Chef William W. Wongso, Indonesia’s most famous culinary expert, visited the culinary program at the Annandale Campus on May 4 to share his passion for the flavor and essence of this multi-faceted cuisine. Wongso is a renowned restauranteur, food consultant, critic, and host of the very popular television series “Cooking Adventures with William Wongso.”
Wongso worked with Annandale culinary students to make Asinan Jakarta (Jakarta vegetable and fruit pickled salad), Rendang Padang (Western Sumatra caramelized beef), Soto Ayam Lamongan (East Java spiced chicken soup) and Sate Maranggi (East Java spiced beef sate). Wongso had the students chop, slice, dice and mince, but rather than use recipes, guided them to assemble these dishes using their senses of taste, smell and touch. He demonstrated how to explore Indonesian cooking and its adaptability to modern cooking without losing its authenticity. Everyone was duly impressed by his culinary knowledge and easy going manner, as he seemed to have as much fun as the students.
Norman Yahya, one of NOVA’s culinary students from Indonesia, helped arrange this event through his connections with the Indonesian Embassy. Wongso was assisted by Dewi Justicia Meidiwaty, first secretary for press, information, and cultural affairs, and Isti Kuhn, Meidiwaty’s assistant. Wongso was a presenter at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival in Napa Valley, California. His visit to NOVA was one stop on a nationwide tour to promote Indonesia’s 30 Traditional Culinary Icons.