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Cheap but chic: Chef Bahtiar Sigar teaches #SobatMisqueen to cook in #MasakDarurat

Asmara Wreksono
Asmara Wreksono

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, February 15, 2019  /  11:06 am
Cheap but chic: Chef Bahtiar Sigar teaches #SobatMisqueen to cook in #MasakDarurat

Chef Bahtiar Sigar shares viral videos in cooking simple, affordable food for those living in 'kost' rooms. (Courtesy of Bahtiar Sigar/File)

Living alone for the first time is an exciting experience, be it as a university student or young professional. Those who live in a kost (rooming house) may enjoy the freedom and the perks that come with it, but also the downside of having to pinch the purse when it comes to the meal budget, especially when payday is still far away but money is already tight. 

Enter Bahtiar Pebri Dwiyana, known to colleagues as chef Bahtiar Sigar or @tiarbah to his followers on Twitter. Bahtiar, who works as a chef at Fairfield by Marriott Belitung Hotel, became popular on social media through his simple cooking videos published under the hashtag #MasakDarurat (emergency cooking) on Twitter, which has now become an Instagram account @masakdarurat. The chef has created a number of videos, featuring cooking hacks that result in fancy, restaurant-worthy recipes such as sushi, cream soup and casserole, using affordable items and simple tools. 

“I have lived in a kost before and was always interested in making fancy food with the simple tools available in my room at the time because I already possessed basic skills in cooking. However, it was not until recent years that I decided to make simple cooking videos and launch my first recipe: instant noodle cream soup, which I shared on my twitter account @tiarbah,” Bahtiar told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.

His first video received a positive response from netizens, who requested the chef share more affordable recipes. Bahtiar then produced more simple cooking videos using simple tools fit for "anak kost", with a restaurant-like presentation at the end of every video. Currently, the chef produces up to two videos per week, which he shoots at home whenever he is not on duty. “It’s my fate as a chef, I cook at work as well as at home,” he said. 

Read also: Back to basics: Cooking as a lifestyle

Bahtiar knows his audience well and caters to their recipe requests with care, “I don’t apply boundaries on price or tools. In #MasakDarurat, the most important thing is to cook with ingredients that are available and easy to purchase around us. [These ingredients will then be] cooked with tools that can be found around us, for instance, if an oven is not available, we can utilize the heat from an iron."


Schotel mie TANPA KUKUSAN TANPA OVEN! Darurat banget pengen schotel yg atasnya krispi tapi gak punya oven? Tenang sobat missqueenku, kita pake strikaan aja. Wqwqwq. Aku tambah note ya: - masak terigunya sampai gak kecium aroma terigu mentah - tuangin susu sedikit demi sedikit hingga habis dan mengental tanpa gumpalan - jarak permukaan schotel ke strikaan sekitar 1/2 - 1 cm ya, jangan kejauhan nanti gak coklat2, jangan nempel pula nanti strikaannya gosong dan kena omel emak. Pokoknya ada jarak sedikit. Kalo atasnya dikasih keju mozarela pasti lebih endez, tapi apa daya kita sebagai sobat missqueen jatah buat beli mozarelanya lebih baik buat beli beras untuk bekal hidup sebulan kedepan huhuhu. Selamat mencoba! #MasakDarurat

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A recent video featuring a recipe for schotel mie panggang (baked noodle casserole), demonstrated how Bahtiar "baked" the casserole using an iron. “The recipes in my videos are made from very affordable items, considering that those who are interested in the videos are ‘anak kost' who I like to address as ‘sobat misqueen' [lighthearted internet slang translated loosely as ‘poor friends’],” Bahtiar explained.

Internet fame does not faze Bahtiar as he has faced criticism, even suspension from Twitter as a result of one of his videos that netizens deemed "controversial". “Actually the first video that brought attention to #MasakDarurat on social media was the one in which I cooked fried rice with Whiskas [a cat food brand]. It created a lot of noise on the timeline, was broadcast by CNN Indonesia in their Viral program, and I received a lot of criticism, input and petty comments. My Twitter account was even suspended for more than a week,” Bahtiar recalled.


Satu hal yg ingin saya sampaikan melalui #MasakDarurat adalah bagaimana kita bisa tetap kreatif dengan segala keterbatasam yg ada. Nasi goreng whiskas ini adalah salah satu keisengan yg lahir dari keterbatasam yg ada pada saat saya membuat video ini. Memang banyak yg bertanya tentang aman dan tidaknya mengonsumsi makanan kucing ini. Setelah membaca beberapa artikel di internet akhirnya saya temukan bahwa makanan ini aman dikonsumsi manusia, meskipun terdengar tidak wajar. Berikut sekilas penjelasan tentang amankah makanan kucing dimakan manusia yang saya kutip dari salah satu artikel di internet: “Biasanya atau secara umum sekaleng makanan kucing (cat food) terbuat dari bahan-bahan seperti: daging merah (tergantung produknya, biasanya sapi), daging ayam, daging kalkun, ash (abu atau semacam dedak), tuna, makarel, sarden, dan lain sebagainya yang secara umum merupakan makanan yang biasanya dikonsumsi juga oleh manusia dan tidak membahayakan kesehatan manusia”. Seperti penuturan Dawn Jackson Blatner, seorang pemerhati gizi makanan yang bekerja di American Dietieric Assosiation. Dawn juga mengatakan bahwa “Saya cukup yakin sistem kalau tubuh manusia dapat meng-handle makanan kucing”. Hati, ginjal, dan kulit manusia melakukan suatu tugas dan fungsi yang hebat dalam mengeluarkan zat-zat kimia ataupun racun dari tubuh kita, seperti juga halnya zat-zat kimia ringan yang terdapat pada makanan kucing. Sekali lagi, pesannya adalah bagaimana kita bisa tetap kreatif dalam kondisi yg terbatas sekalipun.

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The 29-year-old is not brand-shy as he does not censor what brand of food supplies he uses for his videos, which would naturally attract sponsors from consumer goods companies. “So far no brands have asked for a collaboration, alhamdulillah,” he laughed.

The lack of sponsors has not stopped Bahtiar from expressing his dream in following up his #MasakDarurat videos with community events, “I think it would be great to hold a workshop, maybe an ‘emergency cooking workshop’ sounds more fitting. I also want to seriously commit to #MasakDarurat and turn it into a community-based activity for whoever wants to cook or learn how to cook. The website is currently under construction, I will share more information on the @masakdarurat Instagram account.”

Bahtiar believes anyone can cook, even with limitations, “I learned from my mother’s cooking philosophy that no matter how simple your food or tools to cook with, as long as it’s cooked from the heart, the result will be more than just delicious. To anyone out there, never be afraid to try cooking because practice makes perfect. Limitations should not be obstacles to creativity.” 

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