Brains, beauty and a big appetite are what best describes E! News Asia Host, Blogger and crowned Miss Indonesia 2014, Maria Rahajeng.


Brains, beauty and a big appetite are what best describes E! News Asia Host, Blogger and crowned Miss Indonesia 2014, Maria Rahajeng.

“I HAVE ALWAYS loved food! I just love eating!” shared the Javanese charmer at the very start of my interview enthusiastically. “I never really believed in diets but I do believe in healthy eating. I mean sometimes we just really need to indulge!” At that moment, I knew she was the perfect candidate for this piece.

Despite initially living in the United States for a decade, Maria was still very much accustomed to traditional Indonesian home cooked meals, thanks to her mother.

“While I was growing up, soto was one of my favorite food. I remember coming home from school and my mother would have the soup heated up and ready for us to eat,” said Maria – who moved to her current hometown in Bali, Indonesia at the age of 13 – in a nostalgic trance.

“I do have other food memories but both my mom and grandmother are really big cooks, so I would have recollections of them always cooking something up in the kitchen.”

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Her creative passion in photography and fashion played a very significant roll in kick-starting her career as a fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger alongside her twin sister, Elizabeth Rahajeng.

“Whether we are traveling or simply at home in Bali, we would enjoy showcasing our experiences”, she says. “The craze in Asia to click pictures of their food before eating combined with growing up in a home with many great cooks also sparked my interest in the ‘foodtography’ world.” Her first few experiences included photographing desserts from her mother’s bakery in Bali called @emmasdesserts and posting it on her social media accounts.

Moreover, due to the booming food & beverage industry in Indonesia, there seem to be no shortage of options to experience and blog about. “The F&B industry here is always coming up with new and unique dining concepts for the younger generations to enjoy.”


“Take the newly established Japanese fusion restaurant; Fujin in Senopati, Jakarta, for example, the food, service and ambiance really caters to the younger generation. So it is always great to cover and share these things.” said Maria, who is currently based in Jakarta with her twin.

Thus, voila! Maria intelligently combined her love for both photography and food, which created a page filled with an array of scrumptious, mouth-watering, appetite-teasing treats to share with other food bon vivants! Go ahead and peek through Maria’s Instagram page and I challenge you to not compose your very own foodie bucket-list after sifting through it.

Guilty Pleasures
You know you’re chatting to a gourmand when it requires a separate section to discuss their guilty pleasures. When I asked Maria what exactly is her ultimate cuisine or dish, the puzzled moment she experienced following the question was a comical hint on every foodie’s dilemma to simply just choose one. Evidently, there couldn’t just be one.

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“Generally, I must eat rice everyday, so I absolutely love having it with ayam goreng. Another one is martabak, but these are just Indonesian cuisines. My favorite would also be Thai food, particularly Thai noodles and Thai Iced Tea. Moreover, I enjoy Chinese and Italian food a lot too. Oh, and I can’t forget about my love for burgers and ribs. Phew! That’s a lot,” shared Maria, slightly alleviated from the predicament.

“My guilty pleasure also includes ice cream like Haagen Daaz’s green tea ice cream and chocolate, especially when combined with peanut butter, like Reese’s pieces.”

Her profession presented her with the opportunity to explore the culinary world in numerous countries in Africa, Europe, America, and Asia. However, to Maria, there is no place that can compare to her gastronomic experiences from her hometown.


“Not to be biased, but the city that has provided me with the best culinary experience is Bali! Well, because I got to have my pork and Bali serves the best kind including babi guling, pork ribs, pork sate, babi merah and many more! Bali also serves a lot of other incredible dishes that I absolutely adore.” said the globetrotter.

“Although, someday, I hope to experience authentic Thai food with Thai iced tea and mango sticky rice in Thailand,” she added.

Sticking to her Javanese roots, Maria and her twin both cannot live without drizzling the traditional crispy fried shallots and local sweet soya sauce in most of their Indonesian dishes. So if it ever comes to it, we know what to include in her gift basket, along with some novels and a sketchbook.

IG: @mariarahajeng
Facebook: Maria Rahajeng
Twitter: @mariarahajeng

Written by Divya Pridhnani August 27, 2016.