spotlight on orpheus island | arie prabowo.
We sat down with head chef Arie Prabowo, a passionate and hard-working Indonesian native, to find out what led him to this tropical island and what he loves about working here on Orpheus.
Name Arie Prabowo
Hometown: Java, Indonesia (but previously based in Melbourne)
What brought you to Orpheus Island, and when? i was Working for CLG in Melbourne (previously at the Botanical) when they later asked me to try the island. I instantly liked the lifestyle and the work. I have a lot of freedom here to create new dishes, so much freedom to explore what i want to cook. there are no menus for lunch and dinner, so we can always make creative changes. I arrived here in 2011 (5 years ago)!
how would you Describe yourself: always trying to do better than today. always trying to improve (what we do in the kitchen).
how would you Describe Orpheus: paradise for chef, so much freedom to express our mind. as a chef what we do on the plate is a representation of ourselves. there is easy access to produce here - once a week we receive a delivery on a small boat, and once a month the barge arrives. a helicopter brings in fresh seafood and meat and vegetable, anytime there is an empty chopper.
favorite meal to cook for: dinner
and why? because what we do here for dinner is more complex, in terms of flavor and presentation and the ingredients as well. more careful, more attention to detail. lunch is more rustic, tapas style. dinner is more precision, more superior dishes.
and how do you come up with the menus? it is a collaborative effort with sous chef (hunter), and Daniel and marama (chef de paris). we do this on a daily basis. for lunch, we have a plan - we set the lunch menu ahead for the week. dinner planning on daily basis. i used to work in a japanese restaurant, dan has done a lot of middle eastern, so its a collaborative team. everyone has a chance to improve. all working towards same the goal.
what is your favorite dish to cook? i honestly don't have one. i like to use a. wide range of ingredients - seafood, meat, vegetables. i like to try new things. when there are are new things i haven't tried before, they then become my favorite things for the next few week until i master them.
what is your favorite thing to eat? vietnamese noodle (what i do every sunday when i am in melbourne).
where can we go for vietnamese in melbourne? springvale. any of the places there are good.
can it be difficult working around guests specific requests? it can be challenging if and when they have done all the preparation, and then we have to do it again, but the way we look at it - the harder it is, the more challenging it is with a greater opportunity to improve. things would get very boring otherwise.
how often do you leave the island? not very often. only if we have to have to. prefer to stay.
what do you on your days off? i rest a lot. read. research. i live here with my wife and 2 year old daughter, who also love the island life.
Who is inspiring you right now? chong lieu (another chef) - who helped me a lot when i started here on the island. i consider him my biggest mentor. he is now in south australia and is retired.
Whats on your stereo? i like all music. bon jovi. queen. guns and roses. metallica.
Words you live by: i dedicate all my life in australia to work. i always try to give more, at work. i have always been very dedicated to work.
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