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One-Stop Culinary Experience at JCF 2018.

Text: Iwan Martinus Putuhena; Photos: courtesy of Ismaya Live

Entering its fifth edition of Jakarta Culinary Feastival, Ismaya Live brought a complete culinary experience for foodies in Jakarta by focusing on four notions namely, taste, sip, learn and fun. The four-day feast celebration in November was a gastronomic dream come true, all in one festival. More than 70.000 foodies showed up at Senayan City to embark on a flavourful culinary experience featuring a plethora of cuisines hosted by some of the region’s most loved restaurant concepts and establishments. A total of 72 tenants participated in 2 tents and 6 different zones namely, Restaurant Area, GO-FOOD Festival, and Main Bar in the Spoon Tent; and Coffee Room, Dessert Garden, and Market Place in the Fork Tent.

A festival of collaborations by heart, taste makers and industry’s experts gathered to share what’s cooking in and out of the kitchen while visitors took part in creating as well as indulging. Culinary stars namely, Ben Ungermann, Chitra, William Gozali, Yuda Bustara, Bachien, Rinrin Marinka, Sisca Soewitomo, Talita Setyadi, Sezai Zorlu, Aditya Muskita. David Ong, Putu Dodik, Vebrina Hadi, and Hamish Lindsay, just to name a few, gave an unforgettable flavourful experience at the festival.

Various activities such as Chef Table, an exclusive dining experiences hosted by the region’s best chefs, Cooking Demo, where celebrity chefs put on a show as they prepare their signature dishes, Masterclass, led by the industry’s finest culinary stars, Food Photography, Coffee Workshop and many more were presented for visitors to engage and interact. Without a doubt, this year Jakarta Culinary Feastival successfully reunites the best of restaurateurs, mixologists, masterchefs, baristas and pastry chefs to serve everyone’s cravings through their signature dish, and even one-off dishes that can only be found exclusively at the festival. Surely the foodies will look forward to next year.

Interview with Ben Ungermann

What do you learn from your experience at Masterchef Australia last year?

The thing I learned most about the competition is not only about cooking ability, but to be mentally strong as well. The competition is about 60% cooking and 40% mental training. I knew some contestants from my season who walked into the competition unprepared, they were not in the right frame of mind, and it reflects in their cooking. So in the competition like that, it is important to be mentally strong.

What can we expect from your Cooking Stage appearance entitled “Taste of Holland”?

A long time ago the Dutch took a lot of your spices, so there is a really famous dish in Holland with Indonesian influences called Speculoos, it contains nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. The dish is more of a savoury dessert and its a dish that I did on the show, but since then I have perfected it.

I read on your interview that you are passionate about creating a new and unique ice cream flavour, are you interested in creating ice cream with Indonesian flavour?

Believe it or not, I did a dessert called Nasi Goreng from sambal ice cream, with a little bit of kecap, coconut and rice moose dipped in white chocolate and chilli. It was a pretty crazy flavour but to be honest, when you taste it all together it tastes like nasi goreng with a really nice sweet flavour.

Tell me more about the Nasi Goreng Arancini that you created on your recent collaboration with Four Points Kuta?

My aunt is Indonesian and my father is Dutch Indonesian, so my aunt actually taught me to make nasi goreng, and to this day her recipe is still my favourite. So I took her recipe we add a little bit of cream cheese and turn it into Nasi Goreng Arancini. So again, Indonesian flavours but made it a little differently.

How excited are you to be part of JCF this year?

To be honest I'm so excited to be here. This is the event that I looked forward to the entire year. I've been travelling for a whole year living out of my suitcase, and honestly, Jakarta and Bali feels like home. I have an Indonesian girlfriend, and after this festival, I'm moving to Bali permanently, so you'll be seeing a lot more of me.

What are your signature flavours at your ice cream pallor in Australia?

We have two flavours that are really popular, one is carrot cake ice cream, its an organic carrot ice cream with an organic carrot cake folded through the ice cream and honestly it tastes exactly like a carrot cake. It is amazing. And then the other is the guys' favourite, salted caramel bacon and pecan ice cream.

Do you have tips to make a perfect ice cream?

My biggest tip to make the perfect ice cream is to do it 100% natural. When I make my ice cream it's 100% natural, so its only sugar, egg, milk and cream.

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