JAKARTA, NNC - For Karen Carlotta or KC as she warmly called, her dream begins as a teenager, when she likes to make cakes and sells them to close relatives. But her great interest in the world of cake crashes down in college, when she has to choose a major in Economics at a university. After college, she works in a bank until she gets so stressed that she wants to quit her banking career.
Then in 2005, her parents trust her to do what she really likes: being a cook. To achieve that goal, she chooses Singapore, a country she does not know at all. Karen studies at the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Center (SHATEC), taking a course of Pastry & Baking.
"Everything feels like easy for me, because it is my passion there," said Karen who successfully graduates with Cum Laude. During college, she has her apprenticeship at Swissotel The Stamford. After college, Karen works at One Rochester, a fine dining restaurant. In Rochester her name starts to get noticed with The Straits Times and some other media writing about her profile.
To NNC, Sunday (5/20/2018), she mentions that in 2009, for personal reasons, she decides to return to Jakarta. She is later introduced to Adhika Maxi, a young Chef who graduates from the French Culinary Institute, New York who, who is now her husband. Together with Max, KC becomes the mastermind behind the success of UNION, a restaurant that quickly grows into a well-known brand.
"As a brand, UNION is already very strong. I, with my husband and our business partner will continue to raise this brand, making it a go-public," she said. Through UNION, her first known work is the Red Velvet cake, which is rapidly becoming a trend and popularizing the UNION name.
Having succeeded in achieving what she has aspired for a long time, KC admitts she never forgets Singapore. "All of my achievements today are largely determined by my experiences while in Singapore," said the mother of three sons. In Singapore, she admitts to learning a lot. Not just about pastry and baking, but also about discipline and independence.