Forty years of experience working in many kitchens across the world and covering the roles as executive chef, restaurant owner, and spearheading the R&D about food are what that drew us to know more about Antoine Audran and what he really likes to eat here in Indonesia.
With a mixture of fluent Bahasa and English as well as his big stature, Chef Antoine Audran is easily recognized. Twenty years of living in Indonesia has brought him to get along very easily with the people anywhere and that’s what I saw when he greeted many fellow business owners inside Pasar Santa.
Quite recently he rented two kiosks and providing a good space for her wife to start her simple pasta business. “Whenever I’m here in Jakarta experimenting with produce that we got from the countryside, I will always be around here to drop by at my wife’s café and grazing around for good stuff around Pasar Santa”, says the chef who proudly admits that he can have his lunch three times when he’s with the right crowd.
You can say that Chef Antoine Audran is my personal hero on French food. Years ago, I was very fortunate to enjoy French dishes that he cooked personally at his former restaurant – Java Bleu. I never thought that real French food ultimately does not always require finesse with presentation, but it’s also like us here in Indonesian – the food has to be good and fulfilling!
Clearly, years of working with five-star establishments gave him clear understanding that eventually most people wanted their food to look more than a feast for the eyes.
Working in both France and England didn’t stop young Antoine to travel around the globe and heading to the unknown parts of the world during the era of dictators sometime around 30 years ago. “Not only in hot kitchens, I started early also to learn about managerial when I was assigned as the head chef to supervise airline meals owned by Air France back in Africa”, he says.
A few years later, Chef Antoine moved to Le Meridien Baghdad nearby the presidential palace where he often catered high ranking officials including Saddam Hussein himself. “Iraq was a beautiful country and I love the people so much. The food was unique and I was lucky to experience Iraq when it was still peaceful”, the chef reminisces.
Finally he set foot in Indonesia after a few years spell in Thailand and has done so many things from opening up his own restaurant and now in a food R&D business specializing with local produce. That’s also why we asked him to take us to his favorite local haunt for Indonesian food.
“I always enjoy the original Sate Padang Ajo Ramon here in Pasar Santa. We are lucky that it is not too crowded today!” he says while ordering a plate full of sate campur with rice cakes.
Well, there’s a reason why that he brought us there in the first place before off we went on to scour the lively Pasar Santa, grazing around what it has to offer, and of course, talking about food!
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE December 2014 edition
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