Food for Family and Friends

Dec 14, 2015

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Many years ago – it seems – when Petty came back from living in England, she told me she had entered (and won) a prestigious cooking competition so I suggested a collaboration to put her recipes in our magazine.

Now, after several false starts, we have a fun, useful, to-the-point book with some of Petty’s original recipes and some adaptations. All are delicious

I have enjoyed Petty’s cooking for years, now I can enjoy your cooking too as you learn how Petty does it, in your own kitchen. Don’t forget to invite me soon!

Well done Petty and thanks from all of us who love your food

Alistair Speirs


In the pursuit of good taste, time simply disappears. So it was quite astonishing to realise that my first food column appeared long ago, in February 2004 in a culture and lifestyle magazine published by Alistair Speirs. The ensuing 11 years have found me engrossed and inspired in my affair with food.

To my surprise, on the way I have done many things, including being a guest chef and food consultant in a five star hotel, presenting my own style of cuisine – a nervous evening to be sure! It has been a busy time, not only in the pleasure of writing about food but also travelling around Indonesia and other parts of the world to do further research on regional Indonesian cuisine and world cuisine, cooking classes, interviewing chefs behind the best restaurants in the world, attending international forums and workshops and learning the art – or perhaps the guile – of a restaurant critic, a judge at cooking competitions and representing Indonesia at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 and also this October 2015. Not least, it has been satisfying to publish my first cook book, Papaya Flower, Manadonese Cuisine, Provincial Indonesian Food. I am working on my new book Jakarta Bites now. The greatest enjoyment has come from reading the kind messages of those who have sampled and enjoyed the recipes, and indeed sharing my recipes with professionals in the hotel and restaurant industry in Jakarta and Bali through the consulting and training I have done in many establishments.

And now this book – a collection of recipes from my column in NOW! Jakarta over the last few years. Some recipes are not Indonesian in origin; rather they emanate from time spent living in England and much travelling. They also demonstrate for the most part, my preference for celebrating local flavours wherever possible.

Since I began this culinary trip my goal has been to promote Indonesian cuisine in a contemporary style that captures freshness and elegance using modern cooking techniques without losing the tradition, character and distinctive flavour of Indonesia.

As our lifestyles develop, expectations are rising over the quality and nutritional value of food. It has become essential to pay more attention to quality ingredients combined with good cooking techniques to produce the perfect fragrance, taste, aroma and texture of Indonesian cuisine which is good enough to compare at an international level. There is so much still to explore in regional Indonesian food and so this volume is just a little introduction.

I hope you will enjoy its contents, and like me, become inspired to lose yourself in time and the pleasure of Indonesian food, the cuisine which is very close to my heart, the food which I grew up with.

Selamat Makan!

Jakarta, early September 2015

Petty Elliot

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