Tabula Rasa

a film by Adriyanto Dewo

Friday, 13 December 2013 07:00

Culinary Advisors: Chef Adzan & Reno Andam Suri

Adzan Tri Budiman, or more familiarly known as Chef Adzan, spent years working for the Hyatt Hotel group before establishing himself as a café and restaurant consultant and opening his own restaurants. Reno Andam Suri, on the other hand, is an accomplished entrepreneur specializing in her own home-made brand of rendang, called Rendang Uni Farah, named after her first daughter. What people are perhaps unaware of is that these two culinary enthusiasts are actually siblings.


Adzan and Reno grew up in a big household—a house consisting of three families. The kitchen became the hub of the house, where each family member can practice their own specialties and as time went by, became equipped with various skills and family recipes. They enjoy receiving guests and family friends, and giving carefully prepared food to relatives was something they have always immensely enjoyed.

Chef Adzan is no stranger to the local culinary world. He is a part of Maharasa Indonesia, a unique pop-up restaurant serving delectable cuisines adapted from the Indonesian local culinary cultures from all over the archipelago. Adzan’s adventure into the world of culinary came as natural to him; as a young kid he was used to cooking with his late father, doing everything from buying the ingredients,  preparing them, roasting and cooking until, of course, feasting upon the dishes himself.



Having worked on the Norwegian luxury cruise Royal Viking Queen, Adzan had a chance to sail all over the world. This experience gave him invaluable insights on the world cuisine and the how-to’s of producing food in every condition. These gained skills would later prove helpful when he set up a public kitchen during the earthquakes in Padang and Jogjakarta, serving about 10,000 meals in a day.

Adzan’s younger sister Reno took a different path when she was young. She studied graphic design and multitasked as a mother and freelance designer for several years until rather accidentally, she began setting up her own business. Starting from a mere hobby of giving rendang to some of her friends, Rendang Uni Farah has now established its own clientele of food aficionados looking for a variety of homemade rendang dishes cooked to perfection.



Apart from her fiery passion for Indonesia culinary, Reno is also partial to writing. For two years she worked on the concept of making a book on rendang, no doubt a signature Minangnese dish. Afterwards she spent 1.5 years researching and writing her now-published book titled Rendang Traveler. Unlike other books on culinary you can find on your bookstores’ shelves, Reno’s Rendang Traveler isn’t consisted of recipes, but rather passionately written descriptions and accounts of the various kinds of rendang, from the ones you regularly eat until ones you have never heard or thought of, accompanied by beautiful images of the dishes and of their origins—picturesque sites in western Sumatera.

While researching for materials for her book, Reno encountered interesting people and kitchens throughout her journey and this experience made her thrilled to be a part of Tabula Rasa, a chance to again encounter different people and share her knowledge with them. Not only that, she also learns something in return—how to visualize ideas into an image that is whole. For Adzan, it is an opportunity to meet dynamic people who possess different professions and thus, different outlooks and perspectives. He learns that there are other needs apart from taste that are required in films; there are camera angles, colors and also many other technicalities. And of course in the end, it is a pleasure for them to share their library of authentic culinary expertise in a film with a theme that is rarely, or maybe never, featured.


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