Special Section – Our Indonesia: Ibu Biko’s Charm (The Foodie Magazine, July 2014)

It would be a shame to not include the more exotic side of the uber-rich Indonesian cuisine in this issue and The Foodie Magazine crews couldn’t get happier than this when they stumbled upon a lady who excels in Gorontalese cuisine from the northern part of Celebes.

Biko Mointi Boekoesoe
Biko Mointi Boekoesoe

The small province of Gorontalo was just inaugurated not more than 15 years ago and used to be known as the western part of Northern Sulawesi province before. With the population of around 1 million people, and it is said that the migrants to Java’s provinces are numbering higher than that, the Gorontalo province’s potentials are relatively unheard of – if compared to its famous neighbors in Sulawesi island.

Thanks to these spirited Gorontalese migrants, the province now receives more coverage in media within the last few years. Not only for its natural tourism spots, Gorontalo becomes known for its culinary potentials as well.

Binthe Biluhuta (Gorontalese corn soup)
Binthe Biluhuta (Gorontalese corn soup)

Quite recently, we encountered Mrs Biko Mointi Boekoesoe, the owner of Talaga Cookery catering service in Jakarta and she’s more than willing to show us the secrets of Gorontalese cuisine through three dishes in this very article.

Initially during her first move to Jakarta decades ago, Mrs Biko had not yet determined herself to learn more of her native cuisine if it wasn’t for her mother.

Bilenthango (Gorontalese spicy fried fish)
Bilenthango (Gorontalese spicy fried fish)

“I decided at one point to continue the legacy of my mother’s”, said Mrs Biko. Currently, she’s busy promoting Gorontalese cuisine in several occasions, while also maintaining her catering service – ranging from mainstream Indonesian dishes, desserts, and of course, her native cuisine.

Curious, we immediately taste her dishes and we were more than happy to put a new entry to our culinary dictionary upon this rare experience. The fish, the eggplants, and the corn soup were particularly interesting and while not included in the recipe here, we also got the privilege to enjoy Gorontalese dessert called TobuU.

Ihutilinanga (Gorontalese fried eggplant with turmeric sauce)
Ihutilinanga (Gorontalese fried eggplant with turmeric sauce)

“Hopefully one day I could open my own restaurant specializing in Gorontalese cuisine, which is currently nonexistent in Jakarta”, Mrs Biko told us of her dreams.

It would be great if one day the Gorontalese cuisine receives the same stature like the already known cuisines such as its neighbors – Manadonese and Makassarese. With Mrs Biko as the pioneer, it is probably only a matter of time.

Special thanks for Omar Niode Foundation and Pantry Magic who supported the photo shoot for this article.

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TALAGA COOKERY
Jalan Kalibata Utara no. 25, RT 11/RW 2, Jakarta – Indonesia
T: +62.21.797.2246

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Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE July 2014 edition

Download it for free here via SCOOP!

Photography by Dennie Benedict

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