Kiki Djohardin

Kiki Djohardin


A seasoned chef with almost 20 years’ experience, Chef Kiki Djohardin has been a reliable force within the Mandarin Oriental family. Starting out in Jakarta at Lyon, he has since had the chance to serve the brand’s kitchens in Singapore and Las Vegas. Now back in the French brasserie of his hometown, Senior Chef de Cuisine Kiki tells Exquisite Media about his journey so far.



Rizki Pradana

E: Tell us about how you started to cook and how it took you into the hospitality industry.

A: At first, I started helping with cooking at home. From there I decided to pursue my studies in hospitality.

E:  How did you get into Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta in the first place? What is the best thing about working with the group?

A: Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta is one of the best five-star hotels in Jakarta and it was my teenage dream to work there. The best thing about the group is that it has allowed me to travel to different countries to gain international experience.

E: Can you tell us the difference between working at Lyon the first time and this time around?

A: The environment is actually similar. The team is quite young, passionate and eager to learn. Now, this is the time to inspire and nurture them as the future of the Indonesian culinary scene. 

E: What has working in culinary capitals such as Las Vegas and Singapore taught you?

A: Culture! Working with different cultures and environments doesn’t stop you from being whatever you want to be. There is no limit to exploration, there is only learning. 

E: If you were given the choice to return to either Las Vegas or Singapore, which would you choose and why?

A: Vegas! No disrespect to Singapore – I love the city. But Las Vegas touched me in a special way. It’s not like the media portrays it, with all the parties and craziness; it has a very calming and soothing environment. More importantly, there are many culinary giants and legends that I would still love to learn from, such as Pierre Gagnaire.

E: In your own words, what do you think is the Lyon experience?

A: I feel nostalgic. Lyon is home, where I started my culinary journey in French cuisine, and it has always been my plan to give back after my travels. Things such as presentation, aside from the excellent taste, matter. So, people can expect not only great food, but food that is easy on the eyes. Saturday brunch has always been our pride, as we serve authentic French cuisine with a variety of main dishes to choose from.

E: What do you think is your biggest achievement in your career so far?

A: My biggest achievement has been to take my experiences outside the country and bring them back home to Indonesia. Sharing knowledge and training the beautiful team here in MO Jakarta is such a blessing.

E: What do you think is the best dish that you have ever created?

A: A salmon dish that I brought to Bocuse d’Or Indonesian Selection back in 2014.

E: We heard that you like to listen to and play music. What’s your favourite spot to recommend?

A: Enjoy good music and good food in Jakarta? Currently I think Hard Rock Café is one of the best spots to enjoy my type of music, which is punk rock, as well as great food. 

Lyon at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta