To coincide with the arrival of Queen Anne and Cunard sailing as four, our employee-led network REACH is shining a spotlight on our talented Cunard Chefs and celebrating cultural diversity through food.

So far we’ve met chefs Roland,  Ajith and James. Now for our fourth and final story, say hello to Yho Yo, Executive Chef onboard Queen Mary 2

Chef Yho with his family

“I was born in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I earned my diploma in Catering and Hospitality in Bali before working in various 5-star hotels in Bali, Singapore, and Germany.

After gaining this invaluable experience, in May 1998 decided to go to sea and joined the MS Vistafjord as Commis de Cuisine. Since then I’ve always worked at sea, steadily working my way up through all the galley ranks. Recently I became Executive Chef onboard Queen Mary 2 which has always been my dream.

Whilst on vacation I love to travel with my wife to expand my culinary experiences or I visit my daughter in Bavaria, Germany.

My favourite port

My favourite port is Bali, Indonesia because it feels a little bit like home. My tip for a fantastic dining experience is Bale Udang Mang Engking restaurant, which offers a variety of different tastes of Indonesia. It caters for seafood lovers but you can also be served chicken or duck. A not so touristy location is the Jimbaran Bay Seafood restaurant, which is where more of the local people go out for dining. You can choose a fresh catch of the day and it will be prepared as you wish.

A taste of my culture

Ayam Bumbu Rujak

One of my favourite dishes from home is Ayam Bumbu Rujak (Rujak Grilled Chicken). It’s full of flavour, the taste combining spice, savoury and sweetness in one dish. The chicken is marinated in local aromatic spices and herbs, coconut milk is added and then the chicken is grilled to perfection.

During my childhood, my grandmother and mother loved to cook this dish and I still remember the taste. Today I usually prepare it for special celebrations at home.  

Chef Yho’s recipe for Ayam Bumbu Rujak – serves 6:


 For marinating:

  • 1 chicken (800g)
  • 1 lime
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Blended spice mix:

  • 6 clove garlic
  • 10 pc shallot
  • 5 pc candlenut, toasted
  • 2 cm ginger, sliced
  • 3 cm turmeric, sliced
  • 4 cm galangal, sliced
  • 3 sachet shrimp paste
  • Oil

Chilli mix:

  • 11 red chillis
  • 12 red curly chillis
  • 6 red Thai chillis
  • 2 tomatoes

Other ingredients:

  • 2 pc lemongrass
  • 3 pc bay leaf
  • 4 pc lime leaf
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar, shaved
  • 2-4 tbsp tamarind water
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 300 ml water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp stock powder / flavour enhancer
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Bunch of lemon basil
  • Kaffir lime, cut in half


  • Slice the chicken into 6 parts, then marinate with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • For the chilli mix, blanch the chillis for five minutes to reduce the heat then rinse with cold water. Blend the tomato, then add the chillis and blend to a rough texture before setting aside.
  • For the blended spice mix, blend the garlic, shallots, candlenuts, turmeric, ginger, galangal, shrimp paste and oil in a food processor until smooth.
  • Sauté the blended spices until fragrant, then the add lemongrass, bay leaf, and lime leaf. Sauté until the oil seeps out.
  • Add the blended chilli in. Stir evenly, then add the chicken in and mix.
  • Add the tamarind water, palm sugar, coconut milk, and water. Mix well.
  • Add salt, sugar, and stock powder. Stir, then braise for 25-30 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Add the chicken into the air fryer. Grill at 200°C for 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken back into the spices and stir.
  • Serve with sliced cucumber, lemon basil and kaffir lime for squeezing over the chicken.

Thanks for sharing your story and favourite dish with us, Yho! Missed our other Cunard chef stories? Click on the links to catch up and meet Roland, Ajith and James

Celebrating culture through food in Carnival House

The team from REACH will be in the Atrium from 12:00 to 13:00 on Wednesday 29 May with snacks and treats from different cultures for everyone to enjoy, so be sure to pop along and say hello!

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