03 October 2015

Amazing Yoga and Grills with Roger Mooking

Astrid Amalia and Roger Mooking at the dinner event

What happens when two of your favorite things can come together at one moment? Do you feel lucky? Well, it can happens in one's life that two of the favorite things - yoga practice and food - come together at one good moment. So, who is the lucky girl? Oh yeah, she is definitely me :-D 

The good journey starts when I receive an email from the people from Asian Food Channel asking about a yoga practice for their client. After we achieve an agreement about the practice, location and price, then they tell me that the client is Roger Mooking, the Canadian celebrity chef, musician, food book author, and TV host of Man Fire Food show in Cooking Channel / Asian Food Channel and Heat Seekers show with Aar√≥n Sanchez on Food Network. Roger is invited by Asian Food Channel to visit some of the countries in Asia, so he can bring his "kitchen" there and meet his fans in Asia too, and Jakarta is one of the countries that he visits.  
I am a food blogger who likes to watch cooking show at the television, and this is a truly good news for me. I am going to meet and teach my idol! Woho! 

I feel both excited and nervous. I am always excited to teach yoga to anyone who wants to learn yoga from me. But I am so nervous too, because this yoga student is one of my favorite chefs in the world. I feel almost like dying in happiness :-)

On that Saturday evening, I have prepared everything that I have to face my idol :-))
Before the yoga practice starts, I have a great chat with Liyana - my new friend from Asian Food Channel - about the culinary world. After I finish preparing all the things for the yoga class, then I meet Roger Mooking himself. Oh my gosh! That big guy is right there ready to practice yoga with me!

Astrid Amalia and Roger Mooking after the evening yoga practice

The yoga practice with Roger Mooking is awesome! He is basically a guy who likes sport. He recently likes yoga practice for many reasons. So, you can imagine how good he is on the yoga mat. It is a good coincidence that his background is Ashtanga Yoga, the style that I have practiced at the beginning of my yoga journey. Those jump back and jump in, those flowing vinyasas, those flowing breathes. And don't forget those flowing sweats and tears :-D 

I am glad to share my energy that lightens his asanas. He also shares his powerful energy that gives me strength and happiness. Can you feel the positive energy between us? Yeah! 
I am glad that we both learn many things from our yoga practice that day. 

When I make the agreement with the Asian Food Channel about the yoga practice, they say that Roger Mooking can only do one yoga practice due to his busy activities in Jakarta. But hey, he decides to have another yoga practice. Yeay! Awesome!
And I promise him that I will introduce him to another yoga style I know, Energetic Yoga or Forrest Yoga.  

The second yoga practice is on Monday Morning. That Monday is beautiful as the sky is clear, and the wind blows a bit strong that it can fold and fly the yoga mats :-D

Astrid Amalia and Roger Mooking after the morning yoga practice

The Monday Morning Yoga Practice is awesome too. I have the chance to combine the Ashtanga Yoga with the Energetic Yoga or Forrest Yoga. Still the same jump back and jump in, and the same flowing things. But the different is that I steal some moments of the practice to teach him about maximizing the core strength builder with just small movements. I am glad that he feels it on his core muscles!
As I always, I end up the yoga practice with very short Thai Massage and CranioSacral Therapy to calm all of his stretched muscles down. 

That Monday becomes Super Happy Monday when he tells me that he invites me to his private dinner event called "Amazing Grill with Roger Mooking" held by Asian Food Channel and Indovision at the Bluegrass Bar and Grill Restaurant. Oh yeah! Super awesome! 

As soon as I know that I will attend the dinner, I do my own fasting until the dinner time. I want to give more space to my belly so I can eat all the food Roger cooks :-D

Bluegrass Bar and Grill 
Komplek Rasuna Epicentrum
Bakrie Tower lantai GF
Jl. HR Rasuna Said
Jakarta 12940
Tel: (021) 29941660

When I arrive at Bluegrass Bar and Grill, the crowds are excited to wait for the Roger Mooking show. I also meet some food blogger fellows I know. I can feel the excitement there. The crowds are excited to meet Roger Mooking, I am excited to eat his food. LOL! 

Befote the dinner starts, Roger says that his cook at the dinner will be inspired by many cultures he knows, and some of them will reminds the guests of Indonesian food too. He also warns us to prepare our belly well to finish all the food he cook. Oh yes, I am so ready for this!  

When the dinner starts, I guess heaven showers me with its love :-))

Let's talk about the food Roger cooks! 

First Course - Appetizer
Steamed Duck Egg
King Oyster Mushroom, Sesame Oil, Razor Herbs

The food without the bread is nothing, as the bread is actually the essential part to add more flavor in the food. I don't know how many eggs Roger puts at this food, but it is more than one egg. From here, I think this is perfect for breakfast too to replace the toast and egg we usually eat in the morning.  

Second Course - Soup 
Green Coconut Curry 
Whitefish, Moo's Chutney 

This food is very Indonesia! It reminds me of Indonesian's Opor Ayam or Chicken Braised in Coconut Milk, but Roger replace the chicken with fish. Opor Ayam is usually presented at Eid Al-Fitr day. The one Roger cooks is a bit hot from the ginger he adds, but this makes a difference between Opor Ayam and his food. 

Third Course - Salad 
5 Spiced Floats 
Braised Lamb, Micro Greens, Pickled Carrots, Ginger 

Where in the world you can find Salad with Lamb? Only when the chef is Roger Mooking. LOL! Yes, he mixes Salad with Lamb, and it turns out that the food match to each other. The combination is perfect. The Lamb is delicious, and the Vegetables are fresh.  

The Cooking Demo

Before going to the Main Course, there is a break where Roger demonstrates his skills in cooking. This is the one that we are looking for! At this session, Roger shares his method of cooking, like how to keep the beef tender and how to cook vegetables in healthy way. Very inspiring!

Fourth Course - Main
Beef Tenderloin with Black Bean Shrimp and Broccoli Dust 

The beef is very tender. It means the chef knows how to cook it. I also taste that the sauce is almost like black soya sauce or Indonesian people call it Kecap. Because of the soya sauce taste, the food reminds me of another Indonesian food called Semur Daging or Beef Stew. Yes, I can feel another Indonesian taste here, but in dry version and exclusive look :-)

Mango Lassi Ice Cream, Honey Rosewater, Pistachio, Indian Puffed Rice

The Mango Lassi Ice Cream is sweet, and the Pistachio stabilizes the sweetness from the ice cream. The Indian Puffed Rice gives crunchy sensation in my mouth. It is perfect dessert to close the dinner.

The taste of all of Roger Mooking's food are very strong and full of spices. In most of the food, I can taste ginger. This is because Roger Mooking has received several cultural influences, like Caribbean, Asian and European backgrounds, that inspire his cook. During the dinner event, Roger is also mingling around to ask guests about the food and receive the feedbacks from them. That is what I call a good chef!

The dinner has vegetarian options, but of course I don't choose it. During the dinner, the servers who work in the restaurant offer me wine, so I choose red wine that is perfect for the whole food in the dinner. The servers who serve my table also know anything about the food. They can explain about the ingredients, the sauces, how they are made, and how to eat them. Fantastic! They are really 5 stars quality servers! 

And do you know what? That night at the dinner, I win a food and beverage voucher to eat and drink at Bluegrass Bar and Grill. Thank you very much, pak Rudy Tanoesoedibjo from Indovision who takes my business card from the bowl and announces me to be one of the winners of the voucher. Happy! What a lucky girl I am!
(The picture below is taken from the Indovision website).

And the dinner event ends with a happy belly and a happy heart inside me. 

Over all, I am still surprised by the generosity of Roger Mooking when he adds another yoga practice and invites me to his dinner event, but then I know later that basically he has a kind heart. Turns out that he is also known for his charity works with both local and international organizations. Yes, the world need more people like him! 

Just like Roger Mooking who can combine his love of music along with his love for food, I also hope that I can combine my love of yoga practice along with my love for food. The different is that he cooks, while I eat and enjoy :-))

Thank you very much, Roger Mooking! It is amazing to practice yoga with you and to taste the delicious food you cook! You are amazing! Thank you for all the positive energy and kindness you share with me and the world. The world can be a better place with more people who have the same positive energy and kindness like the ones you have. I really hope to meet you again soon! 

Astrid Amalia and Liyana Morrison

I would also like to express my gratitude to the Asian Food Channel / Scripps Networks people: Jing Lee, Liyana Morrison, Fairenza Cheng and Jimmy Cheang. You guys are the door to my happiness. Thank you very much! I really hope to meet you all again soon! 

Astrid Amalia, Fairenza Cheng and Liyana Morrison

The story I write in this blog will be remembered in my life with a happy smile. I will never forget the yoga practices with Roger Mooking, the happiness and the luckiness I get from the dinner event with him, and the new friendship I make with the people from AFC. Thank you, Universe and Mother Nature, for the precious chances you give me.   


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