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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.

What is a Michelin Star and How Do Restaurants Get It?

In the culinary world, obtaining a Michelin Star is a demanding process of dedication and skill. The discussion herein is to educate you about what a Michelin Star is and the criteria in which a restaurant is judged to earn one. Have you ever dreamed of earning a Michelin Star? The professional chefs at OTTIMMO Culinary Academy will guide and train you to achieve your dreams and goals.  

What is a Michelin Star?

For those who are unfamiliar, a Michelin Star is a prestigious award given to restaurants for achieving culinary excellence. These guidelines were developed in 1900 by the Michelin tire company, and now they are a component of the Michelin Guide. Every year, this book is released for every major city in the world to identify the top eateries that meet their exacting standards. Let’s review the requirements to receive this award.

5 Criteria to Receive a Michelin Star

  • High-Quality Ingredients
  • Cooking Techniques and Flavours
  • Menu is Original and Unique
  • Value for Money 
  • Maintaining High Standards
Photo by Ratul Ghosh on Unsplash

High-Quality Ingredients

This is probably the most obvious answer for achieving a Michelin Star, but high-quality ingredients are not only limited to expensive items. Chefs must source the best ingredients regardless of cost. This levels the playing field for any restaurant, despite the price. 

That means even a small food stall can earn a star. There are locations in Singapore selling street food that earned a star, where the cost starts at 23,000 Rupiah per plate. This gives hope for any business wanting to achieve this prestigious award.

Cooking Techniques and Flavours

Using ordinary ingredients combined with a masterful technique and thoughtful flavour fusion can elevate a dish. The chef can combine any combination of sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, salty, or umami flavours on the menu, but they must work well together to provide the diner a memorable meal.

Bybrook – Castle Combe

Menu is Original and Unique

The chef’s personality should be seen on the plate for Michelin inspectors. Showcase creativity and distinctive abilities for the cuisine. An important factor in deciding whether to give a restaurant a star is an ability to recognize its own personality.

Value for Money

This can be a tricky concept for a fine dining restaurant, but if the food, service, and ambience are impeccable, the diner will have a memorable experience. As long as the total fine dining package is flawless, then the value for money is worth it.

Maintaining High Standards

Consistency in carrying out the menu with perfect accuracy each and every time. Before granting the star, the Michelin Inspectors will randomly visit the restaurant six times to make sure the strict requirements are upheld. These restaurants are not permitted to have a bad day; the food presentation must be perfect even if the head chef is taking the day off.

Who are the Michelin Inspectors?

The Michelin Inspectors are sworn to secrecy, but it is known that they are veteran hospitality professionals who have been hired on as full-time inspectors. They travel 3 out of 4 weeks per month, tasting on average 240 restaurants a year. 

There are only 120 inspectors worldwide in 30 countries with the ability to award a Michelin Star. The inspectors drive up to 30,000 kilometres per year. This exclusive club is driven by a passion for flavourful food and a curiosity to discover the next great restaurant worthy of a Michelin Star.

Michelin Guide has Arrived in Canada

Fourteen Michelin Stars were given as a start to the celebration of the Michelin Guide’s inaugural publication in Toronto. The federal tourism minister said that this is a tremendous opportunity for the city of Toronto to be recognized as a global culinary destination.

Also, a restaurant with a French-inspired menu that has regularly been called one of the greatest in the world, is a notable recipient of the prize. Another honouree, Don Alfonso, which opened in 1890, was once awarded the top Italian eatery outside of Italy. Twelve establishments received one star, which is considered to be “very good.” The sole establishment to receive two stars is Sushi Masaki Saito, which has “outstanding cooking” and is “worth a detour,” according to the book.

As you can see, the Michelin Star is a prestigious award. You must possess outstanding abilities and expertise if you ever get the chance to cook at a one-to-three-star restaurant. Why not kick start your career journey at OTTIMMO International Academy? The chefs are top-notch, the facilities are first-rate, and they will teach you the skills you need to secure a Michelin Star for your future restaurant.

Food Business Trends in 2023

In this ever-changing, dynamic culinary world, the food business trends upcoming for 2023 are here and may surprise you. Keeping up with the trend is important because it will impact your business and you must keep informed of the expectations of your potential customers. Learning how to use these new ingredients and adapting your restaurant’s menu will contribute to your success. Everything you need to know is a part of the learning process at OTTIMMO Culinary Academy.

Online Sales

Since the COVID pandemic, businesses have either entirely closed down or stayed open by simply going digital. By creating an app or utilising a third-party software like Gojek or Grab, eateries may easily provide meals to customers without breaking social restrictions. It’s a really practical way to place food orders without having to stand in line, which is why this trend is still continuing strong. Additionally, people are still hesitant to dine in public and prefer the comfort of dining at home.

Restaurant Trends for 2023

  • Vegan Menu
  • Sustainability
  • Smaller Menu
  • Zero Alcohol Cocktails
  • Food Trucks

Vegan Menu

green healthy salad

The conversion to a vegan menu is a huge trend that is going to continue through 2023. People are globally aware of the environmental pressures that we are facing in society and want to convert to a plant-based diet. Some restaurants have completely switched their menus to vegan and are profiting from the benefits.

The seafood industry has been drastically depleted by 90% in recent studies due to overfishing, pollution, and rising ocean temperatures. Keeping this in mind, seafood alternatives are trending by using soybeans, peas, lentils, seaweed, mushrooms, and jackfruit. Creativity and chef artistry will go a long way in the vegan sector.


eco-friendly kitchenware

The eco-friendly trend is far from gone; if anything, it is evolving and gaining momentum. Simple steps can be taken to reduce plastic waste, like switching to paper or bamboo straws, as well as using biodegradable packaging for take away. Your customers will take notice and support your efforts.

Choosing locally sourced and naturally produced ingredients is an important choice for the supply chain to reduce fossil fuels for delivery and support your community. Choosing suppliers that support regenerative agriculture and renewable practices for the soil, water and animals will leave the earth in a better state for future generations.

Smaller Menu

Some restaurants have chosen to reduce their menu size in order to save money in response to rising energy costs. The chef and staff’s efficiency will grow as a result of this tactic. A streamlined assortment was also mentioned as making ordering simpler for clients.

Zero Alcohol Cocktails

The younger generation drinks less, according to a survey. Mocktails are still ordered because they are delicious, entertaining, and visually appealing, and they have no negative consequences on driving safety.

Food Trucks

The emergence of food trucks is in high demand, especially in North America. They are based outdoors and don’t break any social restrictions. They are now wildly popular and set up in the parking lots of closed-down businesses.

Trending Foods for 2023

  • Vegetable Pasta
  • Dates
  • Free-Range Chickens
  • Comfort Food
  • Kelp and Avocado Oil

Vegetable Pasta

healthy pasta by OTTIMMO

It’s all about healthier alternatives this year. By reducing your flour intake, you will keep yourself slimmer. Try substituting traditional pasta with zucchini, spaghetti squash, kelp, hearts of palm, or green bananas.


The current trend is to use dates as an alternative sweetener. They can be used as a syrup, paste or dehydrated. Try using it as an additive to your sauces or even mixing it into an energy ball.

Free Range Chickens

Ethically sourced chickens and eggs are important for diners wanting a better alternative to traditional factory farming. Advertising this fact will win over people seeking this option.

Comfort Food

This trend has risen in popularity by creating classic comfort food dishes such as macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, or beef stew and replicating the flavours without using animal products. What are the meals that remind you of your childhood? Try converting them into a vegan dish. 

Kelp and Avocado Oil

Kelp is a nutritious and versatile algae. It is being used for noodles or kelp chips. Avocado oil is increasingly becoming more mainstream; expect to see it being advertised with potato chips or mayonnaise. The health benefits include reduced cholesterol intake, vitamins such as beta-carotene and omega-three. Another benefit is that it has a neutral flavour and a higher smoke point.  

Being aware of the upcoming trends and adapting your restaurant’s practices and menu is highly important to compete in this business. Training is required to learn how to cook with these new ingredients and their complex flavour profiles. Learn more about culinary business and keep up with the trends at OTTIMMO Culinary Academy

Food Presentation: Turning Toppings into Something Breathtaking

The art of food presentation is almost as important as the food preparation itself. Creativity can shine through, but it must work harmoniously with the dish and flavours. OTTIMMO has mastered this skill and will share its trade secrets with talented students who seek the knowledge and have the willingness to excel in this ever-evolving industry. 

The technique of garnishing and plating: pairing the flavours and ingredients into perfect plates. The visual appeal will impress and tantalise the imagination of the diner, making it Instagram-worthy to showcase your talent and skill, not to mention bring customers to your restaurant.

Let’s start with some basic techniques and ideas that will give you some inspiration and motivation on how to make a beautiful plate that will convince your guest it tastes superb before it even touches their lips. 

1. Food Presentation: The Smear

The first style to review is the smear. Using a filled squeeze bottle of your delicious sauce, make a circular portion on the plate, then take a spoon, starting in the middle of the puddle and pushing it out to make a tail-like imprint. Voila, not that hard for a beginner.

2. Food Presentation: The Swirl

The swirl food presentation

The second style, which requires a little more finesse, is the swirl. To achieve this effect, you will need to use a Lazy Susan or a cake spinner. With your plate spinning, use the squeeze bottle and pour out a line to create your design. Multiple sauces can be used in layers for intermediate difficulty and skill.

3. Food Presentation: The Stencil

The following technique uses spices powder for the stencil. You will need a fresh wall stencil and a powdered spice such as paprika, cinnamon, or cocoa. Place the stencil in the chosen space and sprinkle the powder. This is best used on a flat no-lip plate or platter in the unused area. It is a beautiful, simple design, guaranteed to impress.

4. Food Presentation: Graining

Now let’s try looking at a style that requires more of an expert touch, we call this graining. The tools needed are a food-safe paintbrush, a flat serving dish, dulce de leche, and chocolate sauce. Squeeze both sauces onto the dish, interchanging between colours, then use the paintbrush and pull down to create a wood grain effect in the sauce. For additional detail, use a graining comb, capture the imagination of the diner and leave a lasting impression for the final dessert course. 

Learn from The Expert

Chef Gordon Ramsay has dazzled the culinary world for decades. Let’s review one of his dishes at his famous London Maze Grill Restaurant. It’s called Sashimi on Ice, he uses 3 cuts of fish: 7 ounces each of sushi-grade tuna loin, butter fish fillet, and salmon fillet. Trim each piece into a perfect rectangle approximately 60 mm wide. Set a bamboo mat over a bowl of crushed ice. Add lemon and lime slices and shiso. Position the fish on the mat and garnish with the kiku flower. What an absolutely visually stunning presentation that will make your mouth water.

These are just some examples of the importance of food presentation and garnishing techniques used by world-class chefs. The OTTIMMO culinary academy will refine your skills through theory and hands-on training to enable the student to create their own masterpiece. No matter what your background, the main ingredients for cooking are passion and love of food. Come and join us today at OTTIMMO MasterGourmet Academy to upgrade your cooking proficiency.

Why Choose The Culinary Arts As A Career?

The culinary arts are an exciting career path to choose if you are passionate about food and have a creative edge, along with good attention to detail. It truly is a dynamic career path. Chefs are often praised and held in high regard and can be financially successful if you are willing to dedicate your efforts to the craft. Refine your skills and culinary education at OTTIMMO Culinary Academy, take out the guesswork; and learn the science behind the food. There are many unknown factors within the culinary business that the professionals at OTTIMMO will teach you with on-the-job training.

Why choose a culinary arts career?

How about the high demand for job opportunities? The food industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. There is a constant influx of employment postings for the tourism industry, on cruise ships, at resorts, theme parks, fine dining, personal chefs, and the list goes on.

Another reason is that it is ever-evolving and constantly changing. That said, you will never get bored because there is always something new happening. Menus are constantly changing due to seasonal ingredients, customer allergies, and the constant learning of new items and skills that will enhance your portfolio.

You can work around the world. The high demand for certified chefs can bring you to your desired vacation locations or favourite cities. Try your success in Paris by cooking French cuisine, or snowboarding in the mountains during your time off in the fancy European ski resorts.

Culinary Art as A Career

Things To Keep in Mind

Before you can reap the benefits of becoming a professional chef, you must realise that there is a lot of hard work involved in climbing this competitive ladder. The hours are long and you will not have much social life because you will likely work evenings, weekends, and holidays. It is possible to get a 9-5 job but it’s not very common unless you work in a corporate setting.

This is a physically demanding job. Sometimes you may be stuck in a small kitchen with no proper ventilation. It can get extremely hot in the kitchen, and you must be able to be on your feet for many hours. Be aware that not everyone can achieve high food standards and work a rigorous, busy shift. That is why being well organised and having a good work ethic are so important in the kitchen.

Start Your Culinary Career

The long-term career opportunities are endless. As you climb toward the top of the ladder, there are bountiful career choices for management and or financial investment into new restaurants. Whether you love to travel or have a business partnership, it is truly a dynamic and exciting career choice. The hype of being a chef artist and having a culinary business is at an all-time high. People watch cooking competition shows, or learn recipes on YouTube, and want to be chefs. Come to OTTIMMO Culinary Academy in Surabaya to begin your training and immerse yourself in the world of culinary arts.

Why Culinary Arts?

Attending a culinary arts program will allow you to learn the skills and knowledge that are required of a chef in the kitchen, which includes not only knowing how to cook but also how to create new dishes, how to keep the kitchen safe, how to run the kitchen efficiently and more.

Studying the culinary arts can help improve your life in many ways, including allowing you to improve the lives of the people you cook for as well. The following are just a few of the reasons why you should study the culinary arts:

1. A variety of career opportunities

There are a broad range of opportunities within the culinary arts fields. Career paths range from members of the preparation staff to head chef. Culinary arts training can provide the skills you need to safely prepare food and present it promptly in a visually pleasing way. With further education, you can even specialize in a specific area of the culinary arts, such as pastries. To become a chef, you could work your way up as you gain more experience. With a culinary arts education, you have the ability to start in professional environments and advance your career further.

2. Hands-on training

A culinary arts program will help prepare you for food safety, professionalism, entrepreneurship, and ethical practices. At OTTIMMO International, you will also get knowledge about food sanitation, cost control, entrepreneurship, wine, coffee, and many others along with learning how to cook in a variety of distinct and creative ways.

3. Try new flavors

An education in culinary school can give you the opportunity to try new flavors and experiment with the creation of dishes. You will be educated in flavor pairings and profiles that will give you the foundation and the potential needed to create culinary masterpieces.

4. Healthy lifestyle

Good culinary arts programs will teach you about nutrition. Many chefs these days have emphasized the importance of creating delicious dishes that are actually healthy in order to promote nutrition to their customers. This is the reason why the restaurants that offer vegan or plant based menus are getting popular.

5. Have the chance to travel the world

One of the advantages of going to a good culinary arts school is the opportunity to travel the world. Traveling the world will provide some enlightening experiences that will help to shape your view of life as well as your thoughts about food. OTTIMMO International will give you a chance to do an internship abroad, like to Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.*