It’s Saturday afternoon and the traffic congestion in the capital is not better than any other day of the week. An invitation for a blogger to tea and food pairing with Peter Kuruvita in South Jakarta is an event that hardly to miss. I fought through a traffic jam to get there in time.
Hosted by PT. David Roy Indonesia, as an authorised distributor of Dilmah tea in Indonesia, the “Cooking is Going Tea with Peter Kuruvita” event was held at the Head Quarter PT. David Roy Indonesia.
The event began with Chef Peter Kuruvita share about his culinary journey, and watching a short slide of his tv shows “Islands Feast with Peter Kuruvita”, before we moving to the main event.
Cooking has always played a significant role in the life of Peter Kuruvita. As a child the man behind the iconic Flying Fish more involved in cooking than most kids on his age. “When I was a small boy they had a little bench made for me where I used to sit and watch the lady cooking, and so in that time I inspired by the passion.” he enthuses.
But while many successful chefs have similar stories, Peter take it further by translating his upbringing into the recipes he creates, and his commitment to using sustainable produce in his food. The same commitment that carried by Mr Merrill J. Fernando as a founder of Dilmah Tea and Dilmah conservation.
The cooking with tea class started with Dilmah Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles. Peter boiled the cream, before he added Earl Grey tea, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to infused the tea into the cream. Then he strained the hot cream and mix it with butter, and chocolate to make the truffle. “Chocolate and Earl Grey go perfectly together,” he said, “because Earl Grey has a bergamot.” then he added.
While waiting for the chocolate set, we learned how to make tea pastry cream. As before this time, he also boiled milk and infused it with tea, strained, and use the infused milk to make the pastry cream. The pastry cream infused with Dilmah Lychee with Rose and almond. This pastry cream can use as a choux pastry filling, served with sweet crackers for high tea Jakarta.
For the savoury dish first Peter made Nigiri Sushi. The prawn steamed with a strong brewed of Dilmah Fragrant Jasmine Green tea. He cook the prawns in a hot steaming liquid of tea instead poached it because he wants to maintain the reddish colour of the prawn. And for the rice he uses Sencha green tea, first he infused the vinegar with Sencha green tea and mix it with the cooked rice alongside with the tea leaves. The flavour of steamed prawns really comes out and the green tea enhances the taste of the prawns.
For the Indonesian Oxtail Soup, he uses Dilmah Lapsang Souchong, because the smoky flavour of lapsang souchong goes well with beef. I like that this oxtail soup has a subtle smoky flavour and it blend perfectly with the beef broth, and the fresh vegetables.
Beside learn to cook with tea we also learn about how to infused alcohol with tea from chef Peter. He added vodka alongside with 4 tea bags of Dilmah Berry Sensation to a cream gun and leave it for a couple minutes. He proceeded to pass out the tea infused vodka for us to smell. As we were amazed by how the smells of the vodka change, Peter commented, “This is what’s so great about cooking…chef always looking new ingredients, and tea is one of them ”
And we also get an insight about tea mixology from two mixologists .Magen Zulwandi and Ade Kurniawan. First, Maygen Zulwandi demonstrates how to make Mint Tea kaffir Lime with Dilmah Peppermint tea. Then Ade Kurniawan, a mixologist from T-Lounge by Dilmah at The Papilion, make Ceylon Rose Finest cocktail for us.
The chef also stresses that use the tea for cooking is different with when you brew the tea for drinking. You need to brew it longer and stronger when you cook with tea, because the addition of other ingredients can hide the taste of the tea. He also added that cook with tea is not intended to make the food taste like a tea, but tea added to food to enhance the flavour of the food.
For me the savoury dishes was the highlight of the day, it is very common and usual to cook and pairing sweet dessert with tea, but cook soup or sushi is a new experience for me. It was a pleasure sharing a Saturday afternoon witnessing chef Peter’s mastery of turning tea into refined culinary art. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Check my instagram @atikasumarsono for more pictures and information about cooking with tea, or search for #DilmahIDWithPeterKuruvita to see other blogger pictures. And heading to my youtube channel to watch my video. Last but not least thanks for Chef Peter Kuruvita for sharing his story and knowledge with us and also for Dilmah Indonesia team to make this afternoon tea party, and Tea and Food Pairing with Peter kuruvita event.