Starting her blog on August 2011, Ellyna Tjohnardi (@ellynatjohnardi) finally established an outlet to express her passion in writing. The topics were varied, until she found out one thing she really loves: food. The blog is called Culinary Bonanza, which essentially means a treasure trove of food.
Currently, Ellyna is pursuing her Masters studies at Sydney, Australia. Despite her hectic schedule as she’s majoring in Digital Communication and Culture, she still gave a room to talk to BOmagz.
What triggers you to be a food blogger instead of the trending fashion bloggers?
“When I started out in 2011, fashion bloggers, bloggers or influencers in general were neither as prominent nor ubiquitous as they are today. I’d say the main trigger that pushed me to focus on food blogging is my passion for food. I started out a clean slate, not knowing the distinction between Italian from French or American food, or Korean from Japanese food. But that particular year, I was introduced to the world of different cuisines and I was seduced by the richness and diversity of tastes that food could allow one to experience.”
Name one foodblogger that inspires you the most?
“I don’t really idolize any food bloggers in particular because everyone has their own style, focus and reasons to do what they believe in and i respect what’s done professionally. But I daresay that I truly admire one of Serious Eats food writers named J. Kenji. López-Alt (@kenjilopezalt). He writes about food and he cooks, too. Not only does he write about his fascination towards food, but he also does it in a scientific approach through trial and errors that he performed in the kitchen. I’d like get paid to do that someday, too, if time and chance permits! (Laugh)”
What are your thoughts about the current food trend and its impacts in Jakarta’s food scene.
“Having spent the past 3 months in Sydney, I noticed that the food trends in Jakarta and Australia are quite different. While Indonesians are still at the stage where we’re still amazed by outrageous food hybrids that will bust your heart or arteries (eg: Indomie with assorted toppings, smoothies with a mound of sinful toppings, etc), in Australia, fresh food takes central stage.”
And what do you think about the growth of Indonesian culinary industry?
“It’s definitely becoming more and more well known, although the status of Indonesian food is still nowhere close to that of other Asian food like Chinese, Korean or Japanese.”
Share us the best angle for food and why?
“It depends I think some food look really photogenic close up, some look more aesthetic from the top or side, example, this meat dish close up versus from the top:
So which one looks more appetizing to you?”
With the ever changing food trend in the world and having been invited to many culinary events, could you share your best memories?
“The best ever experience would definitely be when I got invited to Dubai by a Sheik who owns license to practically most of the popular retails brands from the Western countries. It was a 4D/3N trip and there were 10 of us from Indonesia, including some of my food blogger friends, Hans from Eatandtreats, Julia from Anak Jajan, Ivy from only1ivy, Icha from eatinguntildiee and 5 other awesome foodies (non-bloggers). It was a great time, especially it was the first ever I went to Dubai. The weather was harsh though, imagine Jakarta but twice as hot! It would definitely be an unforgettable experience. The complete stories can be found on my blog.”
The jaw dropping culinary technique that you once witnessed? And the most interesting chef you’ve ever met.
“In my opinion, jaw dropping technique most likely involves some sort of molecular gastronomy technique. They’re all theatrically jaw dropping, with smoke blowing, instant freezing of food, etc. Impressive, but none that stuck in my memory yet. Maybe I’ll be able to answer better after dining at 3 Michelin star or World’s Best restaurant. (Laugh)”
Personal fave food from Indonesia and abroad?
“I personally miss rendang and bakmi (the chinese style oil-tossed dry noodles). Every now and then, I find myself craving a warm and spicy bowl of rich tonkotsu ramen! And yes, I plan to pay a visit to Japan and indulge in all sorts of ramen they have there!”
And we noticed that you are doing a healthy meal lunch box for now, do you make its own recipes? Do you have a plan to make your own restaurant later on?
“Yes, I do! I realize that with all the good (and sinful) food I have to taste, it is only fair for my body to eat clean when i’m not eating out. I do worry about my figure! (laughs) About running a restaurant, yes definitely open with whatever offer comes my way!”
About the camera, do you have specific brand that makes the pictures more stand out?
“I’m more than happy with my current camera, a mirrorless camera brand from Japan and two lenses. I literally emptied my savings to buy them.”
Besides food, do you have another sweet escape that can brighten your day?
“Photography and cooking or watching a movie.”
If you aren’t a food blogger, what would you be?
“I’d be a chef!”
What is your point of view of ‘living the healthy life?
“Living healthy is about having a good balance in life, a balance of rest and workout, work and sleep, healthy and indulgent treats. Ultimately, it’s doing what makes you happy but also realize what’s actually good for you.”
Photos courtesy of Culinary Bonanza