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Chef Yono: Believe in Your Dreams

OTTIMMO — Few weeks ago Ottimmo International welcomed a special guest: Chef Widjiono Purnomo, CFBE, CEC, or known as Chef Yono. Chef Yono is the founder of Yono’s Scholarship Foundation, a foundation founded in New York that concerns about education in culinary academy. He came to Indonesia to scout young talents in culinary to be given scholarship.

Chef Yono, who owns two restaurants in Albany district, New York, believes in the power of dreams. He ever worked in dutch cruise for years, owning a restaurant but got burnt, almost bankrupt, but he bounced back ever since and came into this phase of life.

“Doesn’t matter where and when is your start. What matters the most is your finish line,” said Yono who grew up in East Jakarta before joining Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata, Bandung, back in 1971.

After graduated from the school, Chef Yono then joined Holland American Line for seven years. In the cruise he only came home once in six of eight months. Such experience gave him a broad knowledge about the world. “When I am in the cruise, my mind traveled. Seeking and wondering what would I do in the future. I was dreaming about chances,” Yono said.

Yono then met the chances in New York. He stopped from the cruise and started a new life with his wife, a US citizen who he met in the ship. He started from scratch in the down town of New York then took class in culinary academy to gain knowledge about managing a restaurants and making great dishes. (Agung Putu Iskandar)