Cooking Superstar

Olivia Cooks in Holland

Cook along with Olivia from Olivia Cooks in Holland

Olivia Giovanni

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

Nasi goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice). I was so excited to make it! I was about 10 or 11 and I happened to be alone in my house. In Indonesia, little kids are not allowed in the kitchen without supervision, so when I was finally alone in the house I thought, "Hey, let's cook and surprise every body when they get home!"
I remember being so excited when my parents came home and I have a plateful of nasi goreng on the table and I said to my Mam, "Mam, look I made this just now! Try it! Try it!"

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

Right now because I'm still a student, I don't have my own kitchen, I live in a student apartment. I cook in my sister's kitchen during the weekend and use my brother-in-law's dslr to take the photos.
Hmm.. I have to confess I'm a messy cook! Sometimes I do try to be prepared but a lot of times I do the cooking and the prep at the same time. I clean the kitchen after we eat the food. Or my sister & my brother-in-law will do it since I've already cooked :)

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

My Mam always said to me "Be grateful and appreciate the food you're having." I always remember that every time I'm about to eat. When you appreciate things, you learn to love them. And when you love something, you'll try to become better at it :)
Don't be afraid to eat and experience food. Try delicacies from other cuisine! Experiment with spices!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

Anthony Bourdain! And my huge family. I'd let my Grandma, Mam and aunties cook for the party and I'll be sitting in the corner with Mr. Bourdain, talking about life, food and travelling in Indonesia.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I love sewing, under my table is my sewing machine and a few boxes of sewing kits. I have a few diy dresses in my closet and sometimes I do alterations to my pants. I'm petite so I have to shorten them!

I also love to build stuff. I think I got that from my Pap, he makes lots of things by himself. Once, he build his own barbecue so we can cook authentic Manadonese food in a bamboo.

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Right now I've been reading Magda's blog from I love reading blogs about regional cuisine, since I also own one :)

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for featuring me! Find me also on Instagram @oliviacooksinholland

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Olivia Giovanni
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Whose line is it anyway?
New York, I Love You
Cook Book
Mark Bittman, How to cook everything fast
Indonesian, Greek, Mexican
Coriander seed, chili, cloves, nutmeg
Kitchen Gadget
Mortar & pestle, food processor