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What Foodies Eat: Budi Cahyadi

What Foodies Eat: Budi Cahyadi

Auli Cinantya
21 January 2024

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The co-owner of August Jakarta, shares stories about his recent travels to Hong Kong and the culinary influences of his upbringing.

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Meet Budi Cahyadi, the visionary co-owner of August Jakarta, whose culinary expertise alongside Chef Hans Christian has propelled August into the esteemed ranks of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, earning them the coveted Asia’s One To Watch 2023 Award. 

Hailing from the picturesque island of Lombok, Budi’s journey in the world of hospitality began with a distinguished education at the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland. With a remarkable 12-year tenure within the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, where he held key positions, including Director of Food and Beverage at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, and Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, Budi’s contributions to the industry are nothing short of exceptional. 

Transitioning to the role of Director of Operations at a distinguished food and beverage establishment in Indonesia, alongside Chef Hans, Budi embodies a profound understanding of the industry and an unwavering commitment to crafting extraordinary experiences, making August a captivating gem in the world of hospitality.

Balancing his deep-rooted Asian heritage with nearly 15 years of growing up in Europe, coupled with his extensive industry knowledge, Budi possesses a discerning palate. Drawing inspiration from his recent travels to Hong Kong and the culinary influences of his upbringing, Budi Cahyadi shares with us some chapters of his remarkable culinary journey.

Hi! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your day-to-day activities.
My name is Budi, and I am the co-owner & managing partner of August Jakarta. My daily activities start in the morning when I spend time with my three kids before school. After that, I usually have a quick bite and coffee with my wife, Welly, then browse for news and check my email. When I get into the office, I usually check the reservation and our guest profile for the day and plan and discuss the operations in August with my manager, Gracia, and also Chef Hans. In the evening, I prepare for the pre-service briefing, then lead the service for dinner.

What do you love the most about what you do?
Building human connection, creating happiness, and providing emotional comfort to others. I love to make people happy!

What is your favorite type of cuisine, and what is the food that you love the most?
Personally, Asian cuisine is rooted deeply with me as obviously I grew up in the region. However, living in Europe for almost 15 years, I enjoyed European cuisine too.

Do you have any memorable food trips?
Bangkok Food Trip with the August gank in early 2023. So much fun and so many flavors to explore.

What is the most unforgettable food/drink experience you have had?
Plant Based Tasting Menu at Eleven Madison Park – Another level of plant-based cuisine, tasty and very good and also paired with top-notch hospitality!

Name one of your favorite cities to eat and tell us why.
London! So many choices of restaurants and bars in one city – you can have it all, and it’s always great to be home. #IYKYK

What is your most recent dining destination that left a good impression? 
Yes, I was in New York City in September last year, where I experienced the Plant-based menu of Eleven Madison Park, and at the same time, I also did a stage with the EMP Team. The level of hospitality was exceptional, and to be able to experience it as a guest and also to see the process of how to create the experience during the stage blew my mind away.

Is there any food you can eat every day without getting bored? Do you have any place you frequently go to for it?
I can eat Ayam Taliwang and Plecing Kangkung every day – in fact, I grew up in Lombok with them so it is very close to my heart. Places to go for it? Of course, Rumah Makan Putera Lombok; run by my two brothers Irawan and Chandra. Super blessed that I can eat the food that is very close to my heart whenever I want it.

Where do you usually hang out with friends or go for special occasions with family?
I am more into home gatherings (with great food and booze, of course) when hanging out with friends and family. Otherwise, I go to Carrots for after-work drinks with some colleagues – love their drinks and vibe.

What are your favorite local dishes, and where do you usually go to eat them?
Soto Mie Pak Kadir in Alam Sutera and Bakso Pak Kumis Slipi! Loving it!

Where are your top three dining places always on your favorite list? And which food do you recommend getting at those places?
Too many! It depends on the moods and the occasion.

What are your most memorable food experiences/memories from this year?
I just returned from Hong Kong and managed to experience The Chairman, Yardbird, and drinks at Penicillin Bar and Lockdown (by Agung & Laura Prabowo). Amazing places – Remarkable!

Any upcoming projects we could look forward to
Nothing is set at the moment. Currently, our focus will be on August; progressing and getting better every day.

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