William Wongso: Taste of Indonesia
William Wongso is one of Indonesia’s renowned culinary expert, restaurateur, culinary advisor and also celebrity chef. In 2008, he got an appreciation award by Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Indonesian Professional Certification Authority (BNSP) for his dedication in culinary vocational education. Moreover, his passion and efforts to promote Indonesian culinary, nationally and internationally, has also acknowledged by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Currently, he is the head of Working Group for promoting Indonesian culinary in the world.
Furthermore, he is also well-known chef in international culinary world. In international level, he was awarded Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Merite Agricole in 2001 by Ministry of Agriculture of France for his significant role and merit in the French culinary and gastronomy. He was also awarded as a Honorary Goodwill Ambassador for Korea, choosen by Korean Tourism Board in 2009. He also received a South East Asia Wine Pioneer Recognition Award by Wine for Asia in 2011.
Aside from his weekly culinary TV shows in TV7 and Metro TV, he is passionate to promote and elevate Indonesian cuisines into world culinary. He is also enthusiastic to explore local authentic cuisines in some cities in Indonesia. His journeys to many provinces provided him a more appreciation and passion to do a culinary diplomacy.
As a chef, he puts enormous efforts to keep promoting Indonesia’s culinary. He catered for Hillary Clinton and the delegation during Ms. Clinton’s official visit to Jakarta and also served Indonesian fine-dining menu at Archive Museum Historical Building. Moreover, he participated in several Food exhibitions and festivals in California, Perth, Utrecht and Beijing, also in five starts hotels in Jakarta. He introduced Rendang Padang or Padang’s Caramelized Beef Curry in World Food Conference 2009 in Napa, California. That time, the food critiques said that Rendang Padang was tasted much better than Singaporean Rendang.
Since 2005, he has been a Culinary Advisor for Garuda Indonesia, in line with his wishes to promote Indonesian dishes through Garuda domestic and international inflight meals. Currently, he is also active to promote Padang’s most famous local food, caramelized beef curry or Rendang Padang, through his product brand, William Wongso Series.
His passion in cooking was inspired by his father’s cooking skill. Then, he learnt culinary by doing and through his visits to many places with delicious cuisines. He travelled half world to learn about bakery and pastry. He went to Sydney to join East Sydney Technical College on Baking Program in 1978, continued to Lucerne, Switzerland for a professional education with Research Department of the Swiss Master Bakers and Confectionery in 1982 and later on, he joined a training for bakery, pastry, chocolate and ice cream in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy, until 1987.
Not only that, he expanded his culinary knowledge by joining California Wine Education Programme and Sommelier Program in the University of California in 1992. His learning passion didn’t stop at that time. Afterwards in 1995, he joined Le Cordon Bleu L’Art Culinaire, Paris; Arts Culinaires et de L’Hotellerie, Lyon, and Chateau de Chailly, sur-Armacon, Puilly-en-Auxois, Burgundy.
However far his feet has stepped on foreign lands, he then acknowledged that along his culinary journey, he realized that Indonesia’s culinary is filled with uniqueness. Therefore, he decided to explore and promote the original taste of Indonesia. He even conveyed a message, through his interview with Intisari online magazine, for Indonesia’s young chef to learn world culinary without leaving the root of Indonesia’s traditional foods.
Therefore, Projecting Indonesia wishes to give our deep appreciation for Om William Wongso, in advancing and promoting Indonesia’s cuisines everywhere.
(AY – Taken from various sources)
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