Drive through the beautiful Currumbin Valley until you reach the end of the road. It’s a place where journeys meet; a secret Bali-styled hideaway where Kay and Justin Reeves share their love of Indonesian cuisine.
The couple’s stunning timber and corrugated iron house is nestled into the bush, a tranquil spot watched over by the Buddha. Divided into two sections beautifully decorated from their travels, the open kitchen adjoins a bridging undercover area where our cooking class is held.
Using recipes from Justin’s youth in Indonesia and others collected on their travels, the couple began making healthier adaptions of traditional dishes, maximising the healing properties of natural ingredients. So, Tenteram (meaning peaceful or serene) Fine Foods was born, a small-batch artisan business producing a range of all-natural Indonesian curry pastes, sauces and sambals; products without the use of salts, preservatives, refined sugars, shrimp paste and fish sauce. Only brown rice is used.
In 2014, the couple began a cooking school so they could teach others how to cook Indonesian food using their products with spices readily available on the Gold Coast.
It’s important to note that Tenteram’s products feature in every recipe, but that’s the point, isn’t it, to cook healthier, gluten-free, dairy-free, preservative-free and vegan-friendly versions of traditional dishes? There’s no pretense about the purpose. Saying that, it’s a class which is suitable for both the health-conscious and those wishing to learn more about Indonesian cuisine.
The class covers territory within the skill range of most home cooks, with Justin and Kay outlining the basic principles of Asian cuisine, imparting information about the medicinal properties of plants we are using, showing techniques and cooking methods, and noting substitutes for hard-to-get ingredients.
Both Justin and Kay are generous in their praise, gracious and pleased to demonstrate the technique for each step before class members take over, skilfully judging pacing by the individual skill of class members to fit the schedule.
While it’s almost impossible to replicate the exact flavours of Balinese cuisine or the setting of taking a class in Bali itself, the dishes we make in the class are tasty and vibrant and, at the completion of the class, we sit together to enjoy a feast of exotic food on a veranda facing out to tropical bushland: Tofu fritters with dipping sauce, Chicken sate, Snake bean and coconut salad, Vegetarian nasi goreng, Beef rendang, and Matabak manis coconut flour and banana pancake.
It’s a day to be savoured and enjoyed, to relax, find your zen, remaining as close to Bali in philosophy as you will see on the Gold Coast.
62 Kyte Street, Currumbin Valley Ph: 0418 881 418
Note: Good Food Gold Coast attended the cooking class as a guest of Tenteram Fine Foods. Classes are held on Saturday and Sundays and run from 10 am to 2 pm at a cost of $155pp. The couple also hold special event and corporate classes, do event catering and are presently arranging healthy luxury Bali cooking tours. For more information and to book see Tenteram’s website.