Others may choose expensive restaurants or decadent desserts as their guilty pleasures, but for Michael Whyag – a self-made chef with hotel and restaurant background, it’s all about a simple treat his mom made for him many years ago.

Michael Whyag
Michael Whyag

As somebody who finally realized the joy of cooking not from a young age, Michael Whyag became a student of many cuisines from local to Russian, especially during his hotel days back in Bali. Since making the most of his time with studying has always been his strong suit, his relatively short trip to France was made worthwhile by taking several short courses at Le Cordon Bleu.

As much as he admired how the French pride themselves with details and standardization of the cuisine, he bursts passionately with colorful details when he talks about Indonesian cuisine. Clearly, his love for local cuisine is what that energizes him, especially with current role as general manager and chef for a reputable Indonesian restaurant in a well-known Jakarta shopping mall.

Even though he has studied different cuisines and even the gastronomic aspects that circle around food in general, it all goes back to basics if you ask Chef Michael about his guilty pleasures. We found out that Mike is a big fan of anything related to tofu!

“I have been a picky eater even since I was a kid and my mom decided to cook me mashed tofu for some reason. Since then, it has become a life long love affair with tofu,” he confessed.

That night, he treated himself after a hard day’s work with an easy treat of sauteed tofu and bean sprouts with slices of tomatoes and plenty of chilies. This particular dish itself is a traditional recipe that goes well with warm rice and is something that you can find in many homes and warteg (Indonesian-style diner) across the country.

“So, name anything you can do with tofu and I will surely eat it,” said Mike challengingly. So, despite his demanding daily schedule involving how to manage the restaurant well and his current project to renew the menu, apparently there’s always a time out for a quick bite of his personal indulgence.


Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photos by: Dennie Benedict


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