Gunawan Wu, an Indonesia chef, recently garnered quite a bit of attention on Facebook for his chicken satay flavoured macarons
The award-winning chef was born and raised in Indonesia and moved to Australia to start his career as a pastry chef.
Now, he is working as a pastry chef consultant, and a chef instructor in a cooking school. He is also the ambassador for Nestlé Professional Australia Chocolate, and Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener.
Surprised by the unlikely combination, we reached out to Gunawan who told us the reason behind his quirky innovation
"When I first started my career in Australia, in 2013, I heard many people complain about how sweet macarons can be," he told SAYS.
"Then I thought of Chinese cuisine, which has a sweet element in their savoury dish e.g. sweet and sour chicken, sweet and spicy beef, and so on. So I thought, why can't I do that with macarons?"
Because the macaron shell is sweet, Gunawan infuses the savoury element in the filling to balance out the taste.
Gunawan has also created a myriad of unique macaron flavours, giving it an unlikely Asian twist
Some of them are nachos macaron with tomato salsa ganache, Indomie goreng macaron, Kikkoman soy sauce macaron, pork floss with Kewpie mayo macaron, fried chicken macaron, and many more.
When asked why he uses the Asian twist, Gunawan said it was because he was familiar with the flavour.
"I grew up with [these dishes] so it's easier for me to imagine how the flavours will work on it," he told SAYS.
He first experimented with tom yum flavoured macarons at the Dilmah High Tea Competition in 2013 and the Savour Patissier Of The Year in 2016
He also served his savoury-sweet macarons in a restaurant as 'palate transition', to get the customers' palate ready before the dessert and after the main course.
Gunawan said their reaction was disbelief at first, but they enjoyed it after taking the first bite. Since then, more customers flocked to the restaurant to try Gunawan's eccentric macarons.
"I then did a charity event this year, and was sold out for all the unique flavoured macarons. And people's reactions were of amazement, and they kept asking me when am I going to open my own dessert shop," he said.
According to Gunawan, his Indomie goreng macarons are the best seller and the one that everyone is most familiar with since it's a common dish.
"The combination of the sweet and salty works like magic!" he added.
He told SAYS that he has plans to dish up more funky flavours such as nasi goreng macarons and fish-head curry macarons