Tag Archives: F&B Professionals

Kami, Indonesia! (Moments, Aug – Sept 2017)

“Wujud cinta dan bangga terhadap tanah air ada bermacam-macam. Empat anak muda ini bercerita.”

So that’s the standfirst from the article about the independence of Indonesia quoted from four “young people” – they say. While I might not be the youngest anymore , I do hope that my statement about the meaning of independence for this country will bring benefit for the readers and especially people in industries like journalism and F&B.

Please feel free to read about what I have to say about it and the magazine which you can download for yourself as well.

Enjoy!


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Moments Living World Edisi 3

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Dapur Solo, More Than Just Tradition (mise en place, Vol 19 – 2017)

It is now only a year to go now until Dapur Solo, a Jakarta-based Javanese cuisine restaurant chain, commemorates its thirtieth year of existence. Like legends of prominent start-up businesses, Dapur Solo actually also started from a home garage, selling only rujak (Indonesian-style salad with spicy dressing) and fruit juices at that time.

The proprietress Mrs Swandani Kumarga began promoting her rujak to people in her neighborhood spreading pamphlets on a bicycle. Gradually, she began introducing traditional Central Javanese cuisine – particularly dishes coming from the city of Solo and Yogyakarta. She’s paying a tribute to her ancestral hometown’s recipes and from there, her business rose to prominence around the area of Sunter in Northern Jakarta.

Many years later, the same passion and perseverance remain. Hardworking and dynamic as always, Mrs Swan keeps herself in touch with many key aspects of the business. “Passion is key in F&B industy as we will not go far without it. You definitely have to know your customers better, recognize the best ingredients, and once you are bigger – quality control is number one”, shares the lady.

Mrs Swan now runs 15 outlets of Dapur Solo on a different scale – including five full-fledged restaurants and her more recent innovations such as the delivery outposts and an homage to traditional Indonesian desserts and snacks shop, branded as Iki Koue and Sowan.

Despite the business started from as far as 1988, Dapur Solo underwent major expansions which only took place just a decade ago. There was a drive behind all these changes and apparently, the reason was undoubtedly poetic.

“It all started with a dream”, says Mrs Swan. It’s a tag line also seen in one corner of her every restaurant. Her visionary goal is to promote Indonesian cuisine on international level and by that, there’s a perpetual need to expand. Even up until now, there’s only a handful of well-standardized Indonesian restaurant chain and mostly are only in Jakarta, with Dapur Solo as one of them. Competition is rather fierce, especially coming from the more experienced Western cuisine chain restaurants and people’s preference with that.

Mrs Swan was quick to open her second outlet on the wealthy Southern Jakarta neighborhood in 2007 and that was only a year after the re-branding campaign. As an avid marketer and quick learner, Mrs Swan knows really well on how to utilize young talents to create the whole new fresh look of her business, playing around with other initiatives such as the successful delivery system known as DS Lunch Box, and more recently – harnessing the power of social media.

Bestik

Even so, Dapur Solo is still pretty much conservative when it comes to bigger expansion plans. “We are expanding only by using our own capital. The thought of franchising the business was intriguing, but we do not want to compromise quality”, she says. She is lamenting the fact that many franchisees nowadays are more profit-minded rather than seriously involving themselves in the business.

Now as her Dapur Solo grows, the role of central kitchen and training center become more important than ever. Learning from all the trials and errors, Mrs Swan has created a unique logistics process – starting with devising right recipes since Indonesian cuisine is difficult to standardize, the division of roles between central kitchen and the outlets, the delivery scheduling, and other minute details.

Serabi

Additionally, Dapur Solo also boasts its value proposition to differentiate what it has to offer against the competition. Two things generally perceived immediately by people in general are that Indonesian food is supposedly cheap and that it can be found easily on the streets rather than at the restaurants. Mrs Swan quickly refute the arguments with several facts of her own.

“Certainly you can always choose cheaper options; but what we have to offer here is hygiene, the quality of water, authentic recipes, air-conditioned restaurants, and service. I have also appointed native greeters as my representative to give that Javanese hospitality, in addition to the Javanese feel that came from the restaurant’s design and the food itself”, she tells us.

Despite her conservative move all this time, Mrs Swan is still faithful with her dream to expand beyond borders, “If the time comes, probably we will need to come up with a smart collaboration plan with investors to open our outlet outside of Jakarta and even abroad”. She prefers to create an open managerial system as a way to keep balance between her family and the shareholders.

Moreover, the government is now more open than ever to promote Indonesian cuisine internationally. With their support, it would be easier for Dapur Solo with its immense experience to tackle issues abroad such as permits, export-import, location, as well as promotion.

Now with her daughter ready to take the rein anytime, it would be interesting to see what happens next. Because even at her age of 56 now, Dapur Solo still continue to surprise everyone here and one day – the most discerned diners abroad.


DAPUR SOLO | www.dapursolo.com


Images by: Dapur Solo

VIDEO: How to Butcher an Entire Cow (via Bon Appetit)

Jason Yang, butcher at Fleishers Craft Butchery, breaks down half a cow into all the cuts you would see at your local butcher shop.

There are four sections Yang moves through:

1. ROUND: bottom round roast beef, eye round roast beef, sirloin tip steak, london broil steak, shank (osso buco)
2. LOIN: sirloin steak, tenderloin steak, flank steak, filet mignon, New York strip steak
3. RIB: skirt steak, ribeye steak
4. CHUCK: brisket, ranch steak, denver steak, chuck steak or roast, flat iron steak


Video credit: Bon Appetit

Here are the Reasons Why You Should Become a Coffee & Tea Aficionado

We are now becoming more enthusiastic than ever with the art of drinking tea and coffee. I personally still find it fascinating to see some who are willing to go any length for the ultimate pleasure. As someone who enjoys both coffee and tea, here are my thoughts on why we should keep up with the trend based on my observation as a foodie and a global citizen.

Coffee is the talk of the town. Single origin batches from certain estates that produce high quality coffee are highly prized. Albeit some coffee shops would argue about the profitability in the long run when dealing only with single origins, it seems that individual drinkers are too enthusiastic to bother about that. It’s always a hype whenever we encounter geisha beans for example at a local coffee shop and certainly it attracts everyone! At the end of the day, a small batch of this rare find would end up somewhere in the hands of a true aficionado.

While coffee is still pretty much the talk of the town, Jakarta is also celebrating more appearances of tea houses as well. A few years ago, they had seen better days but the age of discerned foodies has arrived and revive the business. Foreign brands have been introducing their products here for quite some time to ride on the momentum. Interestingly, Indonesians brace the competition by also presenting tea more properly this time. Aside from familiarizing people with the concept of drinking tea as an art, we are also exposed with literally limitless variants of tea from all over the world.

Nowadays, coffee aficionados would invest their money on hand grinders, expensive espresso machines, or the popular manual brewing gadgets. Not surprisingly, tea lovers would also do the same to achieve that perfect cup. From learning the techniques to collecting different types of tea from different countries; they would also spend more on cups, affordable electric kettles, and up to the rare, decorative tea pots from all over the world!

One important thing to highlight here is certainly not about how expensive our gadgets should be to appreciate the finer things. Even for starters, you can already enjoy so much from the most affordable gadgets you can spend for now. A word of advice, befriend the experts and you will know what to buy first and why.

In addition to that; classes, competitions, and conferences make us feel more connected with the whole industry. We get to know more about the diversity of the products, the experts who set the examples, about the farmers and how we should appreciate their hard work, and many more. Certainly we can always start with the know-how to maximizing its potential fully in our cups.

I suppose at this point, we might want to agree that the colorful world of tea and coffee is not just about its geeky side or how methodical we should be for perfection. There’s always the sunnier side about it and that is about having fun with it, exploring the endless possibilities, and spending the extra dime for the best beans or the gadget of your dream!

Eleven Madison Park Claims Number One Spot at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award

Eleven Madison Park in New York has secured the No.1 spot in the 2017 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This year’s winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

Now in its 15th year, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants welcomes six brand new entries and three re-entries to the 2017 ranking. Showcasing a broad cross-section of cultures and cuisines, it includes restaurants from 22 countries across five continents. France, Spain and the USA each count six restaurants on the list.

In claiming the No.1 position on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Eleven Madison Park earns the dual titles of The World’s Best Restaurant and The Best Restaurant in North America. After debuting on the list at No.50 in 2010, Eleven Madison Park has hovered within the top 10 since 2012, rising to No.3 last year. The restaurant’s co-owners, Will Guidara and Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm, enhance the fine-dining experience with a sense of fun, blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room. Housed in an art deco building overlooking New York’s Madison Park, the restaurant’s multi-course seasonal tasting menu celebrates the city’s rich history and culinary traditions.

Seven restaurants in Asia are included on the 2017 list, with Japan and Thailand each counting two entries.

After claiming the No.1 position for a third consecutive year at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in February, Gaggan in Bangkok rises 16 places to No.7 to claim The Best Restaurant in Asia title. Elsewhere, Singapore’s Restaurant André climbs an impressive 18 places to secure the No.14 spot while Den in Tokyo, the 2016 recipient of the Miele One To Watch Award, arrives on the list at No.45. Asia is also represented by Tokyo’s Narisawa (No.18), Hong Kong’s Amber (No.24), Bangkok’s Nahm (No.28) and Shanghai’s Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (No.41).

Last year’s No.1, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, claims the No.2 position to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Europe. Italy is also represented by familiar favorites Piazza Duomo (No.15) and Le Calandre (No.29) as well as first-time entry Reale, in Castel Di Sangro, debuting on the list at No. 43.

France has doubled its number of restaurants on the list. Among France’s six entries, three rank in the top 20. Mirazur leads at No.4, followed by Arpège (No.12) while Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée makes a dramatic re-entry on the list to land at No.13. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, the restaurant headed by Yannick Alléno, debuts at No.31, earning the coveted Highest New Entry Award. Other Paris-based restaurants Septime (No.35) and L’Astrance (No.46) also move up the ranking, rising 15 and 11 places respectively. Aside from celebrating Septime’s climb up the rankings, the restaurant also claims the Sustainable Restaurant Award.

Spain retains its strong presence on the list with three of its six restaurants landing in the top 10. Former No.1 El Celler de Can Roca leads the contingent at No.3 and is also the 2017 recipient of the The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award in recognition of the restaurant’s warm atmosphere and ever-gracious service. Asador Etxebarri climbs four places to No.6 while Mugaritz in San Sebastian now sits at No.9.

While one New York restaurant takes the No.1 spot, another debuts on the list: Enrique Olvera’s Cosme is a first-time entry at No.40 while his other restaurant, Pujol in Mexico City, rises five places to No.20. Meanwhile, Dan Barber’s progressive restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, rises 37 places to No.11 to earn the Highest Climber Award.

New York-based pastry entrepreneur Dominique Ansel is also honoured this year, claiming the 2017 title of The World’s Best Pastry Chef. Since opening his eponymous SoHo bakery in 2011 and launching the Cronut, his signature croissant-doughnut hybrid, French-born Ansel has extended his global influence to London and Tokyo. This award recognises his relentless creativity, innovation and ability to span the retail and restaurant sectors.

Host country Australia is represented by two restaurants, including one newcomer. Attica in Melbourne (No.32) rises one place to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Australasia, while Brae in regional Victoria enters the ranking for the first time at No.44.

South America boasts five restaurants from across the continent on the list, including the debut of Tegui in Buenos Aires at No.49. Maido in Lima, last year’s winner of the Highest Climber Award, continues its upward trajectory, rising five places to No.8. Chef Virgilio Martínez steals the limelight with two award wins. His restaurant, Central (No.5), in Peru, is named The Best Restaurant in South America, while he is this year’s recipient of the peer-voted Chefs’ Choice Award.

The city of Copenhagen also fares well, with two of the Danish capital’s restaurants recognised. Geranium rises nine places to claim the No.19 position while Relae, the two-time winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award, climbs one place to No.39.

Respected chef Heston Blumenthal has double reason to celebrate. As well as being the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award, his London restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, rises nine places to sit at No.36. The winners’ circle also includes Ana Roš of Hiša Franko, Slovenia, who is named The World’s Best Female Chef 2017.


Credit: Catch On