E: What does Kartini Day means to you?
Sisca: It is a day that needs to be celebrated, to remember the hard-fought battle Kartini undertook to give Indonesian women the chance to have a proper education and to be smart. Kartini means a lot to us, because she taught us how to be willing to learn.
E: What are your hopes and advice for young women today?
S: As a mother, my hope is that one day, all these young women understand that they have the power in their own hands to live their life. Also, to remember how their mothers helped shape them into better people.
E: Do you think the culinary industry is a man’s world and can we do anything about it?
S: I fully understand why a lot of people might have this perception. Back then, this was true, because who could lift a 40-litre container of oil if not the guys? But now, everyone has the ability to master every skill needed in the kitchen. I believe that women are more than capable of holding their place in the kitchen and the culinary world.
E: Do you have any advice for women wanting to get into the culinary industry?
S: Have the passion to make something out of nothing. Start small, by having the willingness to learn and cook in the kitchen. Next is to learn how to create using your own recipes and understand well that presentation is as important as taste.
E: You are known as the mother of Indonesian cooking, is this important to you?
S: To be honest, it’s not something that I take pride in because my main goal is to share my knowledge about cooking with other people. I am blessed enough to have been given the chance to learn about other cuisines by spending time in China and the United States.
E: What are your plans for 2020?
S: I am continuing my programme to teach people who live in remote areas the basic skills of cooking. Whenever I do that, I will always make sure to bring along my books for them. Sharing my knowledge with them brings me so much joy.
Exquisite Taste March – May 2020