“We know that people sometimes underestimate the role of the housewife,” says Joanna Lasmono, who describes herself as a passionate home cook. “It’s not a luxurious part to take and it’s not highly regarded. But I want it to be different. I want to show that housewives are not only doing the cooking and house chores for their families, but we can also be an inspiration to a lot of people.”
Joanna recently became an author, launching her first cook book, My Cook Book Diary: Recipes from The Heart, A Cooking Journal of Joanna Lasmono, in partnership with Style & Decor magazine. “The magazine asked me to write their ‘Taste’ column. I was so surprised because I wasn’t a writer, just a regular housewife,” she says. “But I do love to cook, and to post images of my latest dishes on my Instagram page.
“I had never imagined becoming a contributor to a magazine, but they told me that my articles would eventually be compiled into a book. That’s what got me interested. Because I did want to do something that could be passed on to my children, and to their children, as a legacy. I wanted to pass my knowledge on to them, and this book is the perfect way to do it.”
Joanna has been writing her magazine columns since 2013. Her 186-page volume includes 52 recipes featuring everything from traditional Indonesian dishes to international selections. It is packed with stylish photos and is beautifully designed. “It features a lot of useful tips on cooking and other household activities,” she says. “There are various fun themes that anyone can follow.”
Joanna is the mother of two lovely children (Savanna Odelia, aged 16 and Danno Stasio, aged 14) and her husband is Agus Lasmono, President Commissioner of Indika Energy and Net Mediatama. She recalls her memory when she was interested in cooking.
“I moved to United States to study and that’s where I started cooking for myself. I do everything independently and I was experimenting with a lot with the food that I cooked. I actually learn how to cook Indonesian dishes in there. I learn to overcome the limitation of the ingredients, because it’s hard to find the right components for Indonesian dishes overseas. That’s a challenge and that’s when my love to cook grow deeply until now.
“Speaking of ingredients, for the past few years I have grown my own ingredients in my balcony. Living in an apartment can be hard for a cook like me, because there’s no vegetable vendors who sells traditional ingredients around me. If I have shortage supply of it, I have to go down and search for a shop. It would take me a lot of time. So, I’ve got this idea to grow my own ingredients, even though I don’t live in a house that has enormous soil. That’s got me thinking, if I, who lived in an apartment can do it, everyone can do it too, especially if they live in house with big area to plant. Now, every time I want to cook something, I just pick whatever plant that I grow to be the ingredients and cook it. I love gardening because of that. It becomes a new hobby besides cooking for me, and the two complement each other, right?”
Through her Instagram page (@fourseasonsdelights), Joanna shares news of her daily activities, notably her cooking and gardening exploits. Her page has attracted more than 16,000 followers. “I never thought something I posted could actually matter,” she says of her unexpected celebrity status. “I love photography. I studied interior design at university. That’s where I learned how to position the objects, and also about colour coordination. But it was just for fun at first, I didn’t take it seriously. I feel so blessed that the posts that I make can be an inspiration for many. It’s nice to bring a positive message to others.”
What are Joanna’s thoughts on home cooking in today’s world? “I think people want to be fast, because everyone seems to live a fast-paced lifestyle,” she muses. “Although I love to cook, even I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. I like to cook things in a practical way, but that doesn’t mean we should throw away the essence of cooking, which is to serve good food. That’s where my book comes in because our recipes are made to be followed easily and they do not require a lot of preparation time. For me, cooking is supposed to be fun and fuss-free.”