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The Art of Hot and Cold Appetisers

In the dynamic industry of culinary arts, you must master the preparation of hot and cold appetisers. This important course is very crucial to the diner; in fact, it is an introduction to your menu. Usually, people who order appetisers are very hungry and can be a little impatient. It is even more critical on how quickly it is served, as well as the taste and presentation. Let OTTIMMO Culinary Academy in Surabaya instruct you on how to execute hot and cold appetisers with accuracy and perfection. 

What is the Difference Between Hot and Cold Appetisers?

The most obvious difference between the two is the temperature at which they’re served. Another factor differentiating the two is that the cold appetiser is usually offered first; one of the main reasons is that it can be prepared quickly. The cold starter is intended to thrill the taste buds with a preview of your menu. 

On the other hand, the hot appetiser shouldn’t duplicate or clash with the menu. There are so many options, it is usually the preferred selection. Whatever appetiser is chosen, it should only be limited to bite-sized portions; this will hold the diner over until the main course.

Popular Cold Appetisers


Canapes are small, open sandwiches that are only three to four centimetres square, and are referred to as finger food. They are a decorative appetiser typically made of cheese, meat, bread, or puff pastry. Garnishing is very important for the aesthetic and presentation of this small course.


The French word pâte means “paste”, indicative of its smooth consistency. Traditionally made with beef liver, but can also be made with chicken, pork, or more recently, vegan alternatives. Serve it with thinly sliced, crunchy bread or crackers.

Aspic Jelly

Aspic jelly was originally developed to preserve meats, the gelatin shields the meat from air to prevent it from spoiling. Made with a meat stock, chunks of meat, seafood, vegetables, or eggs. When sliced, this visually stunning appetiser shows a cross section of the ingredients.

German Potato Salad

The German potato salad is a well-loved cold starter. Made with boiled potatoes and mixed with a dressing, it includes boiled eggs for creaminess and raw vegetables. This is a hearty cold appetiser, so limit the amount to only a couple of scoops.

Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls originated in Vietnam, where ingredients are wrapped in soaked rice paper (bánh tráng). The most common combinations include meat or seafood; trending vegan options can be utilised.


Charcuterie is another French innovation dating back to the 15th century. This can be as creative as you like with the selection of cured meats, cheese, olives, pickles, fruits, bread, or crackers. A preferred presentation is on a wooden platter or cutting board.

Popular Hot Appetisers


The dumpling is a beloved appetiser worldwide. A wide variety of cooking styles can be employed, such as baking, boiling, frying, steaming, or simmering in a broth. The ingredients can be as versatile as well; try meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, tofu, or sweets. Be creative and unique!


Fritters are locally known as “bakwan,” a lightly breaded snack surrounding a variety of sweet or savoury ingredients that is deep-fried. Typical ingredients are tempeh, tofu, bananas, cassava, corn, or jackfruit. It can be served with a sweet, spicy, or creamy sauce.


Samosas are an Indian pastry stuffed with diced potatoes, onions, green peas, lentils, ginger, spices, and green chilli. They are typically vegetarian but can be filled with any type of meat. Served hot, accompanied with a green chutney, yoghurt, tamarind paste, and garnished with green onion and cilantro. As long as it’s delicious, there are no rules.

Por Pia Thord

Por pia thord has been recently popularised in Hong Kong; these deep-fried Thai spring rolls are filled with crab and chicken and cooked until golden brown. Preferably served with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce.  

Oxtail Soup

Oxtail soup is a perfect example of using humble ingredients and elevating them to form a fine dining experience. This dish is known as “sop buntut” in Indonesia and is made with fried or barbecued oxtail and vegetables in a clear broth.


Main Characteristics of an Appetiser

  • Big flavour in a small bite
  • Light and tasty
  • Hunger inducing
  • Beautiful presentation
  • Pairs great with a cocktail

Often overlooked, the appetiser is an essential part of menu planning and execution. Like a great introduction to a story, the appetiser introduces you to the main entrees and dessert. It establishes the tone and mood for the rest of your meal. The professional chefs at OTTIMMO Culinary Academy are here to harness and develop your skills for this vibrant business. This is one of the many subjects students will learn about in theory and through hands-on kitchen experience.