FERNANDO SINDU’S meteoric rise in the culinary scene can be attributed to his undeterred passion for his craft. He strives to learn as much as he can, and incorporates all his learnings into his food. His passion for Indonesian cuisine has driven him to try to elevate it with modern cooking techniques, excellent produce and different presentations. His menus may look like they are from a typical warung, all-too-familiar dishes such as Soto Betawi, Cumi Pekalongan, Nasi Goreng Kambing, but once the food makes its way to the table, patrons will be taken aback. This is because the chef likes to challenge his guests with a daring visual presentations. When it comes to taste, the objective is to bring a sense of familiarity, all the while playing with layers of textures and flavors. Taste-wise, he wants to replicate and accentuate those of his local favorite street food dishes. For example the flavors in his Nasi Goreng Kambing are very much inspired by the iconic Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih, but definitely doesn’t look like the original.
The chef also takes his creativity to the next level by creating special menus every week at his new venue, Cork & Screw Country Club. To make this happen, he has to rally, inspire, and lead his kitchen team to continuously push the boundaries of creativity. “We’ve been entrusted with such an amazing place, why wouldn’t we keep pushing the boundaries,” said the chef. “Essentially everybody needs practice, and to be a great chef you have to constantly play around with the ingredients.” In an attempt to enrich his knowledge for local cuisine, the chef has scheduled trips around Indonesia, starting off with exploring his parents’ home towns in West Java and Palembang and then his wife’s hometown in North Sulawesi. In a span of 10 years, Chef Fernando Sindu has come from culinary school, to lead some of the best kitchens in the city. See him at Cork & Screw Country Club, Benedict and SevenFriday Space.