Hotelier Indonesia



Botanica Interview

1. What drove you to become a chef and what keeps on motivating you?

I have always loved cooking - my earliest memories are of me sitting on the kitchen bench watching my mum bake Anzac biscuits and creating the most amazing pavlovas.

I started working in kitchens when I was 17 years old and since then I have worked for some of the best chefs in Australia. In fact, my first job was working for George Colombaris (from Australian Masterchef) at his famed Press Club restaurant. From there I moved to Circa at the Prince Hotel (another award-winning restaurant) and then Geoff LIndsay, a chef famed for his modern Australian cuisine. I am continually motivated to learn and experience as much as possible to make myself the best chef that I can possibly be.

2. Where did you get your inspiration from when creating dishes?

For Botanica my inspiration comes from the amazing country of Indonesia. I like to use only the best, ethically sourced, local ingredients and present them in a fresh, contemporary manner. I look to the sea, the land and the garden for inspiration - Bedugal for fresh vegetables, Lombok and Flores for oysters and seafood, and Java for the best beef, lamb and goat and cheese.

3. How do you like working in Indonesia so far? Is there any particular reason on why you move to Indonesia?

Im currently six months in and I love it. I have travelled to Bali many times in the past so to work here has always been on my bucket list!. I love the Balinese (and Indonesian) people and I am so inspired by the rich culture and diversity of landscape, lifestyle and the food. There’s a great crew of Australian chefs here and a really strong sense of food appreciation.

4. What is your favorite food? Any favorite Indonesian food?

Bali offers unique street food that is rich, aromatic and down right delicious. Babi Guling (bbq suckling pig) is the king, which sees a whole suckling pig is slow-roasted in an outdoor oven for up to12 hours. It is seasoned with Genep (a mixture of turmeric, galangal, coriander seed, garlic and other local spices. Traditionally it’s served with rice and sambal during Hindu ceremonies and celebrations. Other favourites here include Lawar - vegetables coconut and minced meat mixed with riches herbs and spices.

I love stepping out on the street and trying the local vendors as well as any Warung that pops up in my neighbourhood.

5. What is your biggest challenge so far?

I like to take things in my stride, so I am really enjoying being here. The challenges are quite simple things like finding out where to buy certain foods, how to navigate the traffic and the police. There are a few language challenges but I'm learning very quickly kitchen Bahasa Indonesian.

6. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Any big plan?

I hope to still be in Indonesia or South East Asia. I would love to bring Botanica to Jakarta down the track but for now I want to continue to work on the Botanica brand with the Vin+ team

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Hotelierindo

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