Skip to content

What Foodies Eat: Jamie Najmi & Nieta Pricillia of Mazaraat Cheese

What Foodies Eat: Jamie Najmi & Nieta Pricillia of Mazaraat Cheese

Auli Cinantya
28 October 2022

SHARE

Local artisan cheese makers Jamie Najmi and Nieta Pricillia share their favorite Indonesian restaurant and their upcoming plan for Mazaraat Artisan Cheese.

SHARE

Mazaraat Cheese presents a selection of local cheeses on par with international quality. Behind this famous local cheese is the husband and wife behind artisan cheese from Yogyakarta, Jamie Najmi and Nieta Pricilia.

Jamie and Nieta’s foray into the cheese business was arguably unplanned. In 2011, the two embarked on a journey to learn about and make their own fermented foods and drinks in their home kitchen.

Until now, Mazaraat has produced around 23 types of cheese: Blue Cheese, Jarlsberg style cheese, Fourme d’Ambert style cheese, Halloumi, Buratta, and many more. Aside from cheese, Mazaraat also offers other dairy goods such as Butter, Ghee, Cajeta (caramelized Goat’s Milk), and many more.

Hi! Can you tell us about yourself, your daily activities, and your role as the owner and founder of Mazaraat Cheese?
We usually start the day by discussing the activities we went through yesterday and what we will do today. Chatting in the morning over a cup of coffee feels meaningful because we feel content with what we can achieve on that day. 

What do you like most about your job?
To be a cheese maker never crossed our minds, but when you are one, you will never want to escape! We love all parts of cheese making. We like the surprises given by our cheese. Each wonder is another chapter to discover, another challenge to conquer, so we keep learning.

What usually attracts you to visit a restaurant?
Stories behind the place. We are always interested in products, places, or people with exciting stories behind them. For Mbak Nieta, the authenticity of taste is one of the keys she always looks for. We sometimes get stuck in an expectation vs. reality situation – where our expectations are very different from reality.

What’s the most unforgettable culinary experience you’ve ever had?
Jamie: Personally, for me, all food is delicious, especially when it involves red meat, hahaha. But during our stay in Turkey, there was a time when Nieta once couldn’t eat until she had a headache. She felt that all the dishes tasted and smelled like mutton! Nieta ended up eating only baklava. On our last day in Turkey, we finally found KFC, but sadly there was no chili sauce. 

Has any of your recent dining establishments made a good impression? 
For the Jogja area, our new favorite place is Mil’s Kitchen, not only because of their delicious food but also because Chef-Owner Mili Hendratno has fascinating stories about his career and business journey.

Do you have a place to hang out with friends or for a special occasion with family
We always love being home! For the past two years, we have always tried to be the host when there are gatherings of friends and family. We like a warm house, we like the noise in the kitchen, and most importantly, we don’t need to dress up when we are at home 😀

Where are your top three places to eat that are always on your favorites list?
It will depend on which city/country. But we always look for local specialties, traditional markets, and other foreign specialties that we have never tried. 

Are there foods you can eat every day without getting bored?
Cheese! And, of course, tempeh. 

Which restaurant is a favorite for Indonesian food destinations?
In Jogja, our favorites are Sri Sasanti Restaurant and D’Kambodja in Semarang.

What combination of cheese or processed cheese do you like the most?
We prefer to enjoy cheese without being cooked; it’s nice to be able to explore the taste and character of the cheese. But we also like cheese dishes, such as pasta, pizza, etc.

Does Mazaraat Cheese have a project that we can anticipate in the future?
We have long hoped to be able to process certified organic milk originating from this archipelago. We hope to realize this in 2023. 

What are your plans for 2023?
Mazaraat will focus on presenting Indonesian milk in the form of natural cheese in ASEAN, which we have pioneered since the end of 2021 in Singapore.

More From Features, Food

Sign-up for our bi-weekly Eatspeditions newsletter.

Food news, restaurant offers and exciting food events straight to your inbox.