Bruce Emond, WEEKENDER | Thu, 06/23/2011 11:12 AM |
Jakarta’s anniversary celebration on June 22 is always a time to take stock of the state of the city. It has also become a perennial rite of passage for the media to look at the “forgotten” foods of native Betawi communities, from kerak telur to spicy bir pletok, during the anniversary.
But then food is always a topic of interest, especially in the changing urban culinary landscape. Our eating habits are a part of city life that has undergone huge changes in recent years. For starters, we clearly eat out a lot more than we did just 15 or even 10 years; this is partly due to necessity, because of hectic schedules and traffic jams, but also because there is so much more variety than in days of slimmer pickings, when even the opening of a foreign chain restaurant was a big deal.
That appetite for food also extends to TV, with the rise of the celebrity chef and, recently, the debut of MasterChef Indonesia, both covered in this issue.
One of the most heartening aspects of Jakarta’s booming restaurant trend is that Indonesian food has not been left out in the cold – here at home, anyway. As Italy-based Indonesian chef Theodora Hurustiati writes in this issue, we need to get the word out to the world about Indonesian food. As anyone who lives here can vouch, Indonesian cuisine, so delicious in its diversity, has something to suit all tastes, from sweet to spicy. Enjoy!