She’s beautiful, smart, charming and multi-talented. Chances are you’ve seen her on TV as a curious host exploring the streets of Indonesia looking for hidden culinary treasures or, if you recall, she was the nicer-than-that-mean-guy judge on a popular cooking show. Meet Rinrin Marinka, better known as Chef Marinka. With 140K followers on Instagram, the chef also has a wide presence on social media—something that she has put to good use. We recently caught up with the TV personality and founder of Mars Kitchen, when she graced the stage of NOW! Jakarta BRBCA 2016 as guest of honour for the second time.

Taking Indonesian Food to The Next Level (2)

Please tell us about your current activities.
At the moment, I’m still focusing on Mars Kitchen and creating more healthy and organic food, but hopefully I will shoot another programme for the Asian Food Channel and do various other off-air projects soon.

How is Mars Kitchen developing so far? What are your favourite dishes?
Mars Kitchen’s journey has been very good so far. The restaurant was born out of my passion for healthy and organic food, so I really enjoy my time here. I created all the dishes on my own, and everything is made from natural ingredients without any gluten, preservatives or artificial sweeteners. I really love them all!

How challenging has it been?
The biggest challenge for me is to maintain high quality for all the items on the menu. I try to keep them as healthy as possible without affecting the taste. I believe that when it comes to food, it all goes back to the quality. Many people may think that healthy food costs more, so I try to undo this assumption through a series of healthy yet affordable menus at Mars Kitchen. I think this is what makes this café different from other players in the industry. Furthermore, I think healthy eating is a big investment that everyone should make. Even if it may be slightly more expensive, it’s definitely worth it.

Taking Indonesian Food to The Next Level (1)

You’ve hosted the cooking show “Wonderful Indonesia” on the Asian Food Channel. What do you like most about Indonesian cuisine?
The variety of the food, the very rich ingredients and the food processing. When I cook Indonesian food, I always maintain the traditional cooking method as I believe it affects the final result and flavour.

Do you have any personal philosophy in the kitchen?
For me, the kitchen is a playground where I can play and explore my artistic side. I can easily lose track of time when I’m in the kitchen!

What’s next for you?
As a chef, my dream is to take Indonesian food to the next level. It could be through the food I serve in my own restaurant or through the cooking show where I introduce the richness of Indonesian cuisine to the international audience. Either way, I wish that more people in the world know, enjoy and appreciate our culinary traditions.