Ray & Eelke – A Four Hand Interview
There are plenty of great restaurants in major cities, and I have always admired chefs, who pack up their city lifestyles and move to the countryside and open their dream restaurants there. Recently I bumped into a friend Ray Adriansyah, from Locavore in Ubud and while we were chatting, he agreed to answer few questions for us. The article evolved into a “Four Hand Interview” with his business partner Chef Eelke Plasmeijer.
Let’s find out who they are, what they like and more.
1. How long have you been cooking?
Eelke: As long as I can remember.
Ray: I have been cooking for 16 years.
2. What was your favourite dish that your mum cooked for your family?
Eelke: Believe it or not – my mom makes a mean spaghetti Bolognese for a Dutch woman.
Ray: It would be beef rendang, braised ox tongue in kecap manis, or just a simple fried chicken.
3. Was cooking your first choice as a career?
Eelke: No, but I sucked at everything else, so this was my only option.
Ray: Cooking was always my first choice, but I did go to business school in the beginning.
4. Name three things you enjoyed most while studying in Netherlands.
- Skipping school to play billiard and drink beer.
- Working in the only restaurant in my village during the weekends.
- Watching Ajax play football, back in the days they would still win once in awhile.
Ray: Besides cooking it would be the nature, music and the fresh produce.
5.When you look back at your time in the Netherlands, what was your favourite flavour to work?
Eelke: Not necessary a flavour but I loved cooking according to the seasons; boy do I miss that!
Ray: As far as I remember I loved working with all the different fruits in different seasons.
6. Can you describe your work philosophy at Locavore?
Eelke: Modern food using Indonesian produce only.
Ray: Locavore does a modern cuisine, with the ingredients from the archipelago around Indonesia. We focus on Bali but also seek from the other islands.
7. How would you describe Jakarta in flavours?
Eelke: As a melting pot of the whole archipelago, you can find everything there.
Ray: One big melting pot 🙂
8. What is your favourite dish you like to cook for your family?
Eelke: That same Bolognese, my mom, used to make.
Ray: For my wife and my little boy I love to cook breakfast. I did a very nice roast chicken for my mum and my brothers and sister (at least they think it was nice!)
9. If you could be a vegetable or fruit what would you like to be? 🙂
Eelke: Really?! Ok then: a cabbage then.
Ray: Nice question, it would be asparagus, because the asparagus is the king of vegetables (so they say…)
10. Can you share with us what are you working on at Locavore currently?
Eelke: We are trying very hard to establish a network of suppliers around the entire archipelago to supply us with fresh things we can’t get here in Bali.
Ray: Currently I am working on the new dishes at Locavore which are a fish course and also the meat course.
11. Where is your favourite place to dine?
Eelke: I know I shouldn’t say this, but it is our new location Nusantara! I love Indonesian food, and there are not that many places you can find this in Ubud.
Ray: Right now I like our sister restaurant Nusantara, I always like a good warung or a decent Chinese food.
12. Is there a restaurant you would love to visit – but have not yet had the chance?
Eelke: Haven’t been anywhere really (Ray is the one that travels and eats) but would love to go to Azurmendi.
Ray: It’s going to be a long list (if I were to write them all down) One of them is El Bulli 🙂
13. What would you advise to young professionals, who would like to step into the F&B world?
Eelke: Simply don’t!
Ray: Are you sure????!!!
14. Beach or mountain?
Eelke: Easy one: mountain!
15. How do you balance your work and personal life?
Eelke: Trying to have as many meals with my little family as possible. Running a restaurant is pretty easy and straightforward but running a family next to that (or the other way around) is a different story. The good thing is that my wife is super great and tries to support me in this. She even started doing the admin of all the restaurant while she doesn’t have an admin background, lots of respect for her taking this on actually!
Ray: I don’t think there is such a thing. However, when I have a day (or days off) I just try to make the most of it with my wife and my little kid.
Thank you Eelke and Ray for your time! For our readers, please do visit Locavore when next in Ubud – we certainly enjoyed our taste experience when we visited last year!