Insecurity and Danger, Chef Henry Alexie Bloem Knows What To Do With Them When It Comes To Food

Monday, 28 October 2019 | 17:47 WIB
  • Food for Health and Planet: Chef Henry Alexie Bloem Talks about His Position in Chef Association and  Food Insecurity
    Food for Health and Planet: Chef Henry Alexie Bloem Talks about His Position in Chef Association and  Food Insecurity

    Kitchenesia met Chef Henry Bloem at Chef Expo. The chairman of Indonesia Chef Association (ICA) told us about the organization and sustainability cooking.

    Kitchenesia.com - The fifty-one-year-old Henry Alexie Bloem reached his 30 years of culinary career this year. Not only an experienced and skilled chef, Chef Henry Bloem is also a sought-after international advisor for restaurants and hotels specializing in Indonesian cuisine.

    Throughout his career, The Bali-origin chef has shown a strong determination in preserving original flavors of Indonesian cuisine. The Harley-Davidson enthusiast is also in the pursuit of giving traditional Indonesian cuisine the platform it so rightly deserves.

    Chef Henry Alexie Bloem on talk show at 2019 Chef Expo, on October 14, 2019, at JIEXPO Kemayoran
    Chef Henry Alexie Bloem on talk show at 2019 Chef Expo, on October 14, 2019, at JIEXPO Kemayoran

    To achieve his dream, he bravely explores Indonesian original spices and learns the history behind every traditional dish.

    Despite his prominent career, Chef Henry still manages to keep himself occupied as a chairman of Indonesian Chef Association (ICA). It is a non-profit NGO with chefs throughout Indonesian, whose mission is to develop two main objectives in Indonesian cuisine industry: its traditional food and human resources.

    On Monday, October 14th, Chef Henry Bloem shared the mission of ICA and his thoughts on food industry. Despite his rough and worn-out biker look, the big chef heartily shared a joke or two throughout the interview. And of course, some of his words were inserted with purposely pun and dad jokes.

    Could you tell us about the history of ICA and how does it work?

    Prior to ICA establishment, every province in Indonesia has their own chef association. Then in 2003, board members of chef organizations in Java and Bali gathered in Semarang to discuss national-scale organization to support all professional cooks across this country. Then four years after, ICA established on January 25, 2007.

    As a non-profit organization, all ICA’s activities are backed up by supporting vendors. Our primary vision is to promote Indonesian food industry: its traditional cuisine and chefs. We implement our missions by holding an annual chef expo and training. We also have our ambassadors who work overseas so that they can promote Indonesian food while working.

    Chef Henry Alexie Bloem in an exclusive interview with Kitchenesia
    Chef Henry Alexie Bloem in an exclusive interview with Kitchenesia

    The Minister of Tourism (Arief Yahya) pointed Soto as Indonesia’s national food. Do you agree with this decision?

    I think it is okay to assign soto as our national food. Even though, I believe, Soto does not represent the whole Indonesia. The real problem is that our government always switches the regulation as its Minister changes once in five years.  The preceded Minister decided 30 traditional dishes as national food, now they have it reduced to five.

    Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism needs to learn from Thailand. Our neighbor country is really persistent when it comes to promoting culinary tourism. Tom Yum (Thai hot and sour soup) has been Thailand’s national dish for a long time: past, present, and I believe in the future as well. That’s why, people always associate Tom Yum with Thailand, and vice versa. That’s how big the impact of food to tourism.  

    (the interview was conducted when Arief Yahya was the tourism minister, present minister is Wisnuthama)

    Board Members of Indonesia Chef Association: Chef Arjuna Rorimpandey (left), Chef Yongki Gunawan (middle, with black suit), Chef Vindy Lee (middle), and Chef Henry Alexie Bloem
    Board Members of Indonesia Chef Association: Chef Arjuna Rorimpandey (left), Chef Yongki Gunawan (middle, with black suit), Chef Vindy Lee (middle), and Chef Henry Alexie Bloem

    As the end of 2019 is near, could you tell us new programs of ICA for next year?

    We will be holding annual chef expo with different theme every year. This year’s Chef Expo theme is Indonesian healthy food and sustainability. Perhaps what we aim for next year is bigger chef expo: more participants and more visitors.

    Food sustainability is one of globe’s main concern. In your opinion, has Indonesian faced food insecurity and dangerous problems?

    Food sustainability starts in the kitchen when a cook chooses vegetables and meats to serve on a plate. Indonesia will surely face food sustainability in the future, as we see many acres of rain forest, where many spices grow, are burnt. I also saw so many lands for crops and farms are transformed into real estates.

    We might still be secure when it comes to food, but how about 20 years later? Population also grows bigger as this earth is getting old. That’s why ICA has a mision to educate young cooks that we need to prepare meals for health, environment, and this planet.

    Sera B
    David Togatorop
    Tags




    PROMOTED CONTENT

    Tags
    Popular
    Kitchen Story