Dozens of people were seen lining up to the special room of André J. Cointreau, the CEO of Le Cordon Bleu London, to observe a cooking demonstration by Chef Degan Septoadji, who was the guest of the world's largest culinary and hospitality school.
"The event is very full [of people] and many are on the waiting list," said London-based sales and marketing director, Alienor Cointreau, at the event which was held in the third week of July. More than 30 people were forced to return home because the facility only held 100 people.
On the night of July 18, Chef Degan appeared with "Yellow Spice", the basic spice used for serving Soto Ayam, Kare Ayam and Ayam Panggang Kalasan. "These are the ingredients for Indonesian cuisine," he said while began a demonstration attended by LCB students from around the world, as well as local communities. The LCB, which has branches in 20 countries, has trained over 20,000 students from over 70 countries.
Those present were given the opportunity to smell and hold various ingredients used, including galangal and candlenut, including a question-and-answer session with the chef.
"We have chefs coming from all over the world, but this is the first time [from Indonesia], there is so much food, and we are excited," said Chef Loic Malfait, LCB's London academic director. "If we go on, this event could last until midnight," he added.
Those who were still present at night were served with Cannapes - another type of Indonesian food, with Sate Lilit, Ayam Sambal Matah, Bubur Ketan Hitam and Lapis Legit.
Chef Degan also re-emerged in a cooking demonstration event three days later on an Indonesian Weekend integrated promotion at Potters Fields Park, on the edge of the River Thames against Tower Bridge backdrop.
The dishes served for Indonesian Weekend were Gado-Gado, Soto Betawi and Rendang.
"Indonesian cuisine is very varied and Londoners are very enthusiastic and open with all kinds of world foods, and therefore the desire for Indonesian cuisine is so high," said Dito Widjono, from Proud Indonesia, the organizer of Indonesian Weekend.
Chef Degan himself said that London is very open to foreign cultures, "Indonesia still has a very exotic impression, so there is still a chance [for restaurants to penetrate the market]."
"In London, the number of Indonesian restaurants can be counted solely on the fingers, but the number of Thai restaurants are in the hundreds," he added.