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What Do Chefs Eat?

What Do Chefs Eat?

Yohanes Sandy
16 August 2021

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We asked six chefs from six different Jakarta establishments about their favorite meals. From hawker foods, to midnight snacks, their list might inspire you to stay well fed during the pandemic.

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Matias Ayala, Director of Culinary Experience, Raffles Jakarta

Born and raised in San Lorenzo, Argentina, Chef Matias’ career took off when he started his kitchen work in Buenos Aires when he was 18 years old. 

One of his greatest achievements was when he scored a position at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai as Sous Chef. In October 2017, Chef Matias joined Raffles Jakarta as Executive Chef and fell in love with the city. 

Your favorite home food delivery?
Definitely “Raffles to Go”, especially chef Imam’s new menu!

Your favorite home-cooked meal?
I like to make slow-cooked tomato sauce and then pair it with pasta. My kid loves pasta, too. However, aside from pasta, we sometimes do a nice barbecue meat dinner, Argentinian-style.

Your favorite hawker food in Jakarta?
Bakso

Your favorite midnight snack?
I don’t have one as I seldom snack late at night, but if I do, I would say a fruit platter.

Kai L. Werner, Executive Sous Chef, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski

Chef Kai is a relative newcomer to Jakarta. He joined Hotel Indonesia Kempinski in June 2019, less than a year before the pandemic hit. Chef Kai hails from Germany, and prior to moving to Jakarta, he worked as Head Chef at Kempinski Hotel Xiamen and Chef de Cuisine at Solaire Resort & Casino Manila.

Your favorite meals in Jakarta?
I’ve tried many Indonesian dishes in Jakarta, and among my favorites are: kambing guling, gulai cumi, and bakso. For bakso, I like the one that Signatures Restaurant has, I like the broth that is delicious when it’s piping hot.

Your favorite home food delivery?
I love Indian curries. I usually order it from a few good Indian restaurants in Jakarta.

Your favorite home-cooked meal?
Pasta. I used to make aglio olio with mixed seafood, sometimes I cook lasagna too. When at home, I cook based on feelings. I don’t use exact recipes, but I follow my mood on what ingredients that I want to use at the moment.

Your favorite hawker food in Jakarta?
I like sate ayam, however, I like to have it with the peanut sauce only without sweet soy sauce in it. It’s so delicious. I haven’t tried many hawker-food in Jakarta but one day, when I can venture out more freely, I’d like to explore more.

Your favorite midnight snack?
I like street food, barbecue and ice cream. My favorite ice cream flavors are rum raisin or cookies and cream.

Sean Macdougall, Executive Chef, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place

Having joined The Ritz-Carlton group 21 years ago has afforded Chef Sean to work at various top hotels around the world. In 2007, Chef Sean joined the then pre-opening team of The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place and under his supervision are PA.SO.LA Restaurant & Lounge, located on the sixth floor as well as other dining outlets, of the award winning hotel, which received the Travelers’ Choice Award in 2020 and 2021.

Your favorite meal in Jakarta?
Beef tartare.

Your favorite home food delivery?
PA.SO.LA’s beef rendang and oncom nasi merah.

Your favorite hawker food in Jakarta?
Soto ayam.

Your favorite midnight snack?
Organic pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dry yeast, sea salt, flaxseed oil.

Attila Körmöczi, Chef, InterContinental Jakarta Pondok Indah

Chef Attila originally comes from Wiesbaden, a small yet beautiful city in Germany. His stepping stone to become a professional chef was when he worked as an intern at the kitchen of a five star hotel in Wiesbaden during his teenage years. Since then, Chef Attila has worked at various restaurants and hotels. Last year, he joined InterContinental Jakarta Pondok Indah after spending his time in China and Bali.

Your favorite meals in Jakarta?

I love any kind of soup, but my most favorite is sop buntut and soto ayam. I also like sate kambing and tongseng kambing.

Your favorite home food delivery?

My favorite home delivery food must be pizza due to its simplicity. No matter if you are too lazy to cook, busy renovating or just craving for it, it always never fails. All you need to go along with it is an ice-cold beer.

Your favorite home-cooked meal?

At home we do have a beautiful home built barbecue at the outdoor area and I truly enjoy using it. It is an event and it does feel like a ritual, as it does involve anything from getting and chopping wood, making fire, grilling stuff and having fun with my family and friends. Usually, my dog is never too far either.

Your favorite hawker food in Jakarta?

I had my very first mie goreng ever in Jakarta in 1995 when I was a teenager. I can still remember it to this day, as it was so good. However, there are just so many good foods around for everyone to try that it is hard to choose only one. Good hawker areas are an experience for itself that invites you to explore a wide variety of vendors and tastes. Once you smell the charred coconut shells from afar, how can you just walk by? You just have to go and get your share.

Your favorite midnight snack?

If I get a little hungry late at night, I can’t resist some good cheese, artisan cold cuts of any kind with fresh bread.

Victor Taborda, Executive Chef/Owner, Sudestada Jakarta

Chef Victor’s first cooking experience was when he spent his childhood helping out in his father’s steakhouse in Neuquen, a picturesque town in northern Patagonia.

Later, he spent his teenage years in the kitchen before continuing his studies in a culinary school in Buenos Aires. Prior to moving to Indonesia in 2008, Chef Victor had worked alongside Dani Garcia, a three-Michelin starred chef, and then became an Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Marbella, Spain. In 2019, Chef Victor and his business partners opened Sudestada Jakarta.

Your favorite meal in Jakarta?
My favorite meal is soup. I can’t say no to soup. One of my favorites is soto mie Bogor.

Your favorite home food delivery?
Being an Argentinean chef, I love empanadas as a home food delivery.

Your favorite home-cooked meal?
My favorite home-cooked meal is the milanesa with salad.

Your favorite hawker food in Jakarta?
I like soto mie Bogor and sate ayam.

Your favorite midnight snack?
My favorite midnight snack is a picada. It includes a bit of cheese, any cold cut, some leftover food from the lunch, toast bread, crackers or grisins.

Marco Violano, Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta

Chef Marco believes that the true Italian spirit is in feeding people well. So, he takes the cooking of Italian food very seriously. Born in Puglia, Italy, his culinary inspirations began at home with his mother.

Chef Marco has more than two decades of experience under his belt. Before joining Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, he worked at various five-star and luxury hotels such as Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur, and many more.

Your favorite meals in Jakarta?
Sate lilit, ayam bakar, telur balado, nasi goreng, ayam goreng, bakso and all the sambals! My top items would be rendang and gorengan. I love all the spices combined and I am a true coconut and kaffir lover.

Your favorite home food delivery?
In Italy there is not much culture of food delivery, we could consider picking up and bringing it on your own at home and I would say pizza and Panzerotti are the most common. We do order gelato as well during summer. However, as for my personal choice, I would say pizza.

Your favorite home-cooked meal?
I could have endless dishes from different seasons, but I would say eggplant parmigiana, risotto, carciofi ripieni (stuffed artichokes and green peas), and any type of pasta are some dishes close to my heart.

Your favorite hawker food in Jakarta?
Bakso, gorengan, es cendol and Indonesian sweet drinks.

Your favorite midnight snack? 
For the past three to four years, I have changed drastically my diet into a much more healthy lifestyle, so I hardly nibble in the nighttime. But in my early times, I liked the Italian tradition of spaghettata di mezzanotte or midnight spaghetti.

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