ASTANA – Executive Chef Hery Sudarmanto has introduced a multi-cuisine concept to the Astana Marriott restaurants. His extensive work experience in the Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, the Maldives and Indonesia enabled him to bring a taste of Asia to French-inspired menu.
“Apart from cooking, travelling is one of my biggest passions. At first, I was not sure if I could handle the cold climate here. Slowly after almost three years, I’ve been living in Astana for three years and I feel comfortable. It is a nice and clean city and that’s why I like it. Working here is also an amazing experience. Kazakh people are warm and friendly. We have a good atmosphere in our workplace. We always help and support each other like family,” Sudarmanto said in a recent interview with The Astana Times.
A native of Southeast Asia Sudarmanto teaches the staff the art of Asian and modern cuisines.
“Being a head chef was my dream and I am delighted to reach it. This is a little more challenging as there is more responsibility. At the same time, I can experiment with different recipes. I can drive my team and create special things for our guests,” he said.
Sautéed frog legs green pea coulis as appetizer and black cod fish with sautéed romaine lettuce, confit potato and pepper coulis as the main course are specifically recommended for food enthusiasts at the Aroma restaurant.
“We have three restaurants at the hotel. We offer modern approach in cooking at the Vista Restaurant and Bar, European cuisine and a few Kazakh traditional dishes at the Aroma restaurant and lobby bar,” he said.
Influenced by his European friends and living in Arab countries, Sudarmanto considers his cooking style to be multi-cuisine. The chef’s signature dish is a lamb rack with roasted vegetables, honey and mint sauce at the Aroma restaurant.
“I was interested in cooking since 10. I helped my mother to prepare daily food for our family. Then it became a passion as I found it really interesting. One of my friends who worked with me in eastern countries motivated me to begin a professional chef career. Now I am pleased to share my experience and vision with my team and help them to grow as professionals,” he said.
Adapting to Kazakh dining culture was an exciting experience too, said Sudarmanto.
“I tried many local dishes including lagman (noodles with meat and vegetables), plov (rice with meat), and manti (meat with dough). It was actually something new for me. We make some dishes from Kazakh cuisine for the events in our restaurants and banqueting. I was interested how to make various food and now I can make even beshbarmak,” he said.
The Astana Marriott team is currently creating a menu for the warm season with a focus on local products including beef, duck and seasonal vegetables.
“We’d like to add lemon grass and leaves from Asian cuisine in our meals. We are also preparing banquet menu with different kinds of meal plan programme for in-house events or outside catering for EXPO. This is an important event for us too and I would like to bring French style cooking with my own experience of multi-cuisine,” he said.
A great selection of the finest international dishes makes Astana Marriott a widely popular brunch destination in the capital. It is held every third Sunday of each month from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. It costs 10,900 tenge (US$34) or unlimited wine option 14,900 tenge (US$46) and 5,450 tenge (US$17) for children aged 7-12. Children under 6 are allowed for free.
“We always bring something new for the brunch offering Asian, American, Italian dishes and a unique selection of wine,” said Sudarmanto. “Sometimes it’s a challenge to book a table for brunch. You should book two weeks in advance as many know that our brunch is the best in Astana. And this is really inspiring for all our team.”
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