Jakarta Culinary Festival 2012: Mario Batali Cooking Theater (with opening cooking demo from Chef Nooror S. Steppe)

What excites epicurean the most other than the food itself? The answer would probably be… the masters! For me seeing those culinary masters is (maybe) like a basketball addict meets Michael Jordan, or informatic enginering meets Bill Gates. The vivid eyes, the overwhelming sensation, the admiration, the hunger for food knowledge, you name it and it’s all there.

Last Friday, I got a chance to see Chef Mario Batali Cooking Theater at the Jakarta Culinary Festival 2012 event, held at Jakarta Theater. Hosted by Indonesian Chef, Marinka and an opening cooking demo by chef Nooror S. Steppe from Thailand. She and her team cooked an authentic Thailand food and upgraded the look into a fancy five star dish.

At the begining it was rather confusing as the chefs (chef Marinka, Chef Nooror and one of her assistant) babling about lots of things. The Thai restaurant she have, the cooking class, the Thailand itself, the use of ingredients for our body, etc. Yet they forgotten the most important thing to do when you’re doing a cooking demo, that is to explain what they are doing step by step. Until one of the participants raised her hand and questioned whether we can get any explanation about what they are actually doing. Good thing someone reminded them to do so because afterwards, things started to run normally.

Chef Nooror and her team hosted by Chef Marinka
This is the food that chef Nooror made but it’s not on the recipe that we had, and also when chef Marinka asked what is the food’s name, it was too long and difficult for my ear to catch as the name is in Thai language, but it include scallop, egg plant, etc.

The show then moved to the main performance, that is a cooking theater by Mario Batali, an American chef specialized in Italian cuisine. Click here to look up his bio. Cooking theater is basically a series of cooking demo that consist several dishes by the chef continously.

The long awaited finally came,  the one and only Mr. Mario Batali. He has, not only signature dish but also signature look. Ponytail and his orange crocs apparently become his trademark for quite sometimes. I like the fact that he is a humble celebrity chef and actually a funny guy.

In random order he cooked, Arrancine with Mascarpone and a Toasted Almond Ceci Salad, Fettuccine with Lobster alla Pantelleria, Scampi in a Fine Cornmeal Flour Crust with Sweet and Hot Chillies, Beef Braciole “Pinwheel Style”, Black Truffle Vinaigrette, Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Yukon Gold Potatoes and Grandma’s Pine Nut and Ricotta Tart Torta Della Nonna. These are those beauties.

Other than the food and the how-to, his words regarding food and cooking are what i remembered the most. These are some of them;  Italian food is nothing but simplicity, a grandma’s recipe, something that has been passed generation by generation. He also urged us to go to the market and find the best five or six best ingredients then figure out what will we cook with the ingredients rather than to think of what you want to cook than go to the market to buy the ingredients (of course this can only occur when you cook for yourself or small amount of people). And the last word from him that really hit me is, spend more on good ingredients now or spend it later on your health (by this he mean hospital bills), because bad food definitely bad for your health.  And i couldn’t agree more.

The cooking theater was so fancy. The venue hall filled with rows of  Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino and also a bar of mojitos with real vodka i guess, as it’s sponsored by Elyx. I’m a moslem i didn’t take any. They also had a pizza booth for participants, the two chefs on a pizza booth seemed like having endless shift once the crowd getting thickened. While the ballroom (or since it is actually a cinema, so i might as well call it the theater) decorated with round tables, a bottle of Acqua Panna and if you drink, then they will actually fill your glass with wine. As im wearing hijab, the waitress didn’t even bother to offer me any, LOL.

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Masterchef 77 in house battle (a note from last year)

This is how masterchef tv show has affected us, lol.  Last year, my cousin who (at that time) will be having birthday had the idea to celebrate his birthday in a different kind of way. Will still involve food and family gathering, but double the fun! So cooking competition reached the acclamation. We kinda copy some of the rules on masterchef tv show, like for instance we limit the time to buy ingredients, we decided the core ingredient (by rolling small paper that written each person’s selection of ingredient and put it inside the glass, mixed it and tried to get one out. Whatever came out is the main ingredient we should use. Each group members also decided through this way. All the name, written down on a paper, rolled it, put it inside the glass and try to get three out for each group). We were divided into three groups and each group got Rp.200.000 to buy ingredients. Each group had to make appetizer, entree and desserts for 1.5 hr.  The judges, prizes and food critics were all there as well (that would be the parents! Lol) Check out all the fun here 🙂

Ini adalah bagaimana dampak dari serial tivi masterchef buat kita. Sekitar setahun lalu sepupu saya yang waktu itu akan berulangtahun tiba-tiba punya ide buat ngerayain ulang tahun dengan cara yang sedikit berbeda. Masih tetap melibatkan makanan dan kumpul keluarga, tapi dengan keseruan ganda. Semua setuju untuk ngadain acara lomba masak. Beberapa aturan memang kita contek langsung dari acara masterchef, hehehe. Seperti misalnya, menentukan batasan waktu belanja bahan, penentuan bahan inti, dan pembagian tim (pembagian tim dan penentuan bahan inti diundi mirip pengundian pemenang arisan. ditulis di kertas kecil, digulung, dikocok deh). Kita dibagi dalam tiga kelompok yang masing-masing beranggotakan tiga orang dan dikasih uang Rp. 200.000 buat belanja bahan. Setiap grup harus bikin tiga makanan, yaitu makanan pembuka, makanan utama dan makanan penutup dalam waktu 1.5 jam. Juri, hadiah dan food critics juga semua ada (orang tua, om dan tante yang punya peran jadi juri, jadi pengkritik makanan dan pendonor hadiah! Haha).  Ini keseruannya!

the teams


what happened that day
the food
The judging table. Can you guess which team won?

Oh this is just too fun to forget! And if you ever curious on why we named it Masterchef 77, is because it was at our grandfather’s house. The house is number 77… Lol.

Hotel Review: Atenea Aparthotel Barcelona

Atenea Aparthotel Barcelona

Joan Guell 207-211, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

★★★★

free wi-fi

Bahasa Indonesia

Pada waktu melakukan perjalanan ke Barcelona, kami memutuskan untuk tinggal di Atenea Aparthotel karena saya bepergian bersama tante dan om saya di dua hari pertama perjalanan Barcelona saya. Sebetulnya sih kalau untuk saya sendiri, hostel ala backpacker saja sudah lebih dari cukup, tapi bepergian bersama “orang tua” tentunya lain cerita dan pilihan dijatuhkan pada Atenea adalah karena harganya cukup terjangkau. Yang paling saya suka dari apartemen hotel ini adalah kita mempunyai dapur sendiri. Di Atenea ini dapurnya dilengkapi dengan microwave, kompor listrik, panci, piring-piring, sendok, garpu, pisau, gelas dan cangkir. Di area dekat hotel juga mudah ditemukan mini market kecil bahkan super market kalau mau berjalan sedikit lebih jauh. Jadi sebenarnya hotel ini cocok sekali buat kita yang pengen masak sendiri ketimbang beli.

Kamar yang kami pesan meski tidak terlalu luas tetapi cukup untuk empat orang, tiga orang itu paling pas dan lima orang mungkin akan terasa sempit. Umumnya harga hotel di Barcelona belum termasuk sarapan, meski mereka tentu saja mempunya resoran-restoran yang siap seharian penuh. Akan dikenakan harga yang sama untuk pemesanan yang disatukan dengan pemesanan kamar atau pesan sarapan terpisah, jadi itu bisa diputuskan belakangan apakah mau makan di hotel atau tidak. Untuk harga paket makan pagi di Atenea saat saya berada disana adalah sebelas euro. Tapi saya memutuskan untuk tidak mencoba membeli paket ini, jadi saya nggak punya review tentang restorannya 🙂

Tidak jauh dari hotel ada dua stasiun metro (kereta dalam kota), berjalan ke arah sebelah kiri hotel maka kita akan menuju stasiun metro Maria Cristina sedangkan jika berjalan ke arah sebelah kanan, kita akan sampai di stasiun metro Les Corts. Saya sendiri lebih memilih berjalan ke stasiun Les Corts jika ingin menggunakan metro untuk bepergian karena menurut saya jaraknya lebih dekat ketimbang Maria Cristina (dan lagi diseberang stasiun ada sebuah toko kebab turki yang jadi favorit saya ). Arah sebaliknya cocok buat yang doyan belanja karena disekitar stasiun metro Maria Cristina terdapat banyak tempat belanja dan beberapa mall.
Tepat di sebelah hotel juga terdapat sebuah galeri, yaitu Roca Barcelona Gallery, jadi kalau merasa bosan di hotel bisa coba datang ke galeri ini, siapa tahu sedang ada pameran atau even bagus.

Secara keseluruhan, hotel ini sangat nyaman untuk jadi pilihan. Hotelnya bersih dan tidak terlalu mahal untuk ukuran hotel apartemen. Stafnya pun hangat, bersahabat dan sangat membantu dengan inggris yang baik dan mudah dimengerti, ditambah lagi lokasi hotel yang sangat mudah untuk ditemukan dan juga memiliki akses mudah bagi kita berkeliling karena dekat dengan lokasi stasiun metro dan pusat perbelanjaan.

English

On my trip to Barcelona, we decided to stay at Atenea Aparthotel as I traveled with my aunt and uncle for the first two days. For me, backpackers’ hostel would be more than enough, but travel with “parents” is a different story and why we booked Atenea because it is quite affordable for us. What I like the most about this apartment hotel is of course you got your own pantry (or should I say kitchen?) because it’s actually fully equipped with kitchen set. Microwave, electric stove, pan, generous amount of plates, spoons, forks, knives, glasses and cups.  You will also find grocery shops nearby. So it is perfect for you who want to cook your own meal.

The room we booked even though not too spacious, fits up to four people, three would be perfect and five will be too crowded. It is common that hotel’s room rate in Barcelona does not include breakfast, but they sure have restaurant. Will cost the same whether you booked it altogether with the room or not, so you can decide later. As for Atenea (at the time I was there), it cost € 11. But I decided not to have breakfast or dinner there, so I don’t have the review of the restaurant.

Nearby there are two metro stations, if you go to the left side of the hotel  you will find Maria Cristina Metro station, and if you go to the right side than you’ll find Les Corts. I prefer to go to Les Corts  as I think this one is closer (and also there is a Turkish kebab shop just across the station that I like :D), but going the other way around is perfect for those of you who love to shop because the area around Maria Cristina metro station has lots of shopping center.  Right next to the hotel you can also find Roca Barcelona Gallery, if you feel bored you can just take a short visit here (if there’s exhibition).

Overall this hotel is a nice place to stay in. It is clean and not too expensive for a hotel apartment. The staff also very helpful, good English, friendly and the location is very easy either to locate or to go around from.

Eat out place (Kuala Lumpur) (posted on April 2012)

This is something from what so called my KL-regular-trip, after I don’t know how many times I visited Kuala Lumpur. Most of the time I stay at the exact same place, sightseeing is not on the priority list anymore. So it goes down to food.
During my regular visit there, I’ve been explored some places to eat around the area, and these are some of the places I love the most.
Start with the cheapest one yet help me a lot through my breakfast time. The shop called Restoran Khalifah, Indian moslem food shop that sells (so far) the best roti canai with curry I have ever had. And if you look at how many people came to this shop every day and tried it as well, I think you might agree with me that their curry is good. The best part is that the roti canai only cost you RM 1. For me it is enough for breakfast. Or even if it’s not, then order 2 or 3 roti canai and you can still save lots of money with fully loaded belly 😀 plus teh tarik or milo that will only cost you RM1.50.
And if you ever visited this place, order roti canai and roti canai only :p well other food also ok, but it wasn’t the best so I prefer the roti canai 😀

The next one would be this cute little cupcake emporium where you will feel like you’re home indulged with those delicious cupcakes, milk or other light bites. This place called Wondermilk which is walking distance from the place I stay in. Needless to say that their cupcakes rock!

Wondermilk at Damansara

If you want to have more variety of food, you can also go to the hawker food center. They have wide range variety of food from malay, seafood, Indian to western. Also ABC (ais buah campur) and other beverages, with not so expensive price if I can’t say cheap.

Hawker Center at Damansara Uptown

But if you are capable to eat a lot…. you might want to try to go to a place with buffet. All you can eat one. Nearby there’s an Indian Restaurant called d’tandoor. They actually serve ala carte menu, but during lunch time, they also serve buffet for RM20 per person.
I love everything especially their mutton and Naan with garlic. But wait till you try the rice pudding or kheer. Don’t get fooled by how simple this desserts looks like. Once you tried it, yummmmm… it’s heavenly good. And you would spoon for more 😀

And if you want to go to a regular buffet (like grill and steam) you can just go to one utama shoping mall. They have seoul garden who serve buffet for lunch and dinner with special discount if you have student card 😀

D’tandoor

So those are some eat-out places I visited the most when I go to KL, although there’s one place that I would love to try but never get a chance to visit. It’s Fat Spoon… they also have this cute little shop. I hope next time I would be able to go there and have a taste on their food 🙂

What’s for lunch? (posted on september 9, 2011)

Actually 2 days ago i made this… Hot Spicy Tuna Pasta because i found lots of red chilies in the kitchen. And i still have few Tuna slices and a pack of pasta.

Easy and ready in just 10 minutes!

100 gr of any pasta you like
3 red chilies, chopped
15 gr of tuna (or basically as much as you want)
1/2 round of onion, chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil to saute the onion
salt and pepper to taste.
optional: chilli powder

How to:
1. boiled 500 liter of water with a tablespoon of any oil you like (olive oil, vegetable oil, etc). Than pour in the pasta for about 5 minutes or depend on how well you want your pasta to be.

2. After ready, drain the water and put aside.

3. On a low heat put olive oil and saute the onion until you can smell the aroma.
than put tuna and chili in it.

4. once the tuna cooked well pour the pasta and mixed it well along with salt and pepper. Pour one tablespoon of chili powder if you want to make it more spicy.

and voila! Your Hot Spicy Tuna Pasta is ready!

Devil’s food cupcake (posted on June 18th, 2011)

I can only drooling when i saw cupcakes on tv or elsewhere. Not many people/place sell nice cupcakes. i mean, the one with less decoration on it. I want the simple one but you will craving for it over and over again. I did try to buy cupcakes from different places, but the thing is,  here…  all the cupcakes are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to sweet (at least for me). Nothing is good with the word “too” in it.
So, I’ve been wondering whether i will be able to make (a good) cupcake or not. I had this Martha Stewart cupcakes book for quite a while, but never had the guts to really make one of it, until recently.
At first I did follow exactly the recipe, but it turned out still way too sweet for me. And i mean waaay to sweet. So i kinda modified the ingridients. And after my 4th attempt, i finally be able to make one good cupcake (at least for me). And by good i mean taste and the look 🙂
so, here it is.. My Devil’s Food Cupcake