After the tahu and tempe on our previous issues, it’s time for this chef to introduce us to an infamously good treat that he and millions of other Indonesians love.
Despite being exposed on a daily basis to the finest of ingredients, the most complex of recipes, the latest information on global culinary trends, and even teaming up with star chefs throughout their careers, some chefs apparently still indulge in no-fuss meals at the end of the day. They don’t even cook anything fancy back home but some prefer to make something simple like this one and some other prefer to have it at their favorite spots.
Let us meet Chef Philip Walasary, the Mandarin Oriental Jakarta’s Banquet Chef de Cuisine, who has in the last decade, been working around the globe in many exciting kitchens. “Working at five-star hotels have always given color to my career, but additionally I had a great time working for several interesting clients”, he said.
Yes, Philip used to work as the head chef for the US ambassador for Indonesia when he was still 23 and not just that, several years later he traveled around Europe as a private chef accompanying an important client. I asked him the real highlight among all of the experience he got aside from this and he admitted that it was actually an incidental thing that happened when he was still working with The Mulia.
“After a VIP wedding party, I decided to stay longer back at the kitchen to sort things out. Much to my surprise, three unexpected guests arrived and asked me personally to serve them a quick fix of dinner. They were David Foster alongside Ruben and Nicole!” said Philip. Being a flexible chef, he decided to serve them with nasi goreng kampong with sambal terasi and they loved. “Even Nicole was asking for her second!” said Philip laughing wholeheartedly.
Speaking of which, the place where we met to interview was actually at the Indonesian traditional coffee shop or the one where people would ask for not just the coffee, but also the grilled banana, toast, and also the instant noodles. The latter, apparently, has always been the chef’s favorite and he often comes here after work for this treat.
“Usually I have two packs of soto-flavored instant noodles all at once and top it with two soft-boiled eggs and corned beef!” exclaimed the chef honestly. “After all the hard work, I consider this my special treat to end the day”, he continues while sipping the soup and digging in with the noodles.
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE June 2014 edition
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Photos by: Dennie Benedict