Renowned chef Yuda Bustara honed his skills in prestigious bistros and fine dining destinations in Malaysia, and the Crown Casino Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, before coming home to Jakarta to help his father’s vegan restaurant. Currently the Culinary Diplomat for Indonesia, Yuda is also famed for his TV show Urban Cook on the Asian Food Channel and his collaborative private dining service Tree Food Concept. In his spare time, he shared what it’s like to adjust to living at home.
Q: How much has your daily life changed with this situation and the stay-at-home appeal?
A: It has changed a lot. As a chef, I went from working in a commercial kitchen to having to stay at home. I can’t even shoot for my TV shows and my YouTube channel, so everything has to be postponed until the WFH (work from home) appeal ends. That being said, I always try to be productive by creating new recipes or short cooking videos that I can post to provide content for my followers.
Q: In a time when maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount, how do you implement this in your life?
A: As someone who handles food for work, it’s always important to pay attention to personal hygiene. Since I work in a commercial kitchen, I’m used to paying extra attention to clean nails and wearing a hairnet when cooking. I carry these kinds of habit into my daily life, including washing my hands before preparing food. In terms of the food I consume, I try to choose that with higher nutritional value. Many people prefer to eat instant food at home, but I think nutritious fresh goods are what we need.
Q: What activities do you like to do now that you have to stay at home?
A: I’m not an expert in producing my own cooking videos, but the situation has encouraged me to learn to do this without my team. I try to upload one new recipe video daily, showcasing simple and healthy food on my Instagram account @yudabustara. I want to encourage my followers to learn how to cook.
Q: What dishes do you like to cook at home?
A: Sop buntut, nasi goreng, or even just corned beef and sunny-side-up egg. Ever since WFH was implemented, I have limited going grocery shopping to once a week, so I choose simpler ingredients. As most people would, I choose to cook my meals myself to make sure they are clean and hygienic.
Q: Do you have any kitchen tips for the readers at home?
A: Learn to cook or try anything new during WFH. You can organise your kitchen so that it’s neater and more efficient, or try arranging meal prep to make your daily activities easier. I usually go grocery shopping once a week, I cook all the ingredients, pack them in containers, and store them in the freezer. Any time I want to eat, I just reheat the food. It’s really practical compared to having to cook each and every single day.
RICE COOKER SOP BUNTUT
6 large pieces of oxtail
Green onions, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
- Put all main ingredients, excluding seasoning, in the rice cooker.
- Add 1 litre of water.
- Set the rice cooker to cook and cook for two cycles.
- Add chopped green onions, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir well.
- Add fried garlic right before serving.