+ Hi Léa, where are you from, where do you currently live and why did you choose to move there?
Hi ! I was born in France, but recently I moved to Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. My boyfriend works here since a year ago so I joined him here to start a new exciting life. Jakarta is a messy chaotic lovely place with friendly and the nicest people I ever met. I already really feel at home here. Jakarta is an affluent place for discovery with so many different food. Indonesian cuisine for me is delicious with a huge panel of new flavours.
+ What did you study to become a food designer?
I have studied Product design in France then I moved to Paris to specialise in culinary design.
At first place I worked in Maximum, this company creates objects entirely from industrial waste generated in Paris greater area. Really a great place to grow ! Then I met Julie Rothhahn the most talented food designer I know. It was an amazing collaboration with so many ambitious projects.
+ What does food design mean to you?
Culinary design is first of all a desire to share. It’s an artistic way to express oneself in a different way than painting or sculpture, my material is food and there is an infinite range of rendering, textures, colors and so much more to discover. I enjoy to transcribe a universe, make people travel with us through the flavors, the aesthetics and the ways of presenting them.
I like to be able to make people question what is laid out before their eyes. It is also collaborating with several trades, highlighting rich and unique know-how, it requires a lot of curiosity and imagination.
+ We saw you worked on a project around food waste and in particular, bread. Can you tell us a little more?
Yes, it was my final academic project, I was curious about upcycling and wanted to apply it to different kind food. So I thought about how recycling wasted bread, because bread have a huge history in french culture.
I managed to obtain several shades by separating the crumb from the crust, with these I obtained a superb natural shade of brown, beige and white.
I actually took a break on this project to give it the necessary rest and come back to it later. « Just like bread itself, the dough should sit before being baked, right.»
+ Favourite dish?
All about Vietnamese cuisine, I really love the unpretentious but so tasty flavor. Sorry frenchies ;)
+ Favourite cookbook?
The cookbook called «Le grand manuel de la patisserie».
I love the graphic style of this book, the visuals are sublime vector drawings with sectional views, annotations, they dissected each visual as we would analyze an object. Such a great cookbook.
+ Can you share a recipe of a dish from Jakarta that you recently discovered?
This a typical indonesian meal you can find in the Warungs, the street vendors on wheels !
Chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon colza oil
Salt and black pepper
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons water until desired consistency is reached; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce.
In a large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, mixing occasionally.
Drain the chicken from the marinade.
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers. Brush with colza oil; season with salt and pepper.
Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 73 degrees C, about 12-15 minutes depends about you oven.
Serve immediately with the peanut sauce and slice of lime. You can also put some cracked peanut.
Thank you to Léa for answering these little questions for Crème zine and sharing with us some insight into her food experiments!
Follow her adventures over on Instagram @leafromentdesigner