TALITA SETYADI BROUGHT a small plate with a small “purple ball” called Mont Violet. The purple comes from sweet potato, better known as ubi ungu to Indonesians. The potato has been pureed, and piped on top of a generous helping of cream cheese that sits on a salted butter cookie. The small charmer is a manifestation of Talita’s big baking dream.
“I find ways to introduce Indonesian ingredients to the international crowd,” Talita says. Beau by Talita Setyadi is an artisan bakery in Cikajang and Grand Indonesia. The former is an open-concept café serving coffee, all-day breakfast, pasta and pastries. The passionate baker and entrepreneur plans to expand to other cities, including Bali.
“I wondered why Indonesian food has never been globally known, like Japanese or Thai. I asked respected industry figures, including William Wongso, about it. From them, I realised that Indonesian flavours and textures are strange and complicated. It would take time for foreigners to love them,” Talita, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, says. “I think it would take me 10 or 20 years, to achieve the goal. But I’m persistent that way.”
To Talita, innovation is a big part in her life as a baker. Every two to three months, Beau would offer at least a new creation, developed in the kitchen by Talita and the head of five departments in her bakery. “I encourage my team to be creative, to really think about how they could contribute to the business rather than just doing the routine,” Talita says. That is the reason why she prefers training her staff from zero, rather than hiring know-it-alls. “Two of my bakers here used to be dishwashers. They had the passion for baking, so we trained them.”