Embassy of France “Apero”: the art of eating well

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(photo: IO/OHW)

IO – IFI Thamrin Kitchen Lab conducted a training session called “Apero”, on “the art of eating well”, on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Guided by two culinary masters, French Chef Simon Baudoin, and Chef Debryna Dewi, an Indonesian general practitioner, participants were not only encouraged to combine a number of ingredients to eventually become an appetizer, but also have a chance to taste the results of the cooking of their deft hands in some form of delicious light cakes. Both chefs guided participants on how to prepare appetizers whose ingredients are available in Indonesia for “Aperitive” events.

Aperitif is an important moment in social life, especially for the French. They make it special moment, a social gesture and a platform of culinary experiences. The word “aperitif’ is derived from Latin verb ‘aperire’ meaning to open. According to the times, the term does not have quite the same meaning. Indeed, until 1888, it is an adjective whose medical meaning meant “what opens the pores, the canals, the vessels”, this being the sense since 1750.

In 2017, the French Institute Indonesia inaugurated a fully-equipped kitchen in order to share French culture through one of the most important representative aspect of France’s diversity and “art of living”: gastronomy! Various French Michelin-starred chefs have already marched through the door of the French Institute Indonesia, such as Alain Passard, Jean-Francois Piege or Sebastien Chambru, ready to meet a future generation of Indonesian cooks and organize special Master Classes.

For 2019, IFI has scheduled a series of special workshops on French and Indonesian artisanal food, opened for food lovers who would like to (re) discover authentic tastes and artisanal know-how from the two countries. Each time, a different chef or culinary expert provides an in-depth presentation of a technique, a product or a regional gastronomy, along with cooking demo, food tasting, and other interactive activities.

The Kitchen Lab’ regularly welcomes French pastry cooking classes to underprivileged kids and teenagers from Jakarta and its surroundings. With the kind support of Pastry Chef Charins Chang, a teacher at Heavenly Sweet Academy and pastry chef for Benedict Restaurant, IFI invites youth from local associations to introduce them to the art of cooking and to provide them some notions of nutrition, named “Petit Koki Pastri” (meaning Little Pastry Chefs) which program aims at creating more opportunities for underprivileged youth to interact with different cultures and activities. (OHW)