|My 'kakap goreng dabu-dabu meleleh'|
For those (read: me) who don't cook much but are thirsty for more cooking knowledge and skills, cooking classes are a great way to gain some.
Thankfully, I got invited by Indomie to a cooking class, hosted by one of celebrity chefs in Indonesia: Chef Bara Pattirajawane. Of course I was excited, although the distance to the venue and Jakarta's unpredictable traffic put a doubt in me at first. Anyway, I arrived late and seated immediately at a cooking bench, which made me feel like I'm on Masterchef or something.
Chef Bara was there already, of course, and he started his cooking demo with the ten pairs of participants from food and travel bloggers (and other media) watching seriously.
|Chef Bara starting his cooking demo|
That day's menu was kakap goreng kuah santan cabe ijo. I'm having trouble translating it literally, so I'll just tell you what that is: crumbed, deep fried snapper with coconut milk and green chilli sauce. Yeah, it was all about green that day. The dish was completed with some sambal dabu-dabu, which is diced tomato, chilli, and onion served with lime juice.
It was my first cooking class, and I have to say that I truly enjoyed it. It's fascinating to see a chef cutting this and that so easily like he can do it with his eyes closed, especially when the chef's cheeky and very sociable like this one.
The post may become too long if I explain all the details, so I'll just put bigger and longer image captions this time.
|Chef Bara explaining things and offering the participants to sample his fish and sauce, while being bombarded with the participants' camera shutters constantly|
|The green sauce sans coconut milk, this was the texture we have to copy|
|Kakap goreng kuah santan cabe ijo - Chef Bara (the sauce has great depth of flavour, although dominated with tartness)|
After the demo, we had to copy the chef's dish. The most similar one won. On the bench, there were already all the ingredients: the vegetables and herbs, the fish, flour, oil, and seasonings. With only one hour to prepare the dish, there was no time to lose. Chop chop!
|The vegetables, herbs and the fish|
|Making sauce to the perfect consistency|
|Me and Lostpacker's bench|
One hour and some watery eyes, buckets of sweat (the place was hot!), and troubles in operating the mixer later, we managed to produce pretty and clean looking plate of kakap goreng dabu-dabu meleleh. Different name with the chef's but same kind of dish.
|Kakap goreng dabu-dabu meleleh - Me and Lostpacker|
|Chef Bara trying my plate|
Unfortunately, our dish didn't win the prize. Chef commented that it might be too salty, and he was looking for the most balanced one. Fair enough, chef. Then I ended up eating 2/3 part of my own dish.
The winner was Mas Arie and Jajalable's dish, who had the greenest sauce and tasted so different with the others that I sampled. Congrats!
The other plate were no joke as well, all presented beautifully and had its own unique characteristic.
|The other participants' plates, the first one (top left) was the winner|
The class wasn't over yet, Chef Bara had prepared green dessert for the green day: pandan pannacotta.
|Pouring the pannacotta batter|
We didn't get to try making it ourselves this time, slots of pandan pannactotta topped with chocolate and sliced jack fruits were distributed instead. Yay!
No doubt, the pannacotta had the perfect consistency and it tasted great too with the chocolate and jackfruit. I wonder if it would pass the wobbly test?
|Pandan pannacotta - Chef Bara|
While doing his thing, Chef Bara also told us some interesting food facts. Did you know?
- vanilla comes from orchid family
- to use a vanilla, cut through the length of the pod, and scrape the inside parts
- strawberry comes from rose family
- blanching vegetables can reduce its bitterness (eg. spinach)
- dip the blanched vegetables right away in ice water for them to retain the green colour
- potatoes can be used to absorb salt/saltiness in a dish without changing the overall flavour
I'm sure he told us many more things but my memory failed me.
Overall, it was such a great experience. Apart from meeting fellow foodies, making new friends, and meeting a celebrity chef, I get to cook something I have never tried before, and also gaining some new knowledge. Thank you to Indomie for inviting me and organizing the event.
Irene's Getting Fat! was invited to Cooking Experience with Bara Pattirajawane by Indomie.