Indonesia’s Spice Connection: From Tree to Tea

Event Recording

What’s it about?

Many people might not realize that a spice can come from any part of the tree including the root, stem, seed, fruit, flower, or even bark.

Many people might also not realize those trees were grown from far away. That’s how the spice trade started. Spices including cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, and clove were used and traded originally in Asia.

In this fun session, Petty Elliott will take you to the origin of some spices and will tell the stories of how people in Indonesia grow those spices and how those spices became one of the most important ingredients in world cuisine. The session will focus on vanilla, nutmeg, cloves,

Once we know about the spices, we’ll talk about different international dishes and how the spices have been used in those dishes. We’ll finish the session with interactive demonstrations.

– Ploy, our Explore Culture’s food curator, will show you how to make your own pumpkin spice blend. You can keep this pumpkin spice blend for any of your pumpkin spice latte or even pumpkin pie.

– Petty will show you how to make delicious spice tea using cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass.

By the end of the session, we will be able to connect the dots and have a better understanding and more appreciation of spices.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice:

1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon

2 Cloves

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg

½ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

Ingredients for Spice Tea:

400ml water

5 whole cloves

Half of nutmeg, crushed

1 small stick of cinnamon.

30 gr fresh ginger, sliced thinly

1/2 lemongrass

3-4 tread of sechang bark or sappanwood (to give nice orange colour) this is optional

Who’s telling the story?

Petty Elliott, Indonesian chef, food writer and consultant is a pioneer in the promotion and understanding of modern Indonesian cuisine. Relocated to the UK 4 years ago. She has collaborated with leading chefs and made appearances, given talks and demonstrations in Asia – Jakarta, Bali and Sumba in Indonesia and Singapore as well as Europe including Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain and UK.

Pre-pandemic and lockdown, her recent events included guest chef appearances at resorts, such as LaReserva, Soto Grande (Spain) and a series of evening talks at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London for the first ever Indonesian Orchid festival, Asia House and many more.

Online she continues to give talks, among others, to the Guild of Food Writers, Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (UK), the Indonesian embassy and the Anglo Indonesian Society. Petty gives regular Indonesian cookery classes at the Cookery School, Little Portland Street London.

She has served as acting executive chef at the exclusive Nihi Resort, Sumba, as guest chef in Bali at Alila Uluwatu, Capella, Aman Ubud, at the Ritz Carlton Pacific Place Jakarta, the Mandarin, Jakarta, Kempinski Hotel Jakarta, Raffles Jakarta, the London Hilton and Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof and Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt.

Her latest venture – in addition to private fine dining – is RASAKU retailing artisanal Indonesian food products in the UK, focused on sustainably sourced fresh ingredients – bringing bold tropical flavours into the home through no-fuss recipes and cooking tips – a great way to maintain her commitment to promoting modern Indonesian cuisine in the UK.

Petty is a member of The Guild of Food Writers UK, Pan Asian Women’s Association (PAWA), The Anglo Indonesian Society.

For Philanthropy work, Petty is a committee member of Yayasan Wisma Cheshire, Indonesia and the National Board of DofE International Award Indonesia (The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award) – Youth organization. and

Follow her on instagram @pettyelliottskitchen and