A true entrepreneur and a prominent figure in the Indonesian cooking scene, Chef Chandra Yudasswara is using his time at home to help those fighting on the frontlines. Believing that happiness comes from within, he shares his thoughts on how we should appreciate life as never before.
Q: What is your daily activity now that you’re spending more time at home?
A: With the government encouraging people to stay home in this situation, I am still supervising a few restaurants that are trying to survive this delicate state, but I’m doing it from my home. In case they need help with anything, they can still video chat me or reach me through my mobile. At the moment, we are mainly doing special food orders to donate to charities and hospitals, because I feel the happiest when I can help others, especially those who are fighting this current situation.
I also do a lot of short cooking videos on social media. It’s a fun way to connect with my followers and help them figure out what to cook for the day. Their feedback has been fantastic!
Q: How are you managing to stay healthy while at home? Could you share some tips?
A: By keeping myself happy, no matter what the situation. I believe being happy is the easiest way to keep healthy. With this free time at home, I get to spend more time with my kids and just be around my family, who always bring joy to my life. We get to cook and eat together, and they are also helping me clean out the house too.
Q: What is your favourite comfort food these days?
A: There are so many to choose! But for me personally, the best comfort food is something that brings warmth to the heart, like homemade chicken soup or beef rib soup. These are definitely great examples of true Indonesian comfort food.
Q: We know this situation is difficult, but is there something you are especially enjoying?
A: Mostly spending time with my family. I now have the chance to teach my kids to cook, although not with an open flame yet. We are making our own martabak because they love to eat it.
Indonesian Beef Stew
600g beef topside, cut into chunks
3 pcs lemongrass
2 bay leaves
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
110g sweet soy sauce
700ml beef or chicken stock
75g palm sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2g coriander seeds
1g cumin seeds
2g cinnamon powder
1g clove powder
- Blend all seasoning ingredients into a paste, then sauté until fragrant.
- Put all the ingredients, excluding the potatoes, into a saucepan and mix.
- Cook on medium heat until the meat is tender.
- Add the potatoes and cook until potatoes are done.