Jozef Daniel Ungerer


Many of you will remember the early years here in SoCal and the “fuifjes”, the parties and dance evenings at the Indo clubs like the Avio, Rosy, Wapenbroeders to name a few. It was a good time, right!
Many of you will also remember the good Indo food to give you a happy feeling for the rest of the evening. Food like nasi kuning or nasi puti with Ajam bakar peniki, de sate, sajur lodeh, atjar, sambal, tempeh goreng and also the different snacks like wonton, krupuk and lumpia.
These mostly Saturday evening parties gave all of us a break after many days of hard work on the jobsites.
But many of you do not know or did not remember who the persons were who took care and prepare all that food. Of course there were several excellent cooking families.
I remember one person with a passion for cooking, who had a full-time day job, and still started his catering business when he and his wife were still living in Pasadena. He also gave cooking classes, 8 semesters and each semester over a period of 9 weeks.
No person has possibly more knowledge of the Dutch-Indies kitchen and especially of the traditional “Padang” recipes of the west coast of the island of Sumatra.
In those days he has prepared traditional Dutch-Indo food and snacks for groups from 20 to about 1000 people and after those parties I have heard only pleasing comments.
I know this, because I was a student during a two years period and have followed 8 semesters of cooking classes at their home in Pasadena. During these cooking classes and years after I also volunteered and helped with their catering business. I learned the skills how especially to prepare Padang food, food from my parents.
Today at the aged of 86 he still receive requests from friends to prepare food for their parties and I have never heard him refusing to volunteer for their occasions.
Both Daniel Ungerer and his wife Meity, who is also my niece, were born in west Sumatra, near Padang, and both are incredible cooks.