One would immediate consider this guy as a real foodie, as seen from his stature, but you will never realize how adventurous he is until you hear him talking about his extensive experience with Indonesian food.
Meet Arie Parikesit, the young walking dictionary of Indonesian street food.
Knowing Arie for several years now, it’s a bit hard to actually nail him as somebody who specifically specializing on a certain profession. With his Kelana Rasa event organizing company, at times he’d be a hosting for cooking classes or as an organizer for food festivals, but on separate occasion he becomes a tour guide to Southeast Asia’s famous culinary destination cities.
Observing his habits from during the time when he was working with NGOs on remote countryside of Indonesia years ago, Arie admitted that he will spend any free time he had to discover new places to eat and preferably, it should came from something local.
“Back then it was just a hobby, but now it becomes my occupation”, he said smiling ear to ear. Currently he’s busy organizing expeditions to Indonesian cities to document not just the where to eat, but also to meet the people behind the local cuisine and also to seek for the local wisdom alongside the cultural aspect related to it.
“Six teams are divided all over Indonesia, we’re set to finish within a few months. The aim is to compile this extensive information about the food scene from 100 cities all over Indonesia into books”, he said. That might be one of the most ambitious project far related with culinary, but with his adept skills on organizing, Arie has all the reason to be confident about it.
“As the continuance for Indonesia’s 30 Culinary Icons which was finalized last year by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, through this initiative I hope that we can develop the sense of belonging from the local guides and further promote their cities as culinary destination which will ultimately boost the tourism of Indonesia”, Arie further explained the motives behind this expedition.
Despite his seemingly never ending city hopping all around the year, Arie will definitely find the time to relax and unwind whenever he’s at home. “I usually exercise and experiment on making juices or smoothies back home. My favorite recipe comes from the mixture of horenso spinach, melon, and squeezed Pontianak orange. No sugar or ice added”, confessed Arie.
Of course we could not let Arie go without telling us his favorite local food in Indonesia and without any hesitation he answered, “The genuine nasi liwet from Solo. I will never skip having it whenever I’m there. There was this one time when my schedule was so tight and I couldn’t stop even just for a moment to eat nasi liwet. I can still feel the regret.”
“My second best goes for pallubasa from Makassar. It’s undeniably so good and a must-try when you’re there”, he continues.
However when it comes to his favorite cities, he chose somewhere else aside from Makassar and Solo.
“Bangkok is definitely the best for street food as commoners, executives, and tourists would never mind to eat at street pushcarts thanks to the excellent tourism development and the enforced hygiene standard from the government. Locally, I’d choose Semarang as my favorite destination. It has interesting options to eat and currently a bit underrated if compared to Bandung or Yogyakarta”, said Arie in full spirit.
Get in touch with Arie Parikesit at Twitter: @arieparikesit
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE July 2014 edition
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Photography: Arie Parikesit’s personal collection