It was a moment to remember for a lifetime. It was the moment when the world’s most renowned chef Massimo Bottura visits the country and shows his love for food for Jakarta’s most discerned gourmets at Hotel Mulia Senayan last March.
Rumor has it that Massimo Bottura, one of the world’s most critically acclaimed chefs and the proprietor of prestigious three Michelin-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena – Italy, will reach the shores of Jakarta for two-day exclusive dinner services at the five star Hotel Mulia Senayan.
That was last year. After much anticipation, it was finally confirmed that the prodigious chef will cater only limited gourmet diners of the country from March 18-19 in 2016 exclusively at Orient 8.
It becomes a wonderful opportunity for FoodieS to be seated on the front row seats to witness the chef himself, in full spirit, explaining how excited he was to be in Indonesia and sharing his bit about the inspirations behind the success, his magical creations, and his tireless innovation with contemporary cuisine and local ingredients.
For those of you who are already familiar with the chef through Netflix’s Chef’s Table, the episode about Massimo Bottura was everything we want to know about his vision, his struggles, and the rise to prominence with his now twenty one year old restaurant.
Osteria Francescana itself was recently crowned as the number two of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. As depicted in the inspirational episode of the series and true to the story, Massimo Bottura was also accompanied by his beloved wife and muse, Lara Gilmore.
The chef presents a nine course meals for this spectacular opportunity with Indonesian diners, ranging from appetizers like “Come to Italy with Me” or an amuse bouche made of tomato, basil, and mozzarella in a shape of macaron and a unique rendition of Emilia Romagna’s fish and chips in a form of a light and airy cushion. Also surprising us was Chef Bottura’s beautiful lentils with crème fraiche and dill served on a vessel filled with ice and inside a caviar can – branded with the name “Better Than Beluga”.
Furthermore, the chef introduces “Riso-Pizza” or the brilliant interpretation of a chemistry between risotto and a pizza. The baked risotto which was soaked with flavorful milk is ingeniously mixed with a sauce made from Vesuvian tomatoes and served with crusts surrounding the rice. When combined and eaten, it was true to what he promised us – a risotto and a pizza on a single bite!
Heading to the climax, the chef and his benevolent crews teamed up to showcase their artistic skills by creating a colorful painting on a plate. The psychedelic spin-painting of colors red, white, and green made from red beet emulsion, potato puree, and chlorophyll was then topped with a smoky sous-vide veal and given a final touch with Villa Manodori extra old balsamic vinegar and horseradish.
The desserts came in two parts. The first one was the breathtaking rendition of Caesar Salad in a form of lettuce decorated with flower petals, dried chamomile, jasmine, raspberries and some other 20 natural ingredients. It was a different story with every bite of it!
Last but not the least, it’s the turn of Chef Bottura’s iconic “Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart” which was mind blowing in terms of presentation, the story behind it, and as well as the taste.
Three hours has passed and like a fleeting dream, we enjoy every second of the moment with Chef Massimo Bottura at Hotel Mulia Senayan.
Not forgetting to share his support for Indonesian food, his encouraging words are meant for us all to work together as a whole nation – from the government, the farmers, the businesses, the journalists, as well as the people to regain their pride over the country’s rich diversity of ingredients and the cuisines. Hoping that one day, someday soon, we can show the world that we can make it!
Featured in FoodieS Apr 2016 issue and Qubicle:
Photography: Rian Farisa