg fish may consist 6 fish, but the weight of each fish won’t be equal. PPIC has to understand the recipe and the production process so they can prevent misconducts, theft, damage, and other possibilities.

    What’s the most common mistake you see in professional kitchens?

    Miscalculation because of not using measuring unit. For instance, from 1 kg of flour, you’ll get 12 pcs of bread each for 60 gram, PPIC need to know whether it’s the weight before they put the filling, or after?

    And then for cakes, you can’t measure the production output in centimeter when the recipe is written in gram. The thing about pastry is, we have more measurable output. However, pastry kitchen also have more ingredients variants, from baking powder, baking soda, improver, the sugar itself comes in different variants such as granulated sugar, icing sugar, or maltodextrin. PPIC must know, which measuring units are used. Sometimes, people use grams in the recipe, but actually, when the ingredient is liquid, will we still be using grams or mililiters?

    And then for the number of suppliers, which one is better, less or more?

    Of course everyone prefers to use 1 supplier that can provide many items. It will make every division’s job easier, from the production, R&D, inventory, to the finance. However, there’s some disadvantages from it, if you rely solely on a supploer, when they run out of stock, you’ll have trouble. In addition, by using only 1 supplier, you can’t compare the price with other suppliers.

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  • 13/09/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Grill Thrill

    Apakah anda pernah memikirkan tentang apa yang membuat Barbecue bisa dikatakan baik? Atau apa sih arti dari istilah itu secara umum? Chef Arbie bisa memberikan jawaban yang jitu untuk anda. Tidak hanya diberkahi talenta dalam bidang memasak, kepribadian pria kelaihiran Jogja ini yang gemar belajar serta inovatif telah memberinya bekal untuk memastikan The Butchers Club tetap mempertahankan predikatnya sebagai salah satu Steak House paling mumpuni di Pulau Bali. Di sela-sela kesibukan rutinnya, Chef Arbie menyanggupi sebuah sesi tanya jawab santai dan membagikan pemikirannya tentang barbecue dan hal-hal lain. Yuk, kita simak bersama!

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  • 13/09/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Grill Thrill

    Have you ever wonder what makes a good ‘Barbecue’? Or what it’s all about in general? Well, Chef Arbie surely can give you a fine answer. Not only blessed with raw talent in cooking, the Jogjakarta-born resourceful and innovative personality traits has given him the necessary edge to ensure The Butchers Club maintain its finesse as one of the island’s most prominent steak house. During his bustling daily work, Chef Arbie manages to take a brief break and share his thoughts about barbecue and beyond. Check them out!

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  • 12/09/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Indigenous Taste Ambassador

    Untuk edisi kali ini, PASSION memiliki kesempatan untuk berbincang hangat dengan Chef Bloem, Presiden dari Indonesia Culinary Association (ICA) dan sosok di balik dapur Manisan Restaurant, Alaya Resort Ubud. Terlepas dari perawakannya yang gagah, Henry Alexei Bloem memiliki sisi lembut (dan bakat yang solid) di bidang memasak dan kreasi kuliner. Pria yang baru saja diangkat sebagai Chef Eksekutif Manisan Restaurant ini duduk bersama kami dan membagikan pemikirannya mengenai makanan Indonesia dan juga aspek kehidupan pribadinya yang mencengangkan. Berikut...

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  • 12/09/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Indigenous Taste Ambassador

    Despite his stalwart appearance, Henry Alexei Bloem has an utmost fondness (and solid talent) in cooking and culinary creation. The newly-appointed executive chef of Manisan Restaurant sits with us and shed some insight of Indonesian food as well his fascinating personal experiences. Here goes..

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  • 12/09/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - 9 Indonesian Traditional Grilling Techniques

    Dalam rangka menyambut bulan kemerdekaan Indonesia, sekaligus merayakan ulang tahun keduanya, Nusa Gastronomy menyajikan hidangan set menu makan malam dari berbagai daerah di Indonesia yang menggunakan teknik bakar tradisional pada 15 Agustus – 15 September 2018.

    “Kami sengaja mengangkat tema grill tradisional, lebih untuk memberi tahu orang bahwa Indonesia ternyata memiliki bermacam-macam teknik grill yang saat ini hampir dilupakan. Padahal teknik ini jasanya luar biasa, terutama ketika leluhur kita belum mengenal gas atau minyak tanah,” jelas Ragil Imam Wibowo, Chef Founder Nusa Gastronomy.

    Ada banyak alasan orang beralih ke gas, mulai dari soal kecepatan masak hingga efisiensi untuk bisnis, namun ada harga yang harus dibayar untuk kenyamanan ini. “Jika boleh jujur, teknik masak tradisional ini rasanya jauh lebih enak karena masih menggunakan sistem slow cooking. Teknik tradisional ini juga dapat memberikan tambahan rasa  signifikan yang tidak bisa didapatkan dari teknik masak modern yang menggunakan gas,” tambahnya. Jika Anda berkunjung ke dapur Nusa Gastronomy, mereka memiliki ruangan khusus yang dilengkapi dengan alat masak tradisional untuk menghadirkan rasa khas yang otentik. Sekarang Anda tahu mengapa banyak pizzeria yang dengan bangga menyematkan kata “wood-fire oven” di menu mereka.

    Di luar negeri, gerakan kembali ke teknik masak tradisional ini mulai digaungkan dengan tujuan untuk mengurangi penggunaan energi, namun Chef Ragil memiliki alasan yang lebih sederhana, “Tujuan Nusa Gastronomy adalah membuat masakan Indonesia yang lebih enak dari yang sekarang kita ketahui. Kami juga memperbaiki beberapa kelemahan teknik tradisional. Contohnya, pada proses masak yang terlalu lama, gizinya biasanya sudah hilang”. Selain itu, Nusa Gastronomy juga menggunakan teknik modern seperti sous vide untuk mengatur tingkat kematangan protein secara akurat. Berikut ini adalah 9 teknik grill khas Indonesia yang dihadirkan di Nusa Gastronomy.

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  • 12/09/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    9 Indonesian Traditional Grilling Techniques

    In order to celebrate the month of Indonesia’s Independence Day, also its second birthday, Nusa Gastronomy is offering dinner set menu from various regions in Indonesia using the traditional grilling methods in August 15th – September 15th 2018.

    “We are deliberately exposing the traditional grill theme, more to inform people that Indonesians have various grilling methods that are almost forgotten. Actually, the technique played big role, especially when our ancestors weren’t familiar with gas or kerosene, yet,” explained Ragil Imam Wibowo, Chef Founder Nusa Gastronomy.

    There are many reasons why people convert to gas, from shorter cooking time to business efficiency, but there’s a price to pay for the convenience. “Honestly, traditional cooking methods give better taste because they are using slow cooking method. It also give you the addition of irreplaceable taste that can’t be attained from modern methods using gas,” he added. If you visit Nusa Gastronomy’s kitchen, you’ll see that they have a special area with traditional kitchen equipment to give you authentic taste. Now you know why many pizzerias proudly put the word “wood-fire” in their menus.

    In other countries, the movement of going back to traditional method is fueled by the will to reduce energy waste, however, Chef Ragil has much more simple reason,” Nusa Gastronomy’s mission is to make better Indonesian cuisine than we already know now. We also fix some of the weaknesses of traditional methods. For example, in long cooking process, you’ll loose the nutrients in the ingredients”. In addition, Nusa Gastronomy is also using modern technique such as sous vide to adjust the doneness level of the protein accurately. Here are the 9 Indonesian traditional grilling techniques that are presented in Nusa Gastronomy.

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  • 10/08/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Beauty of Simplicity

    Dari segi karir, Adi Juniarto telah memasuki dunia pastry sejak dua dekade silam. Dalam perjalanannya, seiring dengan bertambahnya level kemampuan serta pengalamannya, ia juga menemukan bahwa keindahan sesungguhnya terletak pada kesederhanaan. Berbincang dengan Passion, Executive Chef Pastry dari Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran ini membagikan kenangan manisnya serta harapannya di masa depan.

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  • 10/08/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Beauty of Simplicity

    In term of career, Adi Juniarto has been entering the world of pastry since two decades ago. Somewhere along the journey, as his skill and experience level rises up, he also finds that true beauty lies in simplicity. Speaking with PASSION, the Executive Chef Pastry of Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran shares his pleasant memories and delightful hope.

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  • 07/08/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Wonder of Bold Exploration

    Jangan biarkan seorang pun menganggap remeh engkau karena engkau muda. Frase ini betul-betul terejawantahkan ketika kita melihat pencapaian seorang Arielle Chenara. Di usia yang baru menginjak 16 tahun, ia telah mentahbiskan diri sebagai salah satu pembuat wedding cake terbaik di Pulau Dewata lewat brandnya sendiri, Thyme and Caramel. PASSION mendapat kesempatan untuk berbincang dengan pemudi inspiratif ini dan menyelami pemikiran briliannya serta kecenderungannya untuk mengeksplorasi kemungkinan.

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  • 07/08/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Wonder of Bold Exploration

    What have you accomplished when you was 16? Well, Arielle Chenara surely can proudly answer that question. We sat down and talk with the great young cake maker of how she becomes one of biggest player in Bali’s cake industry nowadays.

    Don’t let anyone despise you for your youth. This phrase rings true if we see what Arielle Chenara has accomplished. In just her 16th age, she has established herself as one of the island’s prominent wedding cake maker through her own brand, Thyme and Caramel. PASSION has a great chance to chat with the aspiring youngster and gain insight into her brilliant mind and her knacks of exploring the possibilities.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Sugar World Academy

    Salah satu baking studio yang menarik perhatian kami sejak lama adalah Sugar World Academy. Semuanya berawal ketika kami melihat figurine Master Yoda (Star Wars) yang sangat realistis pada posting Instagram Sugar World Academy untuk kelas Dorothy Klerck pada Maret 2017. Kemudian kami terus scroll down untuk melihat berbagai flower gum paste, painted cookies dan lebih banyak figurine. Kami tidak sabar untuk berkunjung ke Sugar World Academy sambil menunggu momen yang tepat. Sekaranglah momen tepat itu, dengan tema khusus Cake Decoration, kami sengaja menemui Dewi Hasan, pemilik Sugar World Academy di Promenade 20, Kemang. Dewi Hasan bercerita banyak tentang Sugar World Academy, mulai dari alasan pemilihan lokasi, inti dari bisnis baking studio, dan juga kriteria

    pemilihan instruktur di sini.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Sugar World Academy

    One of baking studio that caught our attention for quite a long time is Sugar World Academy. It began when we saw a very realistic Master Yoda’s (Star Wars) figurine on Sugar World Academy’s post in Instagram to introduce Dorothy Klerck’s class on March 2017. We continued scrolling down to see more flower gum paste, painted cookies, and more figurines. We couldn’t wait to visit Sugar World Academy while waiting for the appropriate moment. Now is the right time, with our monthly theme Cake Decoration, we met Dewi Hasan, owner of Sugar World Academy in Promenade 20, Kemang. Dewi Hasan told us the story of Sugar World, the reason why she chose Kemang, the main point of baking studio business, and also her criteria in choosing an instructor.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Heavenly Sweet Academy

    Beberapa waktu lalu, Heavenly Sweet pernah mendatangkan maestro pastry Antonio Bachour dan Carles Mampel. Namun ini bukan pertama kalinya Heavenly Sweet mengundang pastry chef  terkemuka dunia. Tercatat beberapa nama chef hebat yang juga pernah datang dan membagikan ilmunya seperti: Cedric Grolet, Julien Alvarez, Eric Perez, Peter Yuen, Eun-chul Jang, Richard Hawke dan masih banyak lagi.

    Heavenly Sweet Academy menyediakan pengalaman belajar yang setara dengan mengambil kursus di luar negeri. Akademi ini memiliki murid yang datang tidak hanya dari Indonesia, namun juga dari berbagai negara seperti Singapura, Vietnam, Korea Selatan, Amerika, Kanada, Hong Kong, Filipina, Malaysia, India dan Pakistan. Semuanya berkat inisiatif sang founder, Ignes Pribadi Susilo. Passion menemui Ignes untuk mengetahui soal latar belakangnya, konsep Heavenly Sweet Academy, mengapa ia membangun akademi ini dan alasans mengapa ia mengundang chef internasional ke Indonesia.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Heavenly Sweet Academy

    Not too long ago, Heavenly Sweet Academy welcomed pastry maestros Antonio Bachour & Carles Mampel. However, it was not the first time for Heavenly Sweet Academy to invite world’s leading pastry chefs. There were many other great chefs who came and shared their knowledge, such as: Cedric Grolet, Julien Alvarez, Eric Perez, Peter Yuen, Eun-chul Jang, Richard Hawke and many more.

    Heavenly Sweet Academy provides you a learning experience comparable to taking courses in schools overseas. The academy has students coming from not only Indonesia but also from various countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, India and Pakistan. It is all thanks to the idea of its founder, Ignes Pribadi Susilo. Passion meets Ignes to dig deeper into her background, the concept behind Heavenly Sweet Academy, why she decided to start the academy and why she invited the international Chefs to Indonesia.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Sweet Troops

    Akui saja, style dekorasi cake kadang bisa menjadi sesuatu yang sangat personal, sehingga, cukup sulit untuk menemukan baking studio yang sesuai selera Anda. Namun, itu dulu, berkat Internet (spesifiknya, Instagram) menemukan baking studio yang cocok tidak pernah lebih mudah. Ketika kami menemukan baking studio yang kami suka, seperti Sweet Troops, fakta bahwa bisnis ini dijalankan oleh 2 gadis cantik tentu saja merupakan bonus yang menyenangkan. Nina Bertha dan Livianca Venaessa bercerita tentang bagaimana kisah pertemuan mereka, menjalankan bisnis baking studio, dan visi mereka di industri baking dan dekorasi.

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  • 03/08/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Sweet Troops

    Let’s admit, cake decorating style can sometimes gets very personal, thus, it’s kinda difficult to find a baking studio that teaches style that you really want. However, that was years ago, thanks to the Internet (and Instagram, to be specific), finding a baking studio that suits your liking has never been easier. When we found a baking studio with style that we love like Sweet Troops, knowing that the business is run by two pretty girls is definitely a welcomed bonus. Nina Bertha Chrestela and Livianca Venaessa tells us the story of how they bumped into each other, running a baking studio business, and their visions in baking and decorating industry.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - Competition, The Double-Edged Sword

    Selalu menyenangkan untuk melinat kompetisi masak atau pastry di berbagai pameran, namun selalu ada konsekuensi dibalik kompetisi yang prestijius. Selain sebagai ajang pembuktian kemampuan, kompetisi bisa dianggap sebagai batu loncatan dalam karir seseorang. Namun, kemenangan dalam sebuah kompetisi sering disertai dengan sebuah konsekuensi logis bagi perusahaan, pembajakan karyawan. Untuk menyikapinya, kami berdiskusi dengan Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, seorang mantan kompetitor pastry yang sekarang menjadi pemilik bisnis Physalis’s, pelaku sekaligus korban dari pembajakan karyawan.

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  • It’s always fun to see any cooking or pastry competitions in exhibitions. but there’s always consequence behind the prestigious competitions.
    05/07/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Competition, The Double-Edged Sword

    In addition of a display of extraordinary skills, we can see competition as the stepping-stone in someone’s career. However, the victory in a competition usually comes with a logical consequence, hijacking. In order to know how to  deal with the issue, we discuss with Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK), an ex-pastry competitor who becomes a business owner (Physalis’s), the perpetrator and also the victim of hijacking.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Great Dairy Deliverer

    Sebagai sosok pendiri Bali-Alm Company, Christoph Kaffanke paham betul bagaimana cara menciptakan produk dairy berkualitas dari nol, karena itulah yang telah ia lakukan melalui pabrik rumahannya selama ini.

    Perusahaan penghasil produk dairy di Bali jumlahnya bisa dihitung dengan jari, namun dari angka yang sedikit itu, seluruhnya benar-benar mengerahkan seluruh upaya mereka untuk menciptakan produk yangbaik sekaligus senantiasa berusaha untuk mempertahankan kualitas mereka. Di edisi ini, kami berbincang dengan Cristoph Kaffanke, pria di belakang Bali-Alm Company, untuk mendapatkan sudut pandang orang-dalam tentang bagaimana caranya menghadapi kenaikan permintaan dari bahan makanan ala Barat ini di Bali dengan memaksimalkan pengetahuan Eropa nya dengan sumber daya lokal yang ada.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Great Dairy Deliverer

    As the proud founder of Bali-Alm Company, Christoph Kaffanke certainly know a thing or two of how to create a quality dairy products from scratch, as that’s what he has been doing all along through his home factory. 

    Dairy company in Bali is few and far between, but those little numbers that exist really push themselves to make a great products and maintaining the quality at the same time. In this edition, we chat with Christoph Kaffanke, the man behind Bali-Alm Company, to get an insider perspective of how to face the increasing demand of Western-bound products by combining his European knowledge and available local resource.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - Conquering Boundaries

    Ada pepatah lama yang mengatakan ‘mimpilah yang besar, atau pulang’. Mimin Mintarsih sesungguhnya melakukan itu dengan sedikit berbeda, dengan menggunakan kata ‘dan’ alih-alih ‘atau’. Ribuan mil berkeliling dunia dan sederet pencapaian prestisius kemudian, Head Pastry Chef baru The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali ini kembali ke negara asalnya sebagai seorang wanita pemimpin hebat di balik beberapa dapur internasional di luar negeri.

    Di dunia yang (saat ini) didominasi oleh pria, bukanlah tugas yang mudah untuk bekerja di dapur restoran hotel, alih-alih memimpinnya, tapi Mimin Mintarsih berhasil mendobrak halangan tersebut; lebih lagi, wanita asal Sukabumi, Jawa Barat itu mampu melakukannya di luar negaranya sendiri. Ahli pastry berpostur mungil ini menunjukkan pada kita bahwa tidak ada gunung yang terlalu tinggi untuk ditaklukkan jika kita terus berusaha memberikan yang terbaik dan membuktikan para pengkritik kita salah. Kami duduk bersama Chef Mimin di sela kesibukannya sebagai Head Pastry Chef anyar The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali untuk menggali lebih dalam kisah-kisah menarik seputar pencapaiannya dalam kesetaraan gender (sembari mencicipi beberapa kue lezat kreasinya)

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  • 05/07/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Conquering Boundaries

    There’s an old saying: ‘dream big, or go home’. Well, Mimin Mintarsih actually did it quite differently; by putting ‘and’ instead of ‘or’. Thousand miles across the globe and lines of prestigious achievements later, the new Head Pastry Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali returns to her beloved country as a great leading female behind some of the greatest international kitchens abroad.

    In a world that (currently) dominated by male, it is not a simple task to work in a hotel restaurant’s kitchen, let alone leading it, but Mimin Mintarsih able to break the said boundaries; moreover, the West Javanese natives managed to did it outside of her home country. This amazing, petit lady of pastry shows us that no mountains are too high if we strive to give our best and prove the doubters wrong. We sat down with Chef Mimin in between her bustling activity as the recently-appointed Head Pastry Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali to dig deeper into her amazing stories of gender-breaking achievement (and tasting some of her delicate pastry creations as well).

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  • 05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Dairy Market Insight

    Kebanyakan orang mungkin tidak terlalu mengenal nama perusahannya, na,un kami yakin Anda mengenal brand-brand seperti Anlene, Anmum, Boneeto dan tentunya, Anchor. Anda tahu produknya, sekarang saatnya bagi Anda untuk mengetahui cerita dibalik brandnya. Kami menemui Klarisa, Marketing Director Fonterra untuk memahami masalah di industri dairy, kebijakan pemerintah yang baru, dan mengenai keberadaan Anchor di Indonesia.

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  • Get an insight for the dairy market from one of the biggest dairy company in Indonesia, Fonterra.
    05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Dairy Market Insight

    Most people might not probably too familiar with the company name, but we’re sure you know the brands such as Anlene, Anmum, Boneeto, and definitely, Anchor. You know the product, now it’s time for you to know the story behind the brand. We meet Klarisa, Marketing Director of Fonterra to understand the problem in the dairy industry, the new government policy, and about Anchor in Indonesia.

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  • 05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Dynamic Duo

    Setelah beberapa kali menghadiri Tasty Synergy, sebuah acara dinner persembahan Vin+ yang menghadirkan berbagai hidangan Indonesia yang disajikan secara modern dengan wine pairing, kami semakin yakin bahwa akan semakin banyak orang yang melakukan hal serupa di masa yang akan datang. Tentu, ada banyak orang yang meragukan kecocokkan antara masakan Indonesia dan wine, oleh sebab itu, para chef harus bekerja ekstra keras untuk memodifikasi intensitas rasa untuk menghasilkan padanan yang seimbang dengan  wine. Kami sengaja berbincang dengan Chef Djoko Sarwono (Vin+ Arcadia) dan Chef Deni Sugiarto (Vin+ Kemang) mengenai pandangan, tantangan, hingga eksplorasi mereka dalam membuat menu Indonesia modern.

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  • They might be collaborating with some other chefs, but Djoko Sarwono and Deni Sugiarto sticks to each other like peanut butter and jelly when they create modern Indonesian dishes.
    05/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Dynamic Duo

    After attending Tasty Synergy several times, a dinner event by Vin+ which presented various modern local dishes with wine pairing, we believe we’ll have more chefs serving similar style of cuisine in the future. Of course, we’ll have people who doubt the concept, especially about the pairing of Indonesian food and the wine, therefore, the chefs should work extra hard to modify the flavor’s intensity to make balanced pairing with wine. We decided to discuss with Chef Djoko Sarwono (Vin+ Arcadia) and Chef Deni Sugiarto (Vin+ Kemang) about their persepective, challenges, to their exploration in creating modern Indonesian dishes.

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  • 03/07/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Lesson from Gastronomy’s History

    Through JW Marriott Jakarta, Mega Kuningan’s event, East Meets West which was held during Ramadhan, we met Heri Purnama, The Executive Sous Chef who was in charge for the food of the event. He served various Indonesian dishes, combined with other international menu with “liwetan” style. Even though we never met the chef personally before, we assume he has wide knowledge acquired through years of working abroad, also high passion for local food. To confirm it, we decided to meet Heri Purnama for an exclusive interview to discuss about his background, his experience of working in England for 10 years, to his passion of his hometown’s dishes, Sumbawa.

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  • They might not be the most important aspect of the business, they’re the first!
    02/07/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - Hygiene and Sanitation

    Hygiene dan sanitas mungkin bukanlah aspek utama dalam suatu bisnis F&B, namun itu adalah hal pertama yang harus diajarkan pada siapapun yang ingin bergerak di bisnis F&B. Sayangnya aspek ini sering diabaikan oleh para pelaku bisnis F&B di Indonesia. Ada banyak penyebabnya, mulai dari para pemilik yang lebih berorientasi pada keuntungan, menganggapnya sebagai beban, hingga peraturan yang longgar dari pemerintah. Padahal, menurut Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, Presiden Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), pemahaman akan hygiene dan sanitasi justru akan meningkatkan profit Anda.

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  • 30/06/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Hygiene and Sanitation

    Ideally, before discussing about other things, hygiene and sanitation are the firstthing taught by any professionals in the industry. Unfortunately, in Indonesia,many people often overlook this aspect. There are many contributing factors, from the money-oriented owners who see them as expense, to the loose regulation from the government. On the contrary, according to Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, The President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), the understanding of hygiene and sanitation can help in boosting your profit.

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  • 30/06/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    The Forceful Chemistry

    It’s not easy to build a successful business, let alone maintaining its quality, and moreover make it grow so prosperously. But Eelke Plasmeijer and his partner-in-cook Ray Ardiansyah, manage to overcome the apparent odds and achieved the impossible. The gentlemen behind growing Locavore empire (which has since sprawled into Locavore-To-Go, Night Rooster and Nusantara) seems like an unlikely match, but when they meet together, we can see that genuine chemistry oozing from both of them and makes us somehow understand what made them to be such a formidable team. Passion sat down and talk with the dynamic duo in a conversation that graciously evolves into a deeply warm relational topic. Here goes.

    As the mastermind of an award-winning restaurant, how hard it is to maintain the quality of your dishes and establishment in general? Please share from both point of view.

    Ray: For the dishes, we are super lucky to have a solid team in the kitchen, and also where we are right no (the interview room), is an area called Loca Lab, which is our R & D kitchen. Normally in the weekdays we and our team usually tinker around with dishes and ideas here. When they come up right, they can be placed as the menu in Locavore. Plus, our bunch of young team now consist of people from around the archipelago; Makassar, Manado, even Pulau Anambas. We also have Balinese guys as well, so it’s a good mix of references. We work six days a week and everyone takes turn to have one day off.

    Eelke: Yeah, we are so lucky to have people who are actually care. I mean, we works with a lot of people over the years, and a lot of them doesn’t give a damn. But most of people who are working with us are those who care and willing to put the hour. When we first opened Locavore we have just 9 people, including me and Ray, and all those people are still with us until now. I called this our core team. The combination of that people who are here to stay and those who are only with us for two or three years make for a really good mix, they keep each other focused and are so solid. So, to answer your question, this condition makes it easier for us to maintain our quality nowadays.

    Ray: I know Eelke from ten years ago so I know him very well, I never take anything personal. I think that’s how it goes.

    So what is the main concept of Nusantara that differs it from Locavore and what can we expect from this establishment in near future?

    Eelke: Nusantara is an authentic Indonesian restaurant, where we serve dishes from all over Indonesian archipelago. We serve dishes that even most of Indonesian people don’t already know. The menu are made for sharing, so we don’t want people to eat a whole bowl of rendang, or anything alone, here, you sit with your family, or the food sit at the table, and you eat it when you’re hungry, and you can have different combination of each dishes. Lately it has been super good, a lot of people visiting Ubud, but the plan is to find a location in Jakarta. We want to bring Nusantara to the Capital city in near future.

    Mr Eelke, what would be your most favorite Indonesian dish, and why?

    My wife was born in Jakarta but raised in Bogor, so she’s a bit Sunda. So if we go to Bogor, sometime we arrive kinda late and her mom always cook Sayur Asem with ayam goreng and sambal terasi, and that’s what you want. Like, it’s a bit cold, rainy day in Bogor, you arrived like at eleven or twelve at night, and you are greeted with a nice big bowl of warm sayur asem with rice and fried chicken. I really like Sundanese food, a bit Padang food as well, there’s a lot of Indonesian dishes I enjoyed, especially the one which cooked with traditional technique.

    Sayur asem, nice pick! Do you serve that here in Nusantara?

    We had it in our first menu, but we changed it all the time so I don’t think it’s still there now. We tried to do one or two new dishes every Monday, so it goes by kinda fast.

    Mr Ray, according to you, why nasi goreng could become so famous worldwide, and why? What makes it more accessible than other Indonesian food according to you?

    I think fried rice in general is really easy to like. Either in Chinese, Indian cuisine, especially Indonesian. If somebody from oversea come to visit Indonesia, the first thing that they pick would most likely be nasi goreng, particularly nasi goreng ayam (chicken fried rice), because they might think it is the safest choice for them (not too spicy, balanced composition, easy to find), and then they tell all their friends back home. So I think that’s the main reason why nasi goreng become so accessible for foreign tourist.

    We would like to know your best traits, so feel free to compliments each other

    Eelke: People often ask of course, why you get along, and I always say that because of Ray is super-consistent. That’s what I liked about him professionally. I’m not like this, I might come one morning remembering something and then forgetting to do it along the way, but Ray never did that. He gets angry, but normally when I’m not there (laugh). As a person, not much not to like about him. I don’t think there’s any reason for any people in the world not to like him. He is super-easy to like, he doesn’t give you many reason not to like him, which is kinda unique in a person I think.

    Ray: I was applying job before I meet Eelke, and from the first day I worked with him, I was already impressed by him, in everything. Then we started to hang together, go to stadium, drink beer, and then comes the cooking part. Eelke is the type of workmate that always push you in a good way. Before Eelke I was actually planning to apply for another chef, and if I go with that plan, I will be a different me. I think if I go with somebody else, I will only be a normal cook. Eelke always promote me, even when I’m still a sous chef, he always said it is ‘Ray and me’. That wouldn’t happen with anybody else. I have another chef friend as well, and when we hang out they never talk about their sous chef, but Eelke never take any credit for himself.

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  • 28/06/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - Between Talent and Open Mind

    Dalam menilai kesuksesan S.K.A.I Beach Club saat ini, kita tidak bisa melewatkan sosok di balik dapurnya, Theodorus Immanuel Setyo, yang biasa juga dikenal sebagai Chef Theo. Pribadi yang easy-going, brilian dan bersemangat ini sebetulnya sudah cukup lama malang melintang, hingga ke industry televisi dengan ikut membidani seri Master Chef Indonesia untuk season 3 dan 4, serta sendirinya berpartisipasi dalam program Iro Chef. Kini, ia telah kembali focus untuk mengembangkan menu-menu di S.K.A.I Beach Club. Passion memiliki kesempatan untuk bersua dan berbincang dengan pria luar biasa ini di tengah kesibukannya. Berikut beberapa hal menarik yang mampu kami ‘peras’ darinya.

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  • 28/06/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    Between Talent and Open Mind

    In valuing the success of S.K.A.I Beach Club, we cannot overlook the man behind its kitchen, Theodorus Immanuel Setyo, also known as Chef Theo. Easy-going, brilliant and passionate, he has actually been around for quite some time before, even to the TV industry by being the creator of Indonesian Master Chef series for season 3 and 4 and also participating himself in Iron Chef program. Nowadays, he is focused back in developing the menu at SKAI Beach Club. Passion has a chance to meet and chat with this amazing lad in-between his excruciating work hours. Here’s some fascinating stuffs that we could extract.

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  •  You know something is really good when one of world’s biggest hotel companies, such as The Ritz-Carlton, decided to put locally inspired dessert as its signature cake.
    26/06/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Local Dessert Take Over

    Jika Anda sering mengelilingi hotel-hotel di Jakarta di tahun 80-90an, Anda mungkin menyadari bahwa hampir semua hotel bintang 5 memiliki signature cake masing-masing, seperti Black Forrest, Millefeuille, atau American Chocolate Cake. Namun, pada saat itu menciptakan cake yang terinspirasi dari dessert lokal tidak pernah terpikirkan, bahkan di mimpi terliar para pastry chef lokal. Ketika kami mendengar The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan, memiliki Cendol Cake sebagai cake signature, kami memutuskan untuk mengadakan sesi interview khusus dengan Pastry Chef yang bertanggungjawab akan produk tersebut, Chef Hendri Dharmawan. Kami ingin tahu, apakah sekarang adalah waktu yang tepat bagi dessert bertema lokal untuk mengambil alih panggung utama, ataukah kita harus menunggu lebih lama.

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  • You know something is really good when one of world’s biggest hotel companies, such as The Ritz-Carlton, decided to put locally inspired dessert as its signature cake.
    26/06/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Local Dessert Take Over

    If you’ve been around hotels in Jakarta since the good old 80’s and 90’s, you might have noticed that almost all 5 star hotels have their own signature cake, such as Black Forrest, Millefeuille, or American Chocolate Cake. However, back then creating a locally inspired concept cake is never on the local pastry chefs’ wildest dream. When we heard The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan is having Cendol Cake as its signature, we decided to

    have an interview session with the Pastry Chef who’s responsible for the product, Chef Hendri Dharmawan. We’d like to find out, whether now is the best time for Indonesian-inspired desserts to take the center stage, or we need to wait further.

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  • 26/06/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Indonesia’s Envoy of Padang Peranakan Cuisine

    Passion meets the man behind the renowned Padang Peranakan restaurant Marco by Chef Marco Lim. The executive chef himself shares us stories behind his love for food and the mission to expand abroad. 

    It has been a long time, Chef Marco! What are you currently preparing for your restaurant these days?

    This Ramadan we have prepared a new set menu – the Nasi Padang Berjamaah. Inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, we are serving our own take of nasi kebuli using the rice from Solok, West Sumatra. It has similar characteristics - a bit elongated and not sticky. Much like basmati rice.

    We are also pairing the rice with kambing kurma. This dish is very popular in Pandangpanjang, especially during Ramadan. Traditionally, it doesn’t use any dates at all as the name implies, and the green color came from the use of coriander. The dish comes in family portion. It’s something like what we call in West Sumatra as makan bajamba - the time of the year after harvest when people gather and eat to celebrate.

    What makes Marco different than the rest of the competitions?

    I’d like to think that the restaurant is more of a mixture between authentic Padang cuisine and my Chinese inheritance – or Peranakan. The food is what my family cooks back at my home in Padang for four generations now. For example, we have in the menu – dendeng cah pade, my grandmother’s version of dendeng cah darek from Bukittinggi.

    Other than the flavors, I also make sure that the colors and aroma are the same as what we have back in Padang. That’s why the ingredients are brought here fresh from the country – starting from the rice, chilies, turmeric, and even the crackers. For Ramadan, we are importing about a ton of ingredients!

    As for the cooking process, we are still using traditional wood-fire stoves at the central kitchen. This way, you can even sense that the aroma is different than when cooked using modern stove. The meat itself becomes smoky. That’s how we devoted ourselves for authenticity.

    You also have several different concepts within your already established restaurants. Care to elaborate that?

    Sure. Based on the demographics study, we decided to open our first coffee shop concept at Gandaria City. There we emphasize more on beverage and snacks. As for the main dishes, they are instead served like
    a rice bowl.

    We have secret menus as well. For example, our dendeng batokok is using wagyu rather than the usual beef but only at Pacific Place. Additionally, we have our mie goreng rendang only for delivery orders. You really should try the latter. It was our best seller during one of our missions with the Tourism Ministry back in South Korea.

    About your collaborations with the ministry, can you tell us a bit about it?

    We did several trips with the ministry to promote Indonesian food to South Africa, The States, South Korea, and Spain a while back. Madrid was an exciting opportunity especially. We were given the opportunity to serve a 7-course Padang-style dinner.

    We even brought around 125 kilograms of ingredients from here! Only the three of us did the whole cooking and plating for a gala dinner a lot of guests. We also prepared about 600 sticks of sate Padang. After that, I was also given the opportunity to teach about Indonesian food at a local university.

    We heard that Marco is planning to expand abroad. Can you tell us about it?

    Yes, we have plans to open new restaurants in Bali and Kuala Lumpur. We are still in the middle of planning it properly. My major concern is how to retain the authenticity of our ingredients and transport it abroad. The restaurant’s concept would be similar though. We are still going to serve our dishes in their original form and taste, all freshly cooked. We are planning to open our first restaurant abroad hopefully in 2019.

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  • 26/06/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Lesson from Gastronomy’s History

    Lewat tema East Meets West yang diadakan selama bulan Ramadhan di JW Marriott Hotel, Jakarta, kami bertemu dengan Heri Purnama, Executive Sous Chef JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta yang bertanggung jawab atas makanan yang disajikan pada event tersebut. Ia menyajikan berbagai hidangan khas Nusantara yang berpadu dengan internasional lain dengan gaya liwetan. Meski belum sempat berkenalan secara langsung, kami berasumsi bahwa ia memiliki pengetahuan luas dari pengalaman bekerja di luar negeri dan juga passion tinggi untuk masakan Indonesia. Untuk memastikannya, akhirnya kami menemui Heri Purnama untuk sebuah interview eksklusif mengenai latar belakangnya, pengalaman bekerja di Inggris selama 10 tahun, hingga passionnya soal masakan dari daerah asalnya, Sumbawa.

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  • Listen to what the Antonio Bachour and Carles Mampel have to say about the future trends
    26/06/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Pastry Masters

    Kita harus berterimakasih pada Heavenly Sweet Academy Jakart untuk mengundang 2 orang  pastry chef terbaik dunia untuk mengajar master class di Indonesia. Setelahhampir seminggu penuh memberikan pelajaran dan inspirasi pastry, kami memutuskan untuk menggali lebih dalam ke dalam pikiran Antonio Bachour (Amerika) dan Carles Mampel (Spanyol) mengenai tren pastry sekarang, masa depan, dan pandangan mereka.

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  • Listen to what the Antonio Bachour and Carles Mampel have to say about the future trends
    26/06/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Pastry Masters

    We have to thank Heavenly Sweet Academy Jakarta for inviting 2 of the best pastry chefs in the world to teach master class in Indonesia. With almost a full week of pastry lesson and inspiration, we decided to dig deeper into the mind of Antonio Bachour (America) and Carles Mampel (Spain) about the current pastry trend, the future, and their perspective.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - Succession Plan

    Dalam banyak kasus, sebuah restoran baru yang sedang naik daun biasanya mempekerjakan satu figur chef terkenal. Seiring berjalannya waktu, chef tersebut keluar dan restoran tersebut gagal untuk mempertahankan kualitas. Ada beberapa penyebab kegagalan menjaga konsistensi, namun kali ini kita akan membahas soal succession plan bersama Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, Presiden Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA).

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  • 18/05/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Succession Plan

    In many cases, a rising restaurant usually employs a famouse figure as a chef. Along the way, the chef resigns and the restaurant fails to maintain its

    quality. There are some factors for it, but now, we’ll focus on the succession plan with Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA).

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  • 18/05/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    [ID] - In Pursue Of (Self) Excellence

    Setelah proses belajar dan melakukan selama nyaris dua dekade, Fifi Sovia kini telah berada di jajaran pengusaha kopi terbaik di pulau Bali. Passion Media memiliki kesempatan untuk bersua dan berbincang dengan perempuan luar biasa ini, dimana ia membagikan banyak sudut pandang menarik yang hanya bisa keluar dari seseorang dengan pemikiran brilian yang terus mengejar versi terbaik dari diri sendiri tanpa kenal lelah.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Billianto Bagus 0 Comments
    In Pursue Of (Self) Excellence

    Bringing almost two decades of coffee experience, Vivi Sofia established Simply Brew as a part of her pursuit to excellence.

    After almost two decades of learning and doing process, Fifi Sofia has now stands among the best coffeepreneur in the island and beyond. Passion Media has a chance to catch up and chat with this amazing Iron Lady of coffee, in which she shared many interesting perspectives that can only come from a brilliant mind with relentless zeal in pursuing the best of herself.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    [ID] - Mira Yudhawati - Gaining Knowledge Through Competitions

    Selalu ada saja hal yang baru dari industri kopi, terlebih lagi saat ini. Kali ini Passion duduk bersama Mira Yudhawati, salah satu tokoh kopi penting di Indonesia. Ia berbagi ceritanya sebagai juri kompetisi kelas dunia dan sebagai seseorang yang punya harapan tinggi untuk kopi Indonesia.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Rian Farisa 0 Comments
    Mira Yudhawati - Gaining Knowledge Through Competitions

    There’s always a lot to learn from the coffee industry, especially nowadays. The one we’re sitting with today is Mira Yudhawati, among the most esteemed personas in Indonesian coffee world. She shares us a story about her life as a world competition judge and as someone who sets her hope high for Indonesian coffee.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The 4th Wave?

    Pada awal kemunculan Kopi Tuku di 2015, banyak orang dari komunitas kopi specialty bertanya-tanya, “apakah ada untungnya menjual kopi susu yang dibuat menggunakan mesin espresso seharga Rp 18.000?” Maklum saja, saat itu Tuku hanyalah sebuah kedai kopi kecil sederhana di daerah Cipete yang terkenal dengan produk Es Kopi Susu Tetangga, espresso yang dicampurkan susu, adonan gula aren dan tambahan krim.

    Saat kami mengunjungi outlet Kopi Tuku di Jalan Abdul Majid, Jakarta Selatan, kami disambut oleh 2 buah mesin espresso La Marzocco (1 untuk es kopi, 1 lagi untuk kopi panas), masing-masing memiliki 3 group head, pengemudi Gojek yang antri memesan, dan ruangan khusus roasting kopi yang bertugas menyangrai 6 ton biji kopi per bulan untuk kebutuhan 4 outlet Kopi Tuku. Ditambah lagi dengan fakta bahwa semakin banyak coffee shop yang meniru konsep kopi susu ini, bisa bantu kami untuk mengulangi pertanyaan di atas?

    Ada banyak gosip-gosip yang beredar tentang tren es kopi susu ini, sehingga kami merasa harus menemui Andanu Prasetyo, biasa dipanggil Tyo, pemilik Kopi Tuku untuk menceritakan tentang latar belakangnya, alasannya menjual kopi dengan harga terjangkau, hingga kunjungan Presiden Jokowi ke Kopi Tuku.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The 4th Wave?

    When Kopi Tuku arrived on the coffee scene in 2015, the specialty coffee communities were wandering, “do they make any profit by selling Rp 18.000 milk coffee using espresso machine?” At the time, Tuku was a humble, tiny coffee shop in Cipete who’s famous for its Es Kopi Susu Tetangga: espresso, milk, brown sugar and cream.

    When we visit its latest outlet in Jalan Abdul Majid, South Jakarta, we spotted 2 La Marzoccos (one for iced coffee, another for hot coffee), each with 3 group heads, queueing Gojek drivers, and a roasting room responsible in roasting 6 ton of coffee bean per month to supply to 4 of Tuku’s outlets. In addition, the fact that the iced coffee milk concept was copied by many of Tuku’s imitators, we might need your help to repeat the question in the beginning of the article.

    There are rumors spreading along in this iced coffee milk trend, thus we felt the urge to meet Andanu Prasetyo, or simply called Tyo, Kopi Tuku’s owner to listen to his background, the reason why he prefers to sell affordable coffee, to the President Jokowi’s visit to his outlet.

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  • 18/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Cultivating the Coffee Culture

    Akui saja, beberapa dari kita pernah mengalaminya. Ketika tren kopi 3rd wave datang seketika itu kita akan terlihat lebih keren jika kita “membenci” Starbucks, kita ingin dianggap anti-mainstream. Bahkan hingga kini, banyak komunitas kopi yang masih mempercayainya. Namun ketika Anda cukup lama di komunitas ini, kemudian Anda akan sadar betapa bodohnya pemikiran tersebut. Karena seperti yang dibilang banyak ahli kopi, ujung-ujungnya kopi ini adalah bisnis, tujuannya tentu profit. Harus diakui, hingga saat ini, Starbucks masih menjadi raja di bisnis coffee shop, baik dari sisi profit, maupun manajemen. 

    Tidak percaya? Coba sebutkan satu coffee shop 3rd wave terbaik versi Anda, bayangkan jika mereka memiliki 328 outlet di berbagai kota di Indonesia dengan jumlah karyawan lebih dari 3.000 orang. Menurut Anda, apakah coffee shop tersebut bisa menjaga kualitas (dan tentu saja, gengsi) sebaik Starbucks? Kali ini, kami sengaja menemui orang yang bertanggungjawab menjaga konsistensi kualitas pelayanan dan budaya, seseorang yang mempertahankan “Starbucks Experience”, Mirza Luqman Effendy

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  • 18/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Cultivating the Coffee Culture

    Let’s admit it, some of us committed the same sin. When 3rd wave came, suddenly it looked cool for us to “hate” Starbucks, we wanted to be seen as anti-maintstream. Even until now, some people in coffee communities still believe it. However, when you’re in the scene for a while, you will then realize how stupid the idea was. Because, as many coffee experts said, in the end, coffee is business, to make profit. We have to admit, until now, Starbucks is still the king in the coffee shop business, whether in terms of profit, or management.

    Disagree? Mention one of your favorite 3rd wave coffee shops, imagine they run 328 outlets all over Indonesia and hire more than 3.000 staffs. Honestly, do you really think they can maintain the quality (and of course, pride) as well as Starbucks? This time, we interview a man who’s responsible to keep the consistency of service and culture, some who maintain the “Starbucks Experience”, Mirza Luqman Effendy.

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  • 17/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Samsura’s Coffee Adventure

    Sejak kemunculan One Fifteenth Coffee di 2012, banyak hal yang telah berubah di industri kopi. Namun, beberapa hal tetap

    sama, contohnya sikap rendah hati Doddy Samsura, bahkan sejak pertama kali kami bertemu di 2011. Ketika kami mengirim permintaan interview lewat Whatsapp, ia menjawab, “ada yang bisa saya bantu? Memangnya saya masih populer?”Pertanyannya cukup menarik. Sejak meninggalkan Morph Coffee, anak perusahaan One Fifteenth 2017. Tidak banyak kabar terdengar dari Doddy.

    Kami menemuinya di Pantai Indah Kapuk. Ia agak gelisah karena proyek terbarunya, Reirom, sebuah sekolah barista, tertunda karena beberapa hal. Mereka masih
    mengerjakan lantai pertama yang akan menjadi coffee shop, lantai dua untuk sekolah barista. Dalam diskusi panjang kami, Doddy berbicara mengenai petualangannya dari Yogyakarta, memenangkan kompetisi, One Fifteenth, hingga kesibukannya saat ini, secara eksklusif untuk Passion.

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  • 17/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    Samsura’s Coffee Adventure

    Since the inception of One Fifteenth Coffee in 2012, a lot of things have changed in coffee industry. However, there are some things remain the same, for example, Doddy Samsura’s humility, even from the first time we met him in 2011. When we texted him to request for an interview, he humbly replied, “how can I help you? Am I still popular?” His answer has some truth in it. Since he left Morph Coffee, a roaster, also a sister company of One Fifteenth in 2017. There’s not much updates has been heard from the champion of IBC (Indonesia Barista Championship) 2011 and 2013.

    We met the man in Pantai Indah Kapuk. He’s a bit restless because his new project, Reirom, a barista school, is delayed due to some things. They’re still working on the first floor of the building which will act as coffee shop, the second floor for the barista school. In our long discussion, Doddy talked about his adventure
    from Yogyakarta, winning competitions, One Fifteenth, to his current activities, exclusively to Passion.

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  • 17/05/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - Game of Perception

    Adi Taroepratjeka bukanlah Q-Grader biasa (orang berlisensi yang mampu memeriksa dan menilai kopi Arabika secara objektif), ia adalah orang pertama di Asia Tenggara yang memiliki lisensi instruktur Q-Grader, ia sering menjadi juri di kompetisi kopi, ia juga pernah menjadi pembawa acara “Coffee Story” Kompas TV yang dimulai pada 2011, tepat sebelum kopi dianggap keren. Kami menemuinya terakhir di Jakarta pada 2013. Ketika kami memutuskan mengangkat tema khusus kopi, kami tahu kami harus menemuinya, meski sekarang ia tinggal di Bandung, menjalankan

    laboratorium kopi sekaligus coffee shopnya yang bernama 5758 (baca: Maju Mapan).

    Yang kami suka dari Adi, mungkin ia adalah salah satu orang paling kritis di dunia kopi. Faktanya, ia tidak suka diikat oleh aturan atau kepercayaan, terutama pada hal yang ia anggap tidak benar. Contohnya saja, banyak orang 3rd wave yang bilang bahwa robusta itu jelek. Namun, Adi mengaku banyak tamu 5758 yang

    kembali pulang jika ia melihat kopi di hopper robustanya kosong. Ketika ia menawarkan double ristretto kopi Robusta dari Banyuwangi, mana mungkin saya
    menolak tawarannya? Ternyata, saya mendapatkan rasa asam, gurih, dan notes seperti selai kacang, dengan after taste yang manis. Sejujurnya, ini kali pertama saya mencicipi Robusta seenak ini. Dengan kopi di tangan, akhirnya saya siap untuk diskusi panjang mengenai harga jual ideal kopi, kegiatannya
    sekarang, tren kopi, hingga kegemarannya menikmati kopi instan

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  • 17/05/2018 - Game of Perception 0 Comments
    ​Game of Perception

    Adi Taroepratjeka was not your usual Q-Grader (a licensed person who’s capable of examining and scoring Arabica coffee objectively), he was the first person in South East Asia with Q-grader instructor license, he’s the judge for coffee competitions, he was also the host of Kompas TV’s “Coffee Story”, started from 2011, right before coffee was cool. The last time we met him in person was in Jakarta 2013. When we decide to do special coffee issue, we know we have to meet the man, even though now he’s in Bandung, running his own coffee lab, also a coffee shop, 5758 (read: Maju Mapan).

    The thing about Adi, is he’s probably one of the most critical person in coffee. In fact, he doesn’t like to be bound by rules or belief, especially if he believes them to be wrong. For example, 3rd wave people believe robusta sucks. However, Adi said that many of 5758 customers would go home if they find that his robusta hopper is empty. When he offered me to try his double ristretto Robusta from Banyuwangi, who am I to turn down his kind offer? To my surprise, I tasted
    acidity, some umami, peanut-butter like notes, with sweet after taste. Honestly, it was the first time I taste Robusta this good. With coffee in hand, I finally ready to do a long discussion about “the ideal” selling price for coffee, his current activities in education, coffee trend, to his passion in
    enjoying instant coffee sachet.

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  • 17/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Man Behind The Trend

    Anda bisa saja menghadiri baking demo oleh chef paling terkemuka di dunia yang mampu membuat produk paling canggih. Masalahnya, ketika Anda pulang dan mencoba mengaplikasikan teknik mutakhir tersebut, ternyata Anda menemui banyak kesulitan. Mulai dari ketersediaan bahan, sulit diproduksi dalam jumlah besar, membutuhkan tenaga kerja yang lebih berpengalaman, dan harga jual yang melonjak.

    Namun jika Anda membutuhkan produk yang baik untuk bisnis Anda: mudah dibuat dengan skala besar dengan nilai komersil yang tinggi, Koko Hidayat, Technical Service Manager Smart+, adalah nama yang harus Anda ingat. Dengan banyaknya jumlah klien Smart+ yang sukses berjualan menggunakan resep kreasinya, bisa dibilang Koko Hidayat adalah salah satu sosok yang paling berpengaruh dalam menentukan trend bakery di Indonesia. Berikut ini adalah wawancara eksklusif kami dengan sang pembuat trend.

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  • 17/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Man Behind The Trend

    It took a smart person to explain a complicated subject to educated audience, but a smarter person is able to simplify the matter and explain it to wider range of audience.

    You can attend baking demos by the most famous chef in the world who’s capable of making the most sophisticated product. The thing is, when you got home and try to apply the fancy techniques, you are faced with some issues. From the availability of the ingredients, difficulties in producing it in large quantities, requiring more skilled worker, not to mention the sky-rocketing selling price.

    However, if you need product that’s good for your business: easy to be mass-produced with high commercial value, Koko Hidayat, Smart+’s Technical Service Manager, is the name you should remember. With the vast number of clients and various success stories of clients using his creations, it is safe to say that Koko Hidayat is one of the most influential figures in determining the bakery trend in Indonesia. Here’s our exclusive interview with trend maker

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  • 17/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Ugly Truth

    Jika Anda berpikir tentang seorang chef yang ahli soal healthy food, nama Edwin Lau langsung terbayang dalam benak. Ia merupakan kombinasi unik dari seorang chef, nutrisionis, dan tubuh seorang binaragawan. Mungkin Anda melihatnya selalu tersenyum di depan TV, namun kali ini Edwin berbicara mengenai kenyataan-kenyataan yang tidak seindah bayangan Anda, mulai dari rahasia gelap industri makanan, kehidupan celebrity chef, konflik batinnya sebagai seorang chef sekaligus nutrisionis, hingga pandangan hidupnya yang baru. Ini adalah salah satu interview kami yang paling berat dan intens.

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  • 17/04/2018 - Devishanty 0 Comments
    The Ugly Truth

    The self-proclaimed extremist, Edwin Lau, talks about the things that nobody wants to talk about. If you’re one of those faint-hearted people, please, stop reading.

    If you think about a chef who’s also expert in healthy food, the name Edwin Lau comes to mind. He’s a unique combination of a chef, nutritionist, with the body of a bodybuilder. You might see him smiling on TV, but this time, Edwin talks about the ugly truth of the food industry, life of celebrity chefs, to his internal conflict as a chef and nutritionist, and his new point of view. This is certainly one of our heaviest and most intense interview ever.

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  • 17/04/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - Waste Management

    Ini terjadi setiap saat, terutama bagi para pengusaha baru. Anda mengalami euforia karena usaha Anda mendadak terkenal dan mencetak angka penjualan yang tinggi. Namun ketika melakukan perhitungan di akhir bulan, jumlah keuntungan yang Anda terima meleset jauh di bawah ekspektasi. Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK), pemilik Physalis’s sekaligus Presiden Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA) tentu memahami kesalahan yang sering terjadi seperti ini. Pada edisi kali ini, CRK membahas mengenai waste management, definisi, cara mencegah serta memberikan beberapa contoh dari kejadian yang pernah ia alami.

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  • 17/04/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Waste Management

    If you’re experiencing high sales record, but at the end of the day, your margin is much less than estimated, this subject is definitely for you.

    It happens all the time, especially for new entrepreneurs. You have the euphoria because your business gains sudden popularity and breaks new sales record. However, after calculation, at the end of the month the profit that you have is way below expectation. Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK), owner of Physalis’s also President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA) understand this common mistake. This time, CRK discusses about waste management, from the definition, how to prevent, also gives some real cases he experienced in the past.

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  • 07/04/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - Signature Product as Brand’s Identity

    CRK menjelaskan pentingnya memiliki produk signature untuk semua brand F&B. Anda datang ke sebuah resto secara acak, setelah melihat banyaknya menu, Anda memesan, dan waiter hanya mencatat pesanan tanpa memberi rekomendasi. Ketika makanannya datang, Anda tidak suka, dan berjanji tidak akan kembali lagi, hingga seorang teman berkata bahwa Anda melewatkan produk signature resto tersebut. Hal ini kerap terjadi, ironisnya, karena ego dari owner yang percaya bahwa semua makanan di restonya enak, semuanya. Namun, menurut Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK), memiliki produk signature lebih dari sekedar menghindari pelanggan memesan menu yang kurang favorit, produk signature berkontribusi pada identitas brand.

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  • 07/04/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    Signature Product as Brand’s Identity

    CRK explained why having a signature product is a necessity for any F&B brands

    You came to a random restaurant, looking at the wide selection of menus, when you order things, the waiters just write them down without giving any recommendations. When the food arrived, you don’t like it, and promised never to come back there, until a friend told you that you missed their signature product. This happen many times, ironically, due to the owner’s ego who believe that all of the products in the restaurant are good, all of them. However, according to Chef Rahmat Kusnedi (CRK), having a signature product is more than just avoiding the guest to choose the least favorite, it contributes to your brand’s identity.

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  • 13/03/2018 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    [ID] - Finding Chocolatier

    Sebagai negara penghasil kakao terbesar ketiga dunia, ternyata menemukan chocolatier di Indonesia merupakan tugas yang cukup menantang, hingga akhirnya kami menemukan Pipit Yulianti. Edisi khusus cokelat ini berawal dengan sebuah pembicaraan dengan Benty Diwansyah, Corporate Pastry Chef PT. Nirwana Lestari (distributor Tulip Chocolate) di acara Chocotober. Ketika kami bertanya mengenai rekomendasi chocolatier untuk liputan, ia berpikir keras. “Di Indonesia patissier memang banyak, namun chocolatier sangat sedikit”, katanya. Di antara sekian banyak kandidat, kami percaya Pipit Yulianti, Chocolatier Tulip Chocolate memenuhi kriteria seorang chocolatier muda terbaik Indonesia.

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  • 13/03/2018 - Aria Sankhyaadi 0 Comments
    Finding Chocolatier

    Indonesia is the third largest cacao producer in the world, however, finding a proper chocolatier is surprisingly challenging, until we find Pipit Yulianti.

    The Chocolate Issue started with a discussion with Benty Diwansyah, PT. Nirwana Lestari’s (Tulip Chocolate distributor) Corporate Pastry Chef in the past event Chocotober. When we asked about the recommendation for young chocolatiers in Indonesia, he wondered for quite a while, “In Indonesia we have many patissiers, but there’s so few chocolatier,” he said. Among all of the candidates, we believe Pipit Yulianti, Tulip Chocolate’s Chocolatier, is one of Indonesia’s best young chocolatiers.

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  • 13/03/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    [ID] - The Chocolate Ambassador

    Anda akan kesulitan untuk menemukan orang yang berpengalaman dan memahami industri cokelat Indonesia lebih baik dari Louis Tanuhadi, The Embassy of Chocolate dari Tulip. Sebagai salah satu orang yang paling gencar mengkampanyekan penggunaan real chocolate di Indonesia melalui lini produk cokelat couverture The Embassy of Chocolate dan Chocolate School by Tulip, Louis juga pernah menulis buku khusus tentang cokelat, Chocology di 2012. 

    Di sela-sela jadwal padatnya, Passion Media berkesempatan untuk untuk berdiskusi panjang lebar dengan Louis mengenai keresahannya akan masa depan industri cokelat, pilihan Tulip, definisi chocolatier, cita-cita pribadinya, hingga maksud dibalik jabatan uniknya “The Embassy of Chocolate”.

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  • 13/03/2018 - Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
    The Chocolate Ambassador

    You know it’s a serious situation when Louis Tanuhadi said that the chocolate industry has no future.

    You’ll be hard pressed to find other person with vast experience and the understanding of Indonesian chocolate industry better than Louis Tanuhadi, Tulip’s Embassy of Chocolate. As one of the most vocal person in campaigning the use of real chocolate in Indonesia through the couverture product line, The Embassy of Chocolate, and Chocolate School by Tulip, Louis wrote a book specifically about chocolate, Chocology in 2012.

    In the middle of his tight schedule, Passion Media had the chance to discuss deeply with the man about his concern on the future of chocolate industry, Tulip’s choice, definition of chocolatier, his personal dream, and the meaning behind his unique position “The Embassy of Chocolate”.

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  • 02/03/2018 - Eve Tedja 0 Comments
    Mad About Chocolate

    We talk with Pastry Chef I Nyoman Rinanta of Cau Chocolate about his long abiding devotion for chocolate and his distinguished career in the world of pastry.

    It is hard to pinpoint the age of I Nyoman Rinanta by watching him at work in the kitchen. Energetically moving from the kitchen to the production area and back to the adjoining garden, the man in charge of developing pastry and sweet delights at Cau Chocolate is a prime example of golden age. With an agro tourism program and a cafe, Rinanta’s days are fully occupied with chocolate.

    Based in Tabanan, the chocolate factory is producing high quality and sustainably sourced products from local organic farming practices in the surrounding area. Founded in 2014, Cau Chocolate is proudly owned and managed by a local cacao farming family. It aims to in