Chocolate, All You Can Eat
Dreaming of chocolate? The Pullman Jakarta Indonesia Thamrin CBD has your number.
Around a year ago, Cameron Michael Gardiner arrived as the new executive chef at the Pullman Jakarta Indonesia Thamrin CBD. When he saw Le Chocolat lounge for the first time, he thought that it didn’t have enough chocolate action going on to live up its name, thus spawning his idea for an afternoon chocolate buffet.
The buffet has a lot of different varieties of chocolates on display. I imagine that if I shrank myself, I would enter the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “It is unique here in Jakarta–and I think everybody loves chocolate,” Cameron said.
Born and raised in Canberra, Australia, Cameron said he entered the world of cuisine since he was a troublemaker and rebellious as a kid. “One time, my mom, who owns catering business, was making cheesecake. There were 10 or 15 cheeses in the fridge at that time and my mom told me not to take them. I ended up eating them and got into trouble,” he said, smiling.
“I didn’t like going to school that much. I always got into trouble”, Cameron said. His family suggested that he find a job to siphon off his excess energy. He fell in love with kitchen work. “I love being busy, being under the pressure, the stress. I was lucky that I found what I wanted to do when I was young.
It has been 20 years since he started working in the kitchen, starting as a dishwasher in Canberra, learning a lot from his boss during an apprenticeship as well as by working overseas in Dubai, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and now Indonesia.
Cameron says that chocolate has culinary properties similar to those of eggs, in that it is quite versatile. With chocolate, people have their own preferences. Some people like a dark chocolate, others prefer milk chocolate. This why he created a chocolate buffet with lots of different options. Cameron always makes change every now and then to keep guests surprised.
He has started to work with local manufacturers because Indonesia is a big exporter of chocolate and has many talented artisans. Many products on offer at the Pullman Jakarta are handmade, produced in small batches and have unique flavors and textures that come from from different regions. “I think even the same product from batches to batches is a little bit different,” he says.
Using different kinds of chocolate, Cameron’s created a line up that will satisfy all your cravings, from the mini-Black Forest chocolate with a soft texture, crunchy chocolate madeleines, dark chocolate ganache and much more. All selections are accompanied by a signature chocolate drink or an espresso served in chocolate cup. Cameron makes sure to give each menu a different approach. Some are mixed using fruits, some with truffles, some have different kind of chocolates in one dish. A chocolate heaven indeed.
While Cameron’s creations are varied and colorful, his personal preference is for chocolates that aresimple. “I like a strong and dark chocolate. Just straight from the bar”.
LE CHOCOLAT LOUNGE
Hotel Pullman Thamrin Jakarta
Jalan M.H. Thamrin No. 59, Menteng, Jakarta
T: +6221 31921111