If you haven’t booked a table yet, this is your last chance. Locavore, the much-raved-about Bali-based restaurant serving a modern European cuisine using fresh local ingredients, will take a blink-and-you-will-miss residence on 14 and 15 March 2018 at Dewakan.
Locavore was named one of the best restaurants in Asia in 2017. Here, its chef Eelke Plasmeijer (EP) and Dewakan’s Darren Teoh (DT) talk to August Man Malaysia on what you can expect from them and more.
Being a guest chef at Dewakan for a couple of dates, do you go through the same routine or preparation like you would at Locavore?
EP: No, because it is not my kitchen; this kitchen at Dewakan is better than my kitchen (laughs). No, if we go cook somewhere else, we normally bring one or two dishes that we are comfortable with, and the other dishes we sort of create based on what is available.
It’s not always the smartest thing to do, but you need to push yourself.
If you come to Malaysia, well we could, because you can find the same ingredients; but if we cook in Switzerland, if we cook in Amsterdam, it doesn’t make sense.
We are Locavore. If we do a Locavore dish in Switzerland, 90% of the ingredients would have to be imported.
What we do nowadays is that we ask the chefs what is good, what is in season, what do you have; from there we make a menu, and then when we get to the collaborating restaurant or the restaurant that we’re doing a pop-up with, we fill in the gaps.
Me and chef Darren, we’ve been going to some markets, and we’ve done some eating.
The good thing about doing it here with Darren is that, we are sort of doing the same thing (when it comes to food). He does it what he does at Dewakan with Malaysian ingredients, and we are doing it with Indonesian ingredients at Locavore.
Here, it’s super easy. The further we travel, the harder it gets.
But it depends too as not all chefs like to be that flexible.
Most chefs are really certain of what they want to do; others are bit more flexible, say if we can’t get a certain ingredient, we replace it with another. That flexibility, I think is important.
I mean, if this is Locavore and when we invite guest chefs, we look at people who are on the same line of what we do, people who use local ingredients, people who are pushing the envelope a little bit, people who are thinking out of the box – and a traditional French restaurant or people who cook in hotels, because then it’s not the same mentality.
DT: To a degree, we both work with the same sort of ingredients; here at Dewakan and over there at Locavore.
What is interesting right now, though, is that a lot of ingredients are not in season – so we are actually limited with what we can use for the dinner.
I think we’ll be seeing some very interesting usage of ingredients, like a lot of pickle and a lot of things from our larder, and a lot of more regular items used differently.
For example, Eelke just put together a sauce for the duck that we might use that, had some of our salted limes and sultanas, that was quite interesting and something which both of us have never really tasted before.
I’ll be using some blackened bananas, which we’ll use in a porridge.
He’s also brought some bumbu – an Indonesian spice – so we’ll use some of that too, probably.