How a 77-Year-Old Indonesian Chef Cooks 300 Lunches Every Day

When Siu Chen acquired bored all through the pandemic, the 77-12 months-previous chef made a decision to start off Medan Kitchen, a Los Angeles just take-out restaurant serving up the Indonesian foodstuff she was cooking at household.

“I would just check out Television and snooze, I was concerned of going senile,” claims Chen. “Now I’m pleased and enthusiastic about cooking.”

At Medan Kitchen area, Chen cooks every little thing herself and without a recipe, such as favorites like fried chicken, lontong sayur, rendang, yellow rice, and extra. Every single day, she prepares about 300 boxes of takeout.

“I have not located any individual to assistance me cook dinner, for the reason that it will flavor diverse, and I’m fearful individuals will stop coming right here,” she suggests.

Chen has located a community through her cooking, with the cafe getting to be well-liked by means of term of mouth, primarily within the local Indonesian local community.

“Indonesians right here support me a ton,” says Chen. “They all like to eat what I cook dinner.”

The chef begun cooking when she was 17, following observe her mom as she made a blend of Chinese and Indonesian dishes. She remarks that “when I make lontong, emi, coconut rice, and yellow rice, it reminds me of [her]”

In addition to her mother’s cooking, Chen is also sharing the traditions of her residence town of Medan. In her cafe, she wraps yellow rice, rendang, fried hen, tempeh, and shrimp paste chili in a banana leaf — an Indonesian takeout custom made right before boxing the foods.

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At the front of the home, Chen receives enable from her youngsters, her daughters-in-law, and grandkids, which lets her to concentration on cooking meals.

“Now that my children are right here, I almost never go back to Indonesia. Everything I could want to eat is here,” suggests Chen. “I’m just happy that people today like to take in what I cook dinner.”