Cooking is actually a women’s job, but in fact, almost all over the world the profession of a chef is even mostly held by men. In the world of hospitality, for instance, not many women work as chef. Meanwhile, judging from their nature, women are the ones who deal the most with kitchen matters. “Female chefs are indeed in the minority in the hospitality world, but I think it’s normal. Men and women in the same chef position have the same rights and responsibilities,” said Komaneka Resorts Ubud’s Corporate Chef, Ida Ayu Puspaari, on Thursday (Apr 21).
All chef jobs, both male and female, are all the same, there is no difference because they are both in the same position as chef. As a chef, it is not enough just to be able to cook, but it should have other skills, especially in the presentation of processed menus. Bali tourism is based on culture, so the menus processed should also promote Balinese cuisines. “We are indeed raising Balinese cuisines to the international world. The trick is to combine Balinese culinary ingredients with international ingredients which are commonly called fusion food,” she said.
This creative woman has created many processed menus combining traditional elements, but they could be accepted by tongue of foreigners. Call it among them, there are sweet potato crab meat, pork roll sandwich, lemongrass chili sorbet and some others. All of her production menus have been accepted by tourists, so she is always creative to make new menus or at least modify the existing ones. “Currently, Bali tourism is gradually recovering, but there are not many menu orders because hotel occupancy is still quiet,” she added.
Even though foreign tourist visits have started to gradually develop, Ida Ayu Puspaari is still feeling the impact of the pandemic. Therefore, she hoped that in a situation like this there will be a decrease in the price of basic necessities, so that it can be reached by people who are still affected. “Honestly, during the pandemic I have to find a side job, so that I can provide for the family’s economy. I open angkringan (horse stall) and share knowledge by teaching at campuses,” she explained.
Ida Ayu Puspaari admitted that being a chef is her choice. Since childhood, she has had a hobby of cooking since the fourth grade of elementary school. She used to make snacks to sell in order to get additional school fees. “Such impetus came because Bali is a world’s tourist destination. Similarly, I want to revive ingredients that are almost extinct as traditional dishes to be packaged into the ones that are of international interest, such as using vegetable like bulun balon, jepen-jepen, gooseweed and others,” she added.
Chef Ida Ayu Puspaari also learned much from her aunt who is a cook at a hotel in Bali. She learned a lot outside of working hours as a laundry clerk at a hotel. “Initially I worked in the laundry division. After 1992, I was then trusted as a chef. I’ve never experienced a challenge because I really enjoy the job I am doing. I have to be able to manage my time between work and household activities,” said this Bali’s Kartini. (BTN/015)