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Indonesia Dinner

Jakarta, September 12, 2013

Goethe’s ‘Italian Journey’ comes to Jakarta

The Bailliage of Jakarta held a black-tie dinner at La Luce, a highly accomplished Italian restaurant in South Jakarta.

The dinner aptly named ‘Italian Journey’ was the creation of La Luce’s Executive Chef, Alessandro de Boni. He had travelled in person to Italy to bring back to Jakarta some of the finest ingredients Italy and especially Tuscany has to offer in time to prepare the dinner for us.

Interestingly, it was on September 12, 1786, when the iconic German poet and author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe arrived in Torbole in Northern Italy at the start of his now famous three-year Italian sojourn.  His diary was published in 1816 as a journal called ‘Italian Journey’. He wrote, ‘Nothing can be compared to the new life that the discovery of Italy provides for a thoughtful person. Although I am still the same, I believe to have changed to the bone’.

A mouth-watering journey of tastes, textures and exquisite fresh produce from Italy, the courses were accompanied by specially-selected Italian wines.

The menu started with a taste of the Mediterranean Sea in the form of sea urchins, scallops and crab. Moving inland to experience the melt-in-your-mouth ancient grain from Tuscany called spelt in a prawn soup was followed by seven-year old aged Acquarello risotto served with lobster and foie gras.

Continuing with fresh cod cooked in Tuscan clay, we were mesmerized by the artistic display that was the sorbet’s presentation by Andrea Giannini, La Luce’s Restaurant Manager. In a feat of culinary prowess he created quite a ‘smoky’ stir when mixing passion fruit juice with minus 198 degree liquid nitrogen to create the sorbet.

The highlight of the night followed - ‘Agnello di Zeri’ (lamb of Zeri). Tender racks of lamb from an ancient breed of sheep raised in the high altitude mountainous region of Zeri in Tuscany were roasted to perfection and served with artichoke and cream of potato.

The final course of the night was another artistic creation by Chef Alessandro and his brigade. For each plate they created a sphere of peach juice set on a bed of lavender biscuits.  With the toast of ‘long live the Chaîne!’ these spheres were simultaneously cracked open when served to reveal a creamy sorbet of cedar fruit.

The night continued with Cognac and cigars including some Tuscan ones contributed by Chef Alessandro.

The Bailliage of Jakarta looks forward to many more gastronomic creations of La Luce’s young, highly-talented and artistically-gifted Chef Alessandro.

Raj Kannan, Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique