Art of Cooking

Ig­natius Em­manuel Julio, Chef de Cui­sine at Sri­wi­jaya Restau­rant at The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta, be­lieves cooking is an art – the art of mak­ing peo­ple happy.

Maxx-M - - PROFILE - Pho­tos by Harry Wibawa

Why did you de­cide to pur­sue a ca­reer as a chef?

I have loved cooking since I was a child and I re­al­ized that my tal­ent was as a chef. When I was in ju­nior high school, I de­cided that I would work as a chef. Af­ter I grad­u­ated from high school, I con­tin­ued my stud­ies in hos­pi­tal­ity.

Who in­spired you to be­come a chef?

My fa­ther. He loved to cook in our fam­ily restau­rant.

You were in Dubai be­fore work­ing in Jakarta. Why did you choose Dubai?

At first I wanted to go to Lon­don, but it was dif­fi­cult to get a visa. At that same time I re­ceived an of­fer to go to the Mid­dle East and Dubai was my choice. Dubai is a mul­ti­cul­tural coun­try, with peo­ple from around the world, which taught me about re­spect and learn­ing from other peo­ple. I also learned about Ital­ian fine dining, es­pe­cially when I was at the Armani Ho­tel.

What made you de­cide to come back to Jakarta?

Af­ter five years in Dubai, I felt that I wanted to come back to Jakarta and de­velop my knowl­edge and also to share what I had learned with the peo­ple here.

What is a new con­cept that you want to bring to Sri­wi­jaya Restau­rant?

We want to cre­ate dif­fer­ent menus that still use In­done­sian in­flu­ence, which is the sig­na­ture of The Dhar­mawangsa Jakarta. So we are cre­at­ing menus that com­bine In­done­sian and French meth­ods in one plate. We call it Pro­gres­sive In­done­sian dining, a mod­ern ap­proach to In­done­sian cui­sine pre­sented in an el­e­gant man­ner us­ing French tech­niques.

Why is French cui­sine used in Pro­gres­sive In­done­sian dining?

Be­cause French food is the mother of all kitchens. French cui­sine is clas­sic in both tech­nique and pre­sen­ta­tion and is al­ways el­e­gant.

In­done­sian food is rich with many sea­son­ings. Is it dif­fi­cult when com­bin­ing all th­ese flavours on one plate?

This is the chal­lenge, com­bin­ing sev­eral meth­ods of cooking on one plate. Some­times we find In­done­sian dishes that can­not be changed or re­con­structed like sup brenebon (bean soup), so the so­lu­tion is that we added foie gras (from France) to the soup. An­other food is sayur asam. We could not change it, so we made the pre­sen­ta­tion finer.

What is your per­sonal culi­nary style?

Cooking with love and from the heart. When I cook, I imag­ine a guest. What does a guest want when they are served food? So I cre­ate and cook from the heart so I can give the best to guests.

If you were to eat at Sri­wi­jaya Restau­rant as a guest, what would you or­der and why?

Lob­ster Bu­naken be­cause it is unique, with the use of pasta and tu­tu­ruga sauce, and wagyu ten­der­loin.

What is the in­ter­est­ing thing about be­ing a chef?

We are cre­ators, not fol­low­ers.

What is your favourite food?

Ital­ian food.

What ad­vice would you give to read­ers who want to be­come a chef?

Do not be afraid to try and be cre­ative.

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