In Meat, We Trust

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Andrea Peresthu, the mastermind behind Javanegra and Àtico, believes in the honesty of food. Claiming to be a big meat eater, Andrea took us on a journey of under-standing the philosophy of meat.

Andrea Peresthu has been known for many trades: architect, researcher, professor, urban and regional planner, coffee expert and cook. These days though, he is more known for his culinary creations. Born and raised in Jambi, Sumatra, to Manado and Palembang Andrea said he was most influenced by the party culture he was exposed when he was kid.

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“I’ve loved cooking since I was seven. I live in a very small province, Jambi. But our family is very gourmand. I come from a Manado and Palembang family so always there’s always parties and eating.”

Andrea went to Spain for his higher education study. During his time in Spain, he went to lots of parties held by local friends and his passion for cooking grew even bigger. He not only learned to cook Spanish food, but also learned the idea and philosophy behind the food.

Finding himself not fond of cars or motorcycles, Andrea spent his money on pans, cooking utensils, and learning more about 400 restaurants all over the world, starred and non-starred, gourmet restaurants, and even restaurants in prostitution areas. “I actually found some of the better food in restaurants around the red light district.“

His culinary journey led him to  Jaume “Santi” Santamaria i Puig, the prominent avant-garde Spanish Catalan chef.

“He inspired me. He was a geologist turned chef. He loves pigs and cooking. I asked Santi why he served pork because normally in Michelin starred restaurants the most they will served is boar. He told me, ‘Andrea, I cannot separate pork from Spanish cuisine.’ That was the moment I learned a lot about the honesty of food. I like to understand the anthropology behind a food because I was trained as an academic as a researcher, and I want to know the knowledge behind the food.”

Strong Spanish influences, the experience of traveling all over the world and his friendship with Santi made him a big meat eater. These experiences are primal for Andrea. Humans, meat and the honesty of it. When asked about his favorite meat, Andrea said Spanish meat was still his favorite.

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He has traveled all over the world especially to places where the meat culture is very strong such as Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. For him the best meat comes from indigenous Corsican cows known as “tiger cows” because of their striped coats and Rubia Gallega, a breed of cattle native to Galicia in northwestern Spain.

His culinary credo is translated into his two restaurants: Javanegra and Àtico by Javanegra. The meat and food served are straightforward. He emphasized that he never cooks something he doesn’t like.

“I want to make my restaurant like warung soto or warung bakmi. People aren’t coming here every day, some of course yes, but they will come every week.”

At Javanegra and Àtico, Andrea serves variants of Spanish mixed with Argentinian beef. Sometimes, he also combines them with wagyu. Each meat is treated with great respect using only the best ingredients.

 

ÀTICO BY JAVANEGRA
Rooftop 4th Floor, Menara BTPN, Lingkar Mega Kuningan
Jalan Dr. Ide Anak Agung Gede Agung Kav 5.5 – 5.6,  Jakarta
T: +62 21 2295 8194
Facebook: aticobyjavanegra


Written by Tatu Hutami Photographs by Dennie Ramon March 14, 2017.

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