All posts by Rian Farisa

Rian Farisa stars himself in a flick about how a culinary correspondent living a life full of adventures as if he will live forever. At the end of the day, he lives to retell the chronicles of his swashbuckling daring gastronomic adventures like a bard singing his tales of beautiful faraway lands. Since gastronomy consists of complex aspects and that is where his passion lies, he decided to unravel how businessmen, hawkers and luxurious restaurants alike, serve their dishes for the patrons. Whether they only serve for the advantages in taste or only the surroundings or whether they really throw anything for the sake of customer's satisfaction, he shall be solely the only one who can tell and in the name of this noble profession, justice shall be done!

What Chef Eats: Yusuf Yaran (The Foodie Magazine, Jan 2015)

“My family always knew that I will become a chef one day”, says Chef Yusuf Yaran and here’s the story as he savors his favorite meal in a Chinese restaurant!

Yusuf Yaran 5

Between a rank of chefs within one kitchen realm of a hotel or restaurant, there will always be someone who gets to be the bubbly chef among all. At Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta, that role belongs to this Turkish chef.

Being the hotel’s Executive Sous Chef, Yusuf has many things to be proud of. He is apparently the tenth generation of a long ancestry line of chefs from Bolu Mengen, a small town nearby Istanbul designated as the capital of chefs during the height of Ottoman Empire.

“During the Ottoman period, The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul entrusted the role of royal chefs for the best from Bolu Mengen. My family preserves that heritage and that’s why I knew that I was destined to become a chef”, says Yusuf.

Excelled in Turkish cuisine, Chef Yusuf embarked on an international spell to further hone his skills and tutored under many famous chefs in France. He then joined the Shangri-La Hotel group and enjoys the past several years in the Far East; including China, The Philippines and now Indonesia.

“My tenure with Pudong Shangri-La brought me to know this amazing creation, xiao long bao. I was simply impressed with how delicate it is and that it requires a lot of cooking skill to make it perfect. I fell in love with it since then”, reminisces the chef.

“On my recent visit to Turkey, I decided to make xiao long bao for my family dinner and instead, I used lamb for it. Everybody loved it back home!” he says while getting his chopsticks ready for his third dumpling.


Chef Yusuf Yaran has just recently assigned to Shangri-La Kinabalu in Malaysia. Check out his actions there if you happen to visit the resort!


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Jan 2015 edition

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The Opening of Hujan Locale, Ubud – Bali (The Foodie Magazine, Jan 2015)

The celebrity Street Food Chef Will Meyrick embarks on a new journey to please the locavores with his latest venture, Hujan Locale.

Known with his fast pace, urban restaurants – Mama San and Sarong at Seminyak, Will Meyrick, alongside his partners-in-crime Chefs Palm Amatawet, Tim Bartholomew, and Stuart Marsden, decided to utilize the best from local ingredients, sourced from local farmers, and to foster stronger relationship with their surrounding community with the unveiling of Hujan Locale.

After several years of developing great teamwork with local farmers by making the most of their produce in his restaurants, Will Meyrick wanted also to honor the amicable relationship by devising something in contrast with both his previous renowned restaurants.

With Hujan Locale, Will Meyrick returns to his roots again by creating something smaller in scale and opted the slow cook food as the main theme. By that, Hujan will also focus the essentials in its cuisine with the “found and foraged” philosophy. The name itself, Hujan (or “rain” in Bahasa), was chosen to represent the belief that rain brings good fortune, harvest, and prosperity.

With a twist on traditional Indonesian food, Hujan serves a combination of style found in the backstreet kitchens of Southeast Asia focusing on slow grassroots cooking. By incorporating Will’s Scottish background and his love for Asian cuisine, expect a creative rendezvous between East and West. Additionally, everything will focus on seasonality and provenance with the ingredients.

The Hujan Locale concept is to keep dishes simple, fresh and consistently created with anything found in the house. The kitchen garden and farm will provide the vast majority of Hujan’s pantry and inspirations that will assemble the plate.

The space will casually reflect a cool tropical and rural setting and an old Asian charm with tropical freshness thrown in. Provincial but slightly urbanized, Hujan’s façade has been stripped back to reveal a softened concrete color with the beautiful wooden shutters as the reminiscent of colonial mansion during the old French Indochina times.

Upstairs, dining room is beautifully lit by milky glass vintage lighting and becomes an ideal setting to watch the passing monsoon. The bar filled with amber glasses and made from reclaimed teak is tucked also upstairs and equipped with leather bar stools to add the warmth alongside the herbs and citrus in glass jars that adorn the bar.

With all of these, pretty much soon the Hujan Locale will be the next big thing for you to try in Ubud, Bali.


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE December 2014 edition

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Halal TGA: Tracing the foods of the early Islamic world (via Hurriyet Daily News)

The holder of the ‘Nobel Prize of cookbooks’ for his book ‘Seljuk Cuisine,’ Muhammed Ömür Akkor has finished his long-term research book offering recipes from regions populated by Islamic cultures during the 7th-12th centuries

Photos of plates from the Muslim world between the 7th and 12th centuries are included in Muhammed Ömür Akkor’s new book.

Turkish researcher and writer Muhammed Ömür Akkor, whose book “Seljuk Cuisine” was recently selected as one of the best food books in the Gourmand Cookbook Awards, considered the “Nobel Prize of cookbooks,” has completed his research titled “Islamic Cuisine Culture and Foods in the 7th Century and After.”

Akkor said he had worked on the history of food for many years, beginning with Anatolian food cultures and continuing to the Ottoman and Seljuk eras. So far, his book has been translated into three languages.

He said that while working on the Seljuk period, he came across resources on the cuisine of the Abbasid caliphate era and became increasingly interested in the gastronomic culture of the Islamic world from the 7th-12th centuries.

The book, which Akkor wrote over the course of five years, is set to be published in 50 different countries in May. It will be appearing in seven languages – Turkish, English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic – and perhaps Indonesian at a later date.

Not food recipes

Akkor said the book was not a collection of food recipes – but rather a sociological/anthropological study of food’s role in Turkish and Arabic cultures of the time – especially for special events such as weddings, funerals, and religious holidays.

Nevertheless, the book also includes a number of recipes from the eras studied.

“The book offers 40 recipes identified from various hadiths [sayings of the Prophet Muhammad] as well as 40 other foods that have been revised. The book has 80 recipes in total,” Akkor said.

The book also contains information about the rules of hygiene and the importance of diet for Muslims in the eras.

“This is a very important detail. Both Muslims and Turks used to eat twice a day. We see that eating two times a day is very healthy, as well as fasting in the month of Ramadan. It is both a diet and a way to care for the body at the same time,” he said.
HDNDifference between raw and industrial foods

Akkor said the book also explores the difference between raw foods and industrial foods.

“We can see clearly in the book the health difference of both foods. We need to choose what we eat. We have eaten the same things for the 10,000 years, but it has changed over the last 50 years. This research shows us the healthy foods we have been eating for 10,000 years,” he said.

The author also noted that plates were a very important aspect of cuisine culture at the time, and he prepared a collection of 70 plates from the region between the 7th and 12th centuries – photos of which are included in the book.

Tile masters İbrahim Kuşlu and Aysel Tuna worked with Akkor on the book and the plate collection will be on display at the book’s promotional locations.


Source: Hurriyet Daily News

Fun Food Facts #3

Fun Food Facts #3:

In this era of gym freaks, we all know that we want to reduce our fat or carbs to get that ideal shape like the advertisers want you to be. For the latter, we often mention about it when we eat too much rice, noodles, or popcorns. But do we really know what carbs is?

Let’s find out again together here with some of facts as provided by Science Kids!

  • Carbohydrates are chemical compounds that are made up of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.

  • Carbohydrates can be divided into 4 chemical groupings; monosaccharides and disaccharides (simple carbohydrates often referred to as sugars), as well as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates).

  • Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy (calories) and are a key fuel source for exercise and sport.

  • Carbs are easily digested and are broken down into glucose, which the body then uses to do its various tasks. Protein and fat on the other hand, are more difficult energy sources to digest and are needed to build tissues and cells in the body.

  • Carbohydrates are where most of our daily energy intake should come from, but our bodies have a limit. Too many carbs and the body will covert the extra to fat.

  • Most food items we consume contain carbohydrates. All fruit and vegetables, all breads, grains and cereal products are carbohydrates as well as sugars and sugary foods.

  • Some foods have more carbohydrates in them than others, pasta, bread, rice, milk,potatoes, baked goods, fruits, vegetables, cereals, and popcorn are all high in carbohydrates.

  • It is possible for humans to live healthy lives while eating very low levels of carbohydrates, because our bodies can convert proteins into carbohydrates.

Foodie Quotes #17

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.”
- Jim Davis