Although diving is a relaxing pastime, it is still quite a tiring experience, and as you will burn a fair few calories over a 60 minute dive, it is very important to keep your body fuelled so you donât get too cold or fatigued while underwater. At Siladen Resort & Spa, we believe food should be more than just fuel, and we take great pride in the food that our kitchen produces, and we know that our guests love it too.
Today, we will be talking about our head chef, Yongki Bukunusa. If you have stayed with us in the past, you will probably have seen him working the grill on our popular barbecue night, serving home-made pasta in the restaurant, or you may have even taken our popular cooking class with him.
Like his father before him, Yongki was born on Siladen, while his mother hails from an island called Siau, which lies several hours north (by ferry) of Siladen. He is the oldest of three brothers, with one of his younger brothers, Teddy, being one of the dive centre managers here at Siladen Resort & Spa. Although Yongki is from Siladen, he has not always worked on the island. Before he was working for Siladen Resort, he was working in the cargo ship industry, where he was a senior crew on one of the ships based out of Bitung (on the other side of the North Sulawesi peninsula in the Lembeh Strait). As a senior crew, he was responsible for several important duties such as driving, steering and navigating the cargo ships.
Yongkiâs journey with Siladen Resort began in 2008, when he joined as a kitchen porter. At the time, he took the position only because he needed the work, not because he loved cooking. After working for a couple of years as a kitchen porter, he discovered his passion and flair for cooking, and it didnât take long for him to become more bold and experimental with his cooking â trying out different recipes and even developing some of his own.
Now, Yongki loves cooking, and believes that he can experience the world through food, and he loves to cook international cuisine – especially Italian food items like pizza and pasta. He also loves spreading his knowledge of Indonesian cuisine to guests via our cooking class, as he believes that food is an important part of a countries culture and identity, and it makes him proud to share his countries cuisine with others.
Yongki lives on Siladen (although he also owns a home in Manado) with his wife and four year old daughter, and soon they will be welcoming another family member. In his spare time, he likes to relax at his home with his family, and occasionally he likes to play football with his friends on the Siladen football pitch. Â
âDonât be afraid to try something new. If you enjoy it, never stop learning until you reach the highest knowledge possible and enjoy every part of the experience. You never known where it may lead you.â