When Meatsmith’s chef-owner Dave Pynt finally had the chance to visit his barbecue restaurant’s Jakarta branch, he decided that it would only be fitting to the Meatsmith DNA to celebrate the occasion with a party.
“You do what you do every day, but every now and then you have these sick parties where you do something that’s not your normal menu, you invite friends over to come and cook with DJ and music,” shared the Singapore-based chef, who also helms the Michelin-starred Australian BBQ joint Burnt Ends.
Thus, last Saturday, following a more formal dinner event the night before, Meatsmith Jakarta executed a daytime celebration of ‘Fire and Ice’ where Pynt and his friends dressed down and mixed pleasure with business through a lighthearted cookout of a la carte dishes against the backdrop of bumping party music.
And excitingly for this occasion, the aforementioned friends were a roster of Bali-based F&B heavyweights, including world’s best pastry chef Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert, expert chef-slash-surfing-enthusiast Benjamin Cross of Mason, the experimental and proudly local Ray Adriansyah of Locavore and the well-travelled baker Emerson Manibo of Barō.
“We’re all about bringing people together to have a good time,” shared Goldfarb of their shared philosophy, which brought the crew together.
Thanks to the casual atmosphere, guests got to see a more laid-back side to these renowned figures—as reflected in the menu items. For one, instead of Goldfarb’s customary ‘theatrical’ desserts, guests were treated to grab-and-go fun (and undoubtedly tasty) treats like his adaptation of Fabian Von Hauske’s once-viral Crème Brûlée Doughnut, which achieved a perfectly-balanced sweetness while boasting a caramelised sugar topping and custard filling. There was also his sustainably-made Sourdough Soft Serve. “It’s using scrap from the bread that we have, so it’s a zero-waste product,” explained the chef.
The same pattern of fun and casual yet true to each chef’s personal touch can be discerned in the other dishes as well. Pynt with the deliciously spiced and memory-filled Spit Roasted Ayam Taliwang cooked over a woodfire grill; Cross’ simple and unpretentious Chicken Lobster Slider, a combination of meatball patty, Sichuan pickles and Kewpie-slathered buns which took inspiration from tsukune (Japanese chicken meatball skewer); Ray’s daring BBQ Pulled Rabbit that broke conventions by using meat uncommonly found in the capital’s cuisines; and there was also Manibo with the BBQ Brisket with Flatbread, admittedly tamed-down to fit the urbanites’ palate but no less appetising.
Whether stomach capacity, dietary commitment or financial prudence might’ve stopped one from sampling each chef’s speciality, but the alternative was to miss out and pine over the lost chance. Besides, one could always share the dishes with their company to make the occasion even more festive.
The joy of the event wasn’t limited to the guests either. Undoubtedly for these chefs, being away from their home kitchen for a near spontaneous event came with its own challenges, especially in terms of space and supplies. But when asked how they felt about the experience, the chefs all arrived at the same conclusion: “It’s super fun.”
“[The best thing about it] is cooking with friends. Sometimes it’s the only time we get to catch up when everyone’s busy. So we go to an event like this, and we get to hang out together,” admitted Cross.
There was also the perk of learning from others, as told by Pynt, “When you see what everyone else is doing, how they’re doing it, their techniques—everything will give you a lot of inspiration, a lot of ideas and you get a lot of enjoyment from it.”
Ray remarked, “Everybody knows what they’re doing, it’s clear where our stations are, we help one another—and this is pretty common.” And Manibo had an explanation for this harmonious flow, “I think for the most part, we’re all kind of on the same wavelength in terms of creativity and passion. These are four super passionate chefs that really believe in their products, for myself as well.”
Indeed, each participating chef had their own way of describing the jollity of the event. “We really know each other well and we respect each other. It’s kind of like the superheroes coming together,” gushed Goldfarb. Fortunately for them and Jakartans alike, the presence of Measmith in town only guarantees more of the same fun and festivity diners can look forward to.
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