It's been a long time in the planning! Publisher and author Joan Peterson teamed up with chef and culinary expert William Wongso to take a group to get to the heart of Indonesian culture through an exploration of her tantalizing cuisine. Nine ladies from around the globe met us in Jakarta on August 4 and thus began our tasting adventure on the islands of Java and Bali.
Those of us that flew on the same flight from LA were picked up by William Wongso, our co-leader for the tour. We stopped at Paradise Dynasty to sample their xiao long bao, and other delights. It was the perfect place to unwind and regroup after the long journey. After our early dinner we drove to the hotel to rest and get adjusted to the 12 hour time difference.
August 5 - Jakarta
Day 1 of our tour. This morning we met the rest of the group that took different flights and arrived at different times. We enjoyed our breakfast at the hotel, relaxed and were introduced to our co-host Astrid Enricka before heading out for lunch at Soto Pak Sadi.
After lunch we stopped for coffee before heading to JAVARA Indonesian Spices. Inspired by Indonesia’s food biodiversity, indigenous wisdom and spiritualism, JAVARA was founded by Helianti Hilman in 2008. JAVARA works across agricultural value chains from production to distribution in order to preserve such biodiversity and bring community-based, organic products to broader markets. We are proudly investing our time to scout, discover and relive the forgotten food biodiversity and traditional techniques as well as the old recipes. Working with over 50,000 farmers and 2000 food artisans, selling over 600 premium artisan food products, JAVARA is currently known as the leading social enterprise in Indonesia that works with a vast range of biodiverse community-based organic food products using ethical principles.
We stopped at MM Juice for an afternoon treat. We sampled durian juice, avocado juice and broken coconut juice and since it is a culinary tour, tried fried banana with cheese and banana cakes steamed in banana leaves.
After a little rest and relaxation at the hotel we headed out for our 17-course dinner at Namaaz Dining. Namaaz is the first molecular gastronomy restaurant in Indonesia which serves Indonesian food as its signature dishes. Chef Andrian Ishak uses scientific techniques to produce both playful variations on traditional dishes and wacky new food pairing. Inspired by a multitude of art disciplines including music and painting, he considers himself as a craftsman that expresses his creativity through food.