Wanderlust Küche – A Culinary Dialogue

Nothing connects people from different backgrounds and cultures as much as a pleasurable meal. From Ramadan Iftars in Jakarta to New Year’s Eve in Berlin, food takes the central stage in our social interaction. And not only that: food brings people together and transcends cultural barriers, as the art of dining is a universal language that anyone can understand.

WITH THIS in mind, Goethe-Institut Indonesien brought the food cultures of Germany and Indonesia together in a pop-up restaurant on its beautiful heritage-listed premises in Menteng, Jakarta. On 22 November 2018, Helge Hagemann of Hamburg-based award-winning chefs Werteköche: Chefs with Values and acclaimed chef and food writer
 Petty Elliott create a unique fusion of German and Indonesian cuisine for an exclusive group of invited guests.

Street food, super food, fusion food – the world of eating and drinking
is ever-changing. Never before in the history of cooking and eating has there been such a strong global trend towards “fusion cuisine”, where the best of local culinary heritage is mixed to create delicious new dishes. Indonesia is by no means an exception to this. Here, as elsewhere, the growing gourmet food scene is particularly dominant in the large cities.
It can draw from an extensive culinary history to combine flavors, recipes and ingredients from all over the archipelago and beyond in dishes rich in taste and creativity.

German cuisine, on the other hand, has widely been perceived as Bavarian fare rather than gourmet cuisine: pork knuckle, fried sausage, dumplings with sauerkraut and freshly brewed beer. But is that really all there is in the goodie box “Made in Germany”? While Bavarian pretzels and beer have become an international staple, Germany, in fact, has much more to offer: a rich centuries-old culinary heritage and a stunning variety of regional foods.

Chef Helge Hagemann from the award-winning German team of Werteköche has made it his task to prove to his guests that contemporary German cuisine is much more than even German locals expect.

With an eye for local ingredients, authentic cooking processes and contemporary interpretation of old recipes, the German chef is always up to experimenting with traditional twists and new tastes. On a tour that eventually will take him to five cities in the Asia Pacific region, Helge Hagemann collaborates with local chefs who are equally eager to preserve culinary heritage and invent contemporary recipes drawing inspiration from old knowledge.

In Indonesia, acclaimed self-taught chef and food writer Petty Elliott joined Helge Hagemann in the adventure to learn from each other, discover Indonesia’s and Germany’s diverse food cultures, and engage in an intensive dialogue about dishes, recipes, ingredients, and methods of preparation. Inspired by the rich heritage of their native food cultures, the two chefs present the best of two culinary worlds.

In personal talks with the guests accompanying this special dinner, Helge Hagemann and Petty Elliott reveal their inspiration behind each dish and offered insights into the art of cooking. Together they develop
an unforgettable dining experience in the Culinary Dialogue pop-up restaurant at Goethe-Institut to merge Indonesian and German culinary traditions while creating a unique cross-cultural dialogue that is tangible and fragrant, sensual and edible.

Wanderlust Küche – A Culinary Dialogue is a regional project of the Goethe-Institut in Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. For more information on this project and the other stops of the German Werteköche chefs in the region, please also visit our website.



Jalan Sam Ratulangi 9-15

Jakarta 10350

T: +62 21 23550208


Instagram: @goetheinstitut_indonesien


Written by FoodieS December 27, 2018.