Chef Arnol takes 2nd Prize at Mando Fiesta Culinary Festival


Manado Fiesta is a yearly event held in the city of Manado, taking place from August 30th until September 9th this year. Different cultural festivities including music, art, fashion, religion and of course, food are celebrated all over town. The Culinary Festival is the event’s chance for budding chefs and cooks to show off their skills in the kitchen, and our very own chef Arnol managed to achieve an impressive 2nd place among some fierce competition.

We asked him a couple of questions…

Chef Arnol holding his cooking trophy

Prize or not, he’s the best Arnol we’ve got

Describe your entry for the Culinary Festival…
I made a traditional Manadonese dish called Poco-Poco Fish, with tuna, cassava, banana heart and coconut milk. No reef fish of course!

What was the competition like?
Juna Rorimpandey, one of Indonesia’s Master Chefs was judging, and Henry Alexie Bloem, the President of Indonesia Chef Association. The bar was pretty high.

Any plans for entering the competition next year?
Of course, although I have no idea what to make yet. Last year the competition was themed around what’s known as “extreme food” (snakes, lizards, bats etc), but I don’t like to cook that kind of food.

Poco-Poco Fish

Poco-Poco Fish

How long have you been a chef?
I’m not sure I remember ha ha! Cooking is simply my hobby. I’ve been cooking professionally for about 10 years now.

How did you learn to cook?
I learned the trade at Tourism High School on the island of Sangihe, as a teenager.

What’s your favorite food to cook here at Thalassa?
Pizza Margarita! Pizza is a dish with a lot of history behind it. Especially for Indonesians it’s challenging to make a really good pizza due to the difference in local ingredients.

Bonus video: here’s Arnol showing you how to prepare Dabu-Dabu, the famous Manadonese “salsa”, which you can easily make yourself to spice up your food a little…