The Bon Vivant
A group of close family and friends gather to celebrate Maria Lukito through the delicacies she loved thanks to Amuz’s Chef Gilles Marx. Edith Emeralda writes 158
link! eight flutes met in cheer to the good memories of the late Maria Lukito, as clear and daring as the Krug Rosé itself. More remarks and banter resonated in the warm wood-panelled room as the group settled white napkins on laps and the dinner in memory of Ibu Maria started. The door opened and a very unique perfume wafted in the air filling the room with particles too particular for one’s memory.
“October to November is the short season for white truffles,” Chef Gilles Marx said. “This first batch had just been hand carried to Amuz directly from Alba in Italy’s north.” As one of Maria’s favourite ingredients, truffle was the star that night starting from delicate shavings atop creamy chestnut soup to amuse the palate. Caviar was another, simply served on a bed of ice with fresh blinis, chopped herbs and other traditional accompaniments.
Angel hair pasta, a favourite of hers and other diners at Amuz, came next, moistened to a beautiful glisten with truffle cream
sauce. The butler also returned with the unmistakable square-shaped tool to carefully shave more white truffles on top. Still lingering on the tastebuds after a few sparing bites, the fungi’s intense, though delicate, flavour returned yet with a more delectable pairing.
Soft, white and juicy Canadian lobster brought to a slight charred-sweetness from pan roasting arrived on the table with savoury spring vegetable ragout. Eager forks and knives waited with palpable delight as the white truffle arrived in its full glory to crown the fresh crustacean in flavours unmistakably rich and rewarding. Alas, this was the last course featuring Italy’s prized fungi before the dinner took a route closer to home.
One of the choicest cuts Maria loved was sirloin from Japan’s wagyu raised in the greens of Miyazaki prefecture. Simply grilled to a pink perfection before being thinly sliced to showcase the intricately dense marbling, the wagyu and a few drops of chimichurri sauce intermingling with its juice completed the heavenly experience.
Stories flowed generously and the Châteauneuf-du-pape swilled gracefully around the table when Chef Gilles’s new Amuz signature dish arrived to delight the diners. Whimsy in mushroom shapes and colours, the Alsace-born chef revisited the beloved Forêt Noire—or Black Forest cake—and turned all its classical flavours the contemporary way.
All of the creations made by Chef Gilles during Amuz Group’s seven years, and his four types of dining services in Jakarta, couldn’t be mentioned without remembering Maria’s love and support for it all. “I’ve been in Indonesia for 18 years now and Ibu Maria was always one of Amuz Group’s great supporters—also the whole French food industry here,” Chef Gilles