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Exclusive Interview with Chef Andry Stefanus of The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta

The Eat Vacation team recently had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Chef Andry Stefanus of The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta. 

Now manning The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta as an Executive Chef, Chef Andry Stefanus had decided to enter the culinary world when he was in high school and was about to pick his university major. Realizing that he would not want to sit all day and would prefer to have mobile work that lets him wander here and there, Chef Andry chose to study Food Production at STP Bandung. 

During his study, he got an opportunity to have training at Le Meridien Singapore. After his training, he went back to Bandung to finish his study before then working for Le Meridien Jakarta and InterContinental MidPlaza Jakarta (now AYANA Midplaza JAKARTA). 

Inspired by the TV show Wok with Yan, a 1990s TV show where Stephen Yan demonstrates various Chinese food stir-fry recipes prepared on the wok, as well as his mother’s cooking, Chef Andry learned how to cook and it became a hobby of his. And his favourite part of his job is that he can do his hobby to make a living. 

In 2007, Chef Andry moved to Bahrain to work as a Chef until 2014, and reflecting back on his experience, he can say that the F&B industry abroad and in Indonesia is pretty much the same. The study of culinary world in terms of International cuisine such as Western or Italian cuisine, popularly known as gastronomic molecular cuisine, have become more advanced and developed. And now that Indonesia welcomes a lot of expatriate chefs that had previously manned 5-star hotels into the local culinary scene, those advances are brought here thus Indonesian F&B industry are influenced.  

“[what I love most about being a Chef is that] I can do my hobby as a way to make money and to make a living.”

Chef Andry then shared a little bit about his team at The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta. Although his team is mostly consisted of old staff from the Hilton days, they are very passionate about learning new things. And to keep his team up to date with the current culinary trends, Chef Andry held out a lot of trainings for the team so that they can learn and grow. 

As to his inspiration in cooking, Chef Andry draws from great chefs abroad as well as culinary magazines and books. He mentioned that it is paramount to him that he purchased an updated cookbook at least once a year. 

One such thing that he stumbled upon and is fascinated about is a French cooking technique, Sous Vide. And with his passion for Indonesian fusion, which currently is a trend, Chef Andry created Palembang cuisine with Sous Vide technique that earned him a second place in a culinary award. 

Another example of Indonesian fusion that he created is Buntut (oxtail), that usually comes with soup. Chef Andry would braised it or cook the oxtails with stew and after that, he would pair it up nicely with Balinese Sambal Matah and Nasi Kecombrang. 

Chef Andry also introduced us to his signature dish and beverages, namely Udang Gandum, Strawberry Sling and Ondel-Ondel. The shrimp was tender and sweet yet savoury, and paired with the cooked wheat oatmeal, created a perfect combination of texture and flavours. And as for the beverages, they are equally refreshing and are perfect to be enjoyed midday to quench your thirst.

For the next few months, Chef Andry has prepared an array of Indonesian Fusion cuisine such as Salmon with Asian Taste or Wagyu with Indonesian Fusion, that he will introduce to guests in a monthly promotion program. 

“I hope with these Indonesian Fusion cuisine, people will know that The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta has something new and interesting. And hopefully, that can elevate the name of The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta higher.”

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