Earlier this year, Pantai Indah Kapuk in North Jakarta became home to the Bali-based restaurant Sisterfields. The establishment is known to embrace the lax vibes of the island all the while carrying fun and mouthwatering dishes without fail. There’s no wonder of the number of following it has garnered ever since: Sisterfields is indeed a treat.
Behind the dishes you see at Sisterfields is Chef Jethro Vincent. He hailed all the way from New Zealand before landing his feet in Bali to become the executive chef to, not only both Sisterfields in Bali and Jakarta, but also to BO$$MAN and Bikini on the paradise island. Seeing the well-adoring crowd, it’d be easy to assume that Chef Jethro always knew of his talent to please our taste buds. But in fact, his lane into the culinary world began as “a scrawny and skinny little 16-year-old with a kitchen job.”
And to him, inspiration came when he realised, simply, how cool his superior was at the little eatery where he used to work as a young boy. To paint the picture, this man was by no means an executive with an abundance of culinary awards to pride on, instead, “imagine this big man in the kitchen, knows about food, knows how to cook, but decides on a low-paying hand kitchen job because all he wanted to do was surfing the waves,” he described. Yet, young Jethro believed that this unassuming man must have a lot to offer. And thus, the defining moment that put him on his current path.
Speaking of not judging a book by its cover, a look at his delicately plated dishes are in fact a denouement of a culinary education that is forged through years of direct training in kitchens. And with much trials and tribulations that he faced along the way, leaving the door of a defeated opportunity open in the back of his mind proves that a cause is only lost if you let it become one. For his current success as a chef here is his second leap of faith he took after the first one failed.
Perhaps, the fun flair of his dishes comes from his confident outlook and the way he defines his style: undefined, unbound, creative, and fluid. Chef Jethro refuses to limit himself; when it comes to cooking, his palate and imagination are his weapons of choice. “As a cook, I consider myself a teenager; I’m content with where I am but I know I have more to discover,” he vouched. Which is why in the kitchen, he has a knack for putting twists on classic dishes.
To wit, Chef Jethro shared with us a classic Meatball Spaghetti recipe with crispy basil and crispy parmesan crackers as the creative quirk for you to follow in your kitchen:
Classic Spaghetti Meatballs
This recipe will serve enough for an entire group and is divided into three parts: the tomato sauce, the meatballs, and the garnishing.
4 onions (finely diced)
4 garlic cloves (finely diced)
1 bay leaf
75g olive oil
90g celery (chopped)
120g tomato paste
80ml sherry vinegar
3 tsp cayenne pepper
2 A10 cans of tomatoes
200ml olive oil
60g basil (chopped)
60g parsley (chopped)
60g oyster sauce
Salt and sugar (to taste)
- Cook until translucent the diced onions, garlic, and bay leaf with olive oil on low heat.
- Combine it with the rest of the ingredients in a big pot, bring to boil on high heat then reduce to simmer for approximately 40 minutes.
- Season with salt and sugar to taste until the right balance is achieved as desired.
3kg minced beef
80g onion soffrito (sautéed onion)
150g panko breadcrumbs
Optional: 360g minced prosciutto
- Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
- Add all ingredients together and massage with hands until it’s well mixed.
- Roll the meat with hands into 30g balls.
- Place raw meatballs on a pan and cover them with the prepared tomato sauce.
- Place them in the oven until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Fill ¾ of medium pot with oil and heat t0 160 degrees.
- One by one, gently drop the basil leaves into the oil for a few seconds. Use oil splash guards if necessary.
- Remove basil leaves with slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen tissue.
- Take equal parts of basil leaves and olive oil and blend for 1 minute
- Strain the mix with a fine strainer into a small jug and let it rest for 1 hour to let the residue sit.
- Pour the clarified green oil into a different container for future uses.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
- On a silicon mat, grate a layer of the parmesan, covering the oven tray.
- Flick some water on the grated cheese using your fingers – this will help avoid the cheese from burning or turning bitter.
- Bake in oven for 6 minutes or until the cheese becomes a golden brown colour.
- After cooling, take the chips off the tray and store them in an airtight container until ready to use.