International Women’s Week 

Chef Johanna loves to prove she is no pushover in the kitchen.

“Never be afraid to be strong.  Strength is a beautiful trait.”

Have you always wanted to become a chef?

My father was a chef and I loved watching where his career took him, but mostly I liked the idea of being able to bring people and culture together over a meal.  In Indonesian culture food is a huge part of everyday. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, a weddings or a funeral, we show we care by offering food that we've cooked from our hearts.

When you bring your skills to the kitchen you can make an amazing meal and memory for the people you love.

What is a highlight of your career so far?

Although I have cooked for celebrities and leading sporting team, my highlight has been helping and training people that no one else had time to.

I have had the pleasure of teaching kids form Korea, Vietnam and Thailand how to read a recipe. It was such a thrill watching their faces once they mastered Crème Brule.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love spending time with my darling husband and gorgeous pups, getting lost in books, learning new recipes, watching soccer and doing yoga.

You have to keep your mind a clear, happy place! 

Do you have a powerful woman who has guided or inspired you?

I've been inspired by so many strong women, women who have been told 'no, you're not good enough' or 'what do you know? You're only a woman' (yes I've actually heard men say this to me and other women), but how you take that is a real testament to your grit and character.

We can let what small minded people think of us effect our day to day mentality or we can shrug it off and say, you haven't seen anything yet!

Every day you have to be your own inspiration and biggest fan because once you start to think and really believe you're fantastic and stronger than what everyone thinks, you'll be amazed at how you're perceived by the world and by the person looking back at you in the mirror. 
You are so much more than your gender. 

Do you have any words of wisdom for young women wanting to pursue a career as a chef?

Just know that every person wanting a career in the culinary world has started where you have.

Everyone has had a first day and everyone has made a mistake. Don't let people who are above you diminish your confidence.

Never be afraid to be strong.  Strength is a beautiful trait and constantly overlooked and judged but in reality if that's the worst they can say about you because you're standing up and showing the world that you deserve the spot in the kitchen as much as anyone then you're doing a fantastic job.