Surely/Someday + Kitchen

Not so long ago, we met with Sun Wahyu from Surely/Someday + Kitchen, a Jakarta-based creative baker. We discussed with him about his philosophy in choosing his ingredients and his creative process. Not so long after that, we were making small batches of pandan powder for Surely/Someday + Kitchen to be incorporated in his products. A rather insightful discussion, read through to find out more what goes inside his creative mind and considerations.

 

1. In your creative process of baking, how do you usually start? Does it begin from an inspiration? An ingredients you want to use? Or is there anything else that makes your creativity runs wild?

Proses kreatif bisa melalui cara yang berbeda beda. Kadang terinspirasi waktu berdiskusi dengan orang dalam bidang berbeda, kadang bisa juga dari melihat tekstur, situasi sekitar, sejarah atau bahkan memori. Kebetulan gue suka hal hal kecil yang meng-intrigue dan story telling, itu juga salah satu dasar saat gue mencoba untuk berkreasi khususnya untuk proyek Fable on The Table. Seklise kedengarannya, tapi penting untuk selalu  punya rasa penasaran dan keinginan tahu lebih, bahkan dari banyak bidang selain bidang yang kita geluti.

Creative process can be done in few different ways. Sometimes, inspiration comes when I am discussing with people from different backgrounds, sometimes it can be from observing texture, the surrounding, history or even memory. I happen to like little thing that is intriguing and telling a certain story, which also becomes one of my foundations when I try to create especially for Fable on The Table project. As cliche as it sounds, but it is important to have curiosity and willingness to learn more, even from other areas apart from the things that we are working on.

 

2. How do you usually choose your ingredients? What are the considerations?

Biasanya berdasarkan rasa ingin tahu dan mencoba kalau bahan A B C ini rasanya akan seperti apa, atau bisa diapakan. Kebetulan gue sangat menghindari menggunakan pewarna buatan, jadi dengan batasan itu, salah satu dasar gue memilih bahan tertentu kadang untuk mendapatkan warna tertentu juga.

Usually it’s from curiosity and willingness to experiment what flavours do certain ingredients bring or what can I do with it. I try to avoid artificial colouring, so from that restriction, one of my considerations in choosing ingredients are also to achieve certain colour.

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Photo courtesy of Surely/Someday + Kitchen.

3. We know that lately you have been playing around with local ingredients, what made you to do so?

Gue selalu tertarik dengan perasaan nostalgia, dan gue rasa banyak yang menganggap sepele beberapa bahan lokal, hanya mungkin karena kita terlalu familiar dengan bahan tersebut atau belum digali lebih dalam lagi.

I am always intrigued with nostalgic feelings and I think lots of people look down to local ingredients just because we are too familiar with local ingredient or we have not dig deeper about it.

 

4. Which Indonesian ingredients is your favourite?

Pandan, gula aren, jahe dan kelapa. Ada 4 mah ga favorit yah, hahaha. Oh gue juga suka belimbing wuluh!

Pandas, palm sugar, ginger and coconut. And belimbing wuluh is also another favourite of mine!

 

5. What are the challenges in using local ingredients?

Ketersediaannya.

It’s availability.

 

6. You have used Blueboots Farm’s pandan powder in some of your creations, what’s the story behind it?

Sebetulnya waktu itu hanya ngobrol santai sama Sam tentang Blueboots Farm ada bahan apa saja, dan Pandan itu kan sangat mudah dibudidayakan sebetulnya, dan gue memang pengen pakai pandan sebagai bahan cookies, tapi kendalanya dulu adalah untuk menggunakan pandan metode paling familiar itu adalah dengan di ekstrak sarinya, dan kalau bikin cookies gue lebih prefer sebisa mungkin ga terlalu banyak liquid, jadi gue tanya ke Sam, memungkinkan ga sih kalau Pandan dikeringkan dan di jadikan bubuk, dan ternyata bisa.

Actually at that time I was just chatting casually with Sam about Blueboots Farm’s produce and how pandan is actually really easy to grow. I have always wanted to use pandan as an ingredient for my cookies, but the restriction before was the most commonly available substance is pandan extract. When I’m making cookies, I prefer not to use too much liquid, so I asked Sam, is it possible if pandan is dehydrated and turned into powder and Sam said yes.

 

7. Do you think that Indonesian ingredients have been exposed a lot or do you think there is a lot of work in introducing local flavours?

Mungkin beberapa sudah familiar yah, tapi sewaktu gue ikut salah satu event di coffee shop, gue baru sadar kalau latar belakang elu sebetulnya cukup mempengaruhi akses elu dengan bahan lokal, sebagai contoh sewaktu Blueboots membawa pisang ambon lumut (pisangnya mentok cuma hijau ga bisa kuning, cuma super manis dan wangi), ternyata banyak yang belum tahu, kalau asumsi gue, mungkin ada beberapa orang yang terbiasa membeli pisang cavendish, jadi hanya tahu varian pisang  seperti itu, dan padahal ada banyak varian pisang yang berbeda di Indonesia, dan masing masing pisang punya fungsi sendiri. Tapi bagi yang masih suka beli ke pasar, mungkin udah familiar dengan pisang ambon lumut tadi. Ini salah satu contohnya. Tapi gue rasa dengan adanya anak anak muda yang tertarik bergerak di bidang agrikultur, mungkin ke depannya bisa meng-introduce bahan lokal.

Perhaps there are some that’s already familiar. However when I joined one of the events at a coffee shop, I just realized that your background is affecting your access to local ingredients. As an example, when Blueboots brought pisang ambon lumut (the banana can only goes green – not even yellow – but it is super sweet and has a strong fragrant), apparently a lot of people didn’t have any idea about it. In my assumption, perhaps people are too used in buying cavendish banana, so they only know that variant of banana although there are lots other variants of banana in Indonesia and each of them has their own usage. But for those who still go to traditional market, I think they are quite familiar with that pisang ambon lumut. That was one example. But I think with lots of young generation with interest in agriculture, hopefully in the near future they can help to introduce local ingredients as well.

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8. How do you marry modern way of baking with local flavours?

I’m not sure what i do is something modern though, karena sejujuranya gue lebih tertarik gimana mengangkat nilai yang sudah ada, tapi tidak mendeskontruksi terlalu jauh sampai jatuhnya gimmick. Terus terang gue sendiri masih mencari tahu bahan bahan lokal yang menarik untuk dikembangkan. Tentunya gue rasa pasti tidak jauh jauh dari media cookies, tapi tidak menutup kemungkinan untuk dikembangkan ke arah yang lain juga.

I’m not sure what I do is something modern though, because to be honest I am more interested in how to elevate the existing value but not deconstructing it too far until it becomes a gimmick. To be honest I’m still looking for local ingredients which are interesting to be developed into my products. Of course I think it’s not going to be far from cookies, but it doesn’t restrict any opportunities for it to be developed to another direction as well.

 

9. Lastly, you also have your own garden at the back of your house, do you use those plants as your ingredients too? What grows there?

Iya ada beberapa bahan yang gue tanam sendiri, mostly herbs and spices. Sereh, pandan, thyme, mint dan yang terakhir lumayan sering gue pakai, bunga telang.

Yes I do have some ingredients that I grow on my own, mostly herbs and spices. Lemongrass, pandan, thyme, mint and the last one is something that I commonly use lately, telang flower.

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