"Yes, my root, my culture, it is never been away from what I am cooking."
Percakapan ini terjadi beberapa tahun ke belakang sebelum dia menikah. Semoga bisa menginspirasi bapak-bapak sekalian. Siapa tahu anaknya kelak bercita-cita menggeluti bidang kuliner.
“Long story, man! You really wanted?” balik dia bertanya ketika saya menanyakan kenapa dia tertarik untuk memasak.
“Sejak kecil I love see kitchen when my Mum is cooking. Of course, behind everthing is my Mum. My mentor, supporter up to now. She probably the best cook at my house. I love to be in the kitchen when my Mum is cooking. Since SD I remember well helping her preparing dinner for family. I remember when I cook my first Indomie at 6 or 7 years of age at that time I forgot the bumbu! Hahaha, it was unforgettable. We always eat at home back then, some of my fave are bistik lidah, nasi goreng, sup konro, rawon, oseng-oseng, and pindang by my Mom.”
Sejak kapan terpikir untuk menggelutinya?
“Sejak dulu, SMA. Was away from home, I always cook when I miss home. And after I got my food technology degree, I got a position as research and development and working at test kitchen, where I got the freedom to create a lot things. My interest always been flavor, combination and ingredients. So instead of going for master degree in food science, I’m going to culinary school,” paparnya.
Memang ada apa dengan dapur?
“I just really love kitchen, that is where I should be in first place. Love working with products, especially when they are so pretty and fresh form the farm. Love the fishes as well, when they are fresh, it is as if I am looking into a rainbow in thei body. Such amazing products.”
“I don’t know somehow I can’t express my happiness in the kitchen with words. It is more than just words. It is what everything should be.”
“Yeah, Just love when everthing is prepared and made fresh and food is not just something that is filling and satisfy. But also, something that can be described as something else. It can bring back memories. It can be something that you never tasted or experiences before. Such flavors that harmoniously popped in your mouth as you enjoying it. It can be as well as a combination of different textures and temperatures. That flows harmoniously in your mouth. That what I love about food and kitchen.”
I got it. What is your favorite childhood dish?
“Can be as humble as martabak telor, gorengan, tahu kopyok telor, sate blora, dan mie jowo! Hahaha.”
Memangnya, wong Jowo?
“Of course, asli Semarang! Dari kecil makanannya warungan terus, hahaha.”
“Josss tenan, mak nyusss!”
Hahaha. Hmm, what do you appreciate most about Indonesia’s food scene?
“Of course the street food. Childhood memories of comfort food is very big in Indonesia. For me, street food is always bring back memories. Having been growing up di Semarang, we love eat out—nangkring—in warungan and it is comfort food but always satisfy the soul and the apetite.”
How about Indonesian heritage culinary?
“Indonesian heritage culinary is quite rich, diverse for me. From the history, a lot of country have been to Indonesia from Portuguese, Spanish, British, Holland, Japan, and some from trading including Arabic, India an so forth China as. Well that has shape diverse culture throughout Indonesia. From Sabang to Merauke, you can find so many food that is very native from the area. Like masakan Padang from Sumatra, rica-rica from Manado, or Balinese style food from Bali. Those the one that is quite popular in daerah. But we also embrace those food from the culture, like martabak that supposedly from India, fried rice and noodle from China, kroket-kastangel-nastar from Holland. That became ou identity of Indonesian food. Dan sudah sangat merakyat.”
Lalu seberapa besar pengaruhnya terhadap karya masakan yang diciptakan?
“Yes, my root, my culture, it is never been away from what I am cooking. Born in Chinese family, with grandma from Holland, but love to eat Jawa food allows me experience a lot of thing.”
Do you read cooking book?
“Reading cooking book? Yes, of course. I have a special library at home with great collection of cook book from classic to modern. I love reading cook book. You can get inspire as well as checking out what chefs are doing in their restaurant.”
How do you want to be remembered?
“As a chef, when my customer is happy eating my food then I am happy. I don’t expect anything from them. I don’t expect to be remembered. I just want to make people happy.”
Which restaurant would you choose to impress someone?
“Maybe restaurant called Tickets in Barcelona. It’s tapas bar and coctail bar. Tidak terlalu formal, cozy, a bit relax. Just great place to get to know someone, hahaha. But it is very hard to get a RSVP. If you don’t have connection from inside probably have to wait for 2 years to get a RSVP!”
What is important in your life?
“God, my family and friends.”
“Ya, keluarga. Sedarah, saudara, maupun orang lain yang sudah dianggap saudara. Modern chef like Redzepi they are brigade system but they treat everybody like a family. It is important for chef to do that. So you don’t wake up everyday because of the fear of the chef, but because you love the food, to be part of the resataurant and the kitchen family. It is one kitchen, one team, and one dream.”
Kalau arti pertemanan itu apa?
“Friends are everthing. We share happiness, sad, and memories”
Your idea of relaxation?
“Go out with friends, and eat! Hahaha.”
Your dream destination?
Sarapan pagi apa?
Tahu atau tempe?
Makanan terenak yang pernah diamakan?
“Noma 2 years old biodynamic carrot. Basically itu seperti heirloom type of carrot that grows in Scandinavia. It is the best carrot I have ever eaten in my whole life.”
What is your greatest regret?
“I wish I can turn back time. I have a lot thing in the past that I should have done better.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Want to be born on Careme time. Want to see hos pieces Montee, hahaha.”
“Iya dong! Hahaha!”
Hahaha! What do you dislike most about your apperance?
“I love to eat, sometimes gain weight become fat. Jadi bulat! Hahaha. Easy to get fat I guess.”
Pelajaran yang didadapat dari profesi ini?
“Hidup itu susah. Masak di kitchen dari pagi sampai pagi, gaji tidak seberapa. Hanya untuk buat makanan 3 stars.”
“I eat everything!”
Kata mutiara dong!
“No weekend for chefs, less sleep everyday!”
“Hahaha!” — (P)