Dade Akbar The Mastermind of Warteg Gourmet On His Attemp to Dignify Warteg

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 | 07:56 WIB
  • Dade Akbar, The Mastermind of Warteg Gourment, Revealed Easy Food Plating Tips and His Attemp to Make Warteg 'Dignified'
    Dade Akbar, The Mastermind of Warteg Gourment, Revealed Easy Food Plating Tips and His Attemp to Make Warteg 'Dignified'

    Kitchenesia team met Dade Akbar. The mastermind behind @WartegGourmet on Instagram. On Warteg Gourmet, Dade exhibits his skills in designing warteg food to be more visually appealling. - Dade Akbar seems to be contemplating how to put clover sprouts in the best position. On a plain plate, the finished dish looked colorful, with combination of golden brown from fired chicken, clear white from steamed rice, even pink from garnishes. The result is superb, but it is still weird to see someone being so serious in dressing warteg dish. 

    An experienced figure in advertising field, Dade uses his skills in design and photography to make over basic tempeh into micheline-starred-worthy fermented soybean chips. Of course, people often question whether or not his makeover foods are still considered "warteg dishes". To dispel all doubts, he makes a clear stance: as long as they still have warteg flavors, then they are warteg dishes no matter how fancy the presentations are. 

    He started @WartegGourmet on Instagram as a hobby. But today, attentions from online media has made his creation hugely popular. Dade began to profit his hobby by catering facilities for small events that want to enjoy and praise warteg foods. 

    Dade Akbar on his live food plating demo on Endeus Festival
    Dade Akbar on his live food plating demo on Endeus Festival

    Where did you learn food plating?

    Mainly self-taught. Since childhood, I've been an avid fan of warteg to the point I learned the recipes by myself. One day, an idea to combine my fondness in warteg food and my skillset as a digital artist popped up in mind. It was the day when @WartegGourmet born.

    I apply many skills as digital artist in food plating, such as composition and colors. I didn't expect everyone got really hyped over my creations, really. 

    What are your steps in warteg food plating? Is there anything reduced/erased in order to make artful warteg dishes?

    I don't have an exact way, but most of the time I associate a food with things visually similar to it. For example, tempe looks similar to bricks, so I combine it with natural-ish colors like green or orange on a plate. This is just the usual circumstances. Sometimes, the ideas are also sparked by unusual objects. 

    Flavor will always be my first priority for food. Therefore, I have never reduced any spices or other ingredients on my food. For a warteg food plating, the one thing that should be reduced is perhaps the portion (laugh). 

    Warteg food with fancy plating by Dade Akbar
    Warteg food with fancy plating by Dade Akbar

    What are the the most difficult warteg foods to be made into in artful plating?

    Any food with generous broth like soup and soto. Both require an extra creativity, but gives limited results. The only thing I do to makeup soup is by adding colorful garnishes, or using unique bowls. 

    Aesthetic presentation of warteg food can dignify their classes and make them potential to be exported to international market.

    I agree. I had an exhibition recently in Ubud, Bali, and many foreign tourists showed their appreciations to warteg foods. It turns out that many foreign tourists are intrigued by warteg foods when they visit Indonesia, but they are too afraid to try. 

    That's why, presenting warteg food in more modern ways make them look familiar to tourists. I really hope many chefs overseas will present warteg foods during their works so that warteg food will be more popular overseas. 

    Tells us, what is your favorite warteg food?

    Everything, definitely. You have no idea (laugh).

    Sera B
    David Togatorop


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