Teluk Betung, Bandar Lampung, Indonesia.
I grew up in a big family along with 10 other siblings. Each of us had chores to do, but I always chose cooking. I gained a lot of inspiration and developed my techniques from my Mum; I still remember my first cooking preparation – using a mortar and pestle to make Sambal paste from chilli, shrimp, sugar and tomato. This was then cooked slowly over a low heat for several hours with citrus juices added later. My Mum taught me that sugar and citrus is the balance of any flavour and when used in the right combination, it can enhance each dish.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
I have always had a passion for cooking since an early age. This led me to an apprenticeship studying to be a Chef through William Angliss TAFE and an opportunity to cook for many of the large hotel groups around Melbourne.
In 2006, I was awarded the Gold Medal for Melbourne Regional Apprentice Chef of the Year and the Silver Medal for Victorian Apprentice Chef of the Year.
How would you define your style?
My style is fusion - a mixture of Asian, Mediterranean and modern European cuisine.
What is your feature flavour these days?
My featured flavour is a mixture that I create using herbs, seeds and citrus.
Obsessive compulsive about?
I like to bring my food to another level with its taste and the way that it is presented. The combination of the flavours has to be in such a way that when the food is eaten, each flavour complements each other and does not over power each other.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
My Mum, I learnt so much from her.
What do you love about this business?
I like to see people smile when they first taste my food. I feel that when people eat good food, they tend to forget their problems and stresses.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
My spices, seeds and citrus combinations.
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
I have a few using beef, chicken or vegetables. I have no set menu as I like to change the menu daily based on the availability of fresh ingredients from local markets and the current weather conditions. I also love to make my own pastries and cakes.
Grilled Moroccan chicken with garlic chive and cherry tomatoes.
Grilled lemon, honey and rocket pesto chicken.