Following The Ville’s $44 million redevelopment, its Asian restaurant Miss Songs has taken off as one of the hottest dining spots in Townsville.
Miss Songs is led by head chef Arie Prabowo, who boasts over 18 years experience in the hospitality industry and a unique combination of French and Japanese culinary training.
Spice News spoke to Prabowo about his food philosophy and career thus far.
When did you start in the hospitality industry and why?
I started working in the kitchen when I was 18 years old. I started as a kitchen hand to earn pocket money to support my self.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Miss Songs is definitely the highlight of my career so far. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience in terms of kitchen management, which includes managing chefs under me, designing a menu, working with my managers to establish a strategic plan and problem solving, maintaining consistency, and most importantly delivering the highest standard of our offerings.
Tell us about your food philosophy
In order to cook well, we have to cook what we know and understand the ingredients very well. In addition, in a restaurant environment it is very important to “give what customers want” to sustain our business – not what we want to cook.
Why is it important for you to take a creative approach to cooking?
We have to think outside the box to be creative. For example using different ingredients and cooking techniques to create a dish.
Just like any other job, everyday is a learning process to gain more experience. Reading, experimenting and dining out definitely help to open up our way of perceiving things.
One ingredient you couldn’t live without?
One ingredient we’d never find in your kitchen?
Okra, I’ve never liked the taste of it.
What is your favourite dish from your menu at Miss Songs?
Our Peking duck is definitely a must-try dish.