As one of the pioneers of the Jakarta fine plated dessert scene, Grace Dharmawan, is always excited to explore and experiment with ingredients and techniques.
WITH CONSISTENCY and determination, Grace has been making waves in the local culinary scene through her Salz Zucker project, a pop-up conceptual plated dessert bar that has been making the rounds in Jakarta since early this year.
As stated in the project’s name, salt and sugar, Grace aspires to offer a balance between sweet and savory—something that may not be a familiar concept in dessert to the general public’s palate—by playing with unconventional dessert ingredients and ideas.
Following the pop up bar concept, Grace has become more confident in planting her feet deeper in the Jakarta food scene after deciding to make the busy capital as a new home following almost a decade of working in kitchens around the world.
“The Indonesian dessert scene is moving in a very good way. There are a lot of passionate people doing and appreciating plated desserts,” she said.
With her husband, Ivan Wibowo, Grace is preparing to launch her own brand of dessert products, including an exclusive line of bespoke ice cream, next year.
“I create exclusive high-end ice-cream flavors. I already provide Roasted Rice ice cream for French fine-dining restaurant Emilie. Of course, I will also provide less exclusive, mid-range and basic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, black sesame and avocado.”
Grace is very excited to be offered an opportunity to work with Elle & Vire Professionnel® “Sublime Cream with Mascarpone”.
“On my first encounter, I immediately tested the ingredient in basic treatment. I tried to whip it and I also tried to heat it. Surprising, it turned out very well. It’s easily whipped and hold itself very well,” Grace testified.
From that initial encounter, Grace was inspired to create Cream Cheese Parfait with Macerated Morello Cherries.
“The cherries were macerated in a red wine glaze, black pepper and thyme; there’s also pistachio crumble and milk chocolate ice cream. It’s a very Salz Zucker dish, playing with savory and sweet flavors.”
Grace explained that the dish was very fruity and colorful, highlighting the striking red hue of cherry above the cream cheese and the green pistachio. “Cherry works well with black pepper and thyme. All I need to do is adjust the sweetness level for a dessert dish,” she said.
Grace is excitedly looking forward to creating her ice creams with “Sublime Cream with Mascarpone”.
Grace started her career in the kitchen after studying hospitality management in Switzerland. After starting with pop-up dessert bar events in early 2016, she is now preparing to launch her own dessert product brand.
Howard Chandra aspires to be at the forefront of Indonesia’s food & beverages and lifestyle industries, paving the way through his H&CO Group which now oversees the management and operations for Howey Patissier, Gourmand & H&CO Event.
BORN AND RAISED in Indonesia to a family of restaurateurs in Medan, North Sumatra, Howard’s passion for the culinary arts was ignited at a tender age.
“In our family, we have the tradition of having an annual reunion dinner before the Chinese New Year. My mom would cook a festive table and I would always volunteer to set all the cutlery and plates in fine dining style. While waiting for the food to get ready, I would snatch some Chinese New Year cookies and sample the cakes. It is still the most anticipated time of the year,” Howard reminisced.
Upon high school graduation, quipped with his rich imagination, big aspirations and two large suitcases, he left the country to hone his craft at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, finishing top of class in 2011.
Howard then traveled throughout Australia, Asia and Europe absorbing valuable insights in architecture and food—two things he wanted to cultivate in his hometown. Inspired, he returned home, rolled up his sleeves, put on his apron and got to work.
The year 2012 saw the humble beginnings of a little corner shop on Jalan Babura Lama named HOWEY Patissier, offering freshly baked high quality French pastry. In just three years, the patisserie has become a household name in the industry. This has also launched Howard into the limelight as a recognized and celebrated pastry connoisseur.
He listed classic pastries like mille feuille or a buttery croissant among his all time favorite pastries. “I fall for classic flavors like chocolate, nuts or vanilla with a twist. I love not having too many flavors in one piece.”
Working with Elle & Vire Professionnel® “Sublime Cream with Mascarpone”, Howard created Pyrmont, a pistachio tart with vanilla sponge and pistachio white chocolate cremeux, finished with whipped maple mascarpone cream. “I fell in love with pistachio when I tasted pistachio baklava during a trip to Turkey. The nutty flavor of pistachio pairs really well with the creamy mascarpone and I like the light texture of sponge inside the tart for the light mouthfeel,” he explained.
Howard said that he used “Sublime Cream with Mascarpone” in the pistachio cremeux for a richer taste, and whipping it for light texture and flavor of mascarpone.
After graduating top of class from Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Howard set up a little shop offering freshly baked high quality French pastries in Medan, North Sumatra. To date, he has developed creative campaigns and six distinctive brands under his H&CO group.
Ivan Wibowo, who with Fernando Sindu co-founded the exquisite private fine-dining G48 (Good For Eats), Umabo and Benedict, is all about exploring and experimenting with flavors and ingredients
IVAN HAS HAD both feet between two worlds, the world of science and the realm of culinary. He studied food science and technology at Iowa State University in the U.S. and had a stint working as food lab researcher.
But his passion to create food, nurtured by his time helping his mother and grandmother in the kitchen growing up, was hard to contain. He then went to study at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he later met Fernando.
After graduating, Ivan looked for professional experience, working as a station chef in gourmet restaurants in New York and Sydney, and also having the opportunity to stage for Copenhagen’s famous Noma, the two-Michelin-star restaurant known for combining Nordic cuisine with molecular gastronomy.
G48 started when upon his return to Jakarta, he was asked to set up a private fine-dining event. He sought help from Fernando and from that moment they have been co-creators.
Ivan said that he was always excited on working for G48. “I have more opportunity working with plated desserts. I have more freedom to explore and experiment.”
He is more than hyped to work with Elle & Vire Professionnel® “Sublime Cream with Mascarpone”. “This mixture is liquid, easy to work and ready-to-whip, remarkably reliable, offering rich and creamy texture for indulgent chantilly creams, as well as for creating perfectly precise decoration.”
Sublime Cream with Mascarpone has high tolerance to freezing and defrosting; it is also able to exceptionally keep its shape for 48 hours at 4 °C. The mixture opens up endless possibilities: chantilly creams, reinterpreted pastry creams, panna cotta mousse, intense ganache, piping decoration; the list goes on and on.
With the excellent ingredient, Ivan created Playful Tiramisu, which has the look of a jar of tiramisu accidentally dropped to the ground. “It’s my take on the classic dish. It’s tiramisu in a jar, beautifully plated with coffee, mascarpone, lady finger, and dehydrated sponge cake. I used coffee and cacao for the soil,” he explained.
“Sublime is very versatile. I have a lot of productive time working with the ingredient. With Sublime, it’s not hard to come with wonderful desserts.”
Ivan is one half of the duo behind private fine-dining catering G48 (Good For Eats), gourmet fast food joint with an Asian flair, Umabo and breakfast dish-themed gourmet restaurant, Benedict.