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Rahel Stephanie, Pedas
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Rahel Stephanie, Pedas

Beautiful food zine Pedas builds on founder Rahel Stephanie’s love of the Indonesian cuisine she grew up with.

Disappointed at what she saw as the inaccurate representations of Indonesian food in London, Rahel launched her sell-out supper club Spoons, then an email newsletter, and now the new zine, flambouyantly designed by longterm partners Tiny Studio to reflect the spice of the food it features. She explains how Pedas adds ‘something tangible to represent what I do,’ as she shares her work and influences.


What are you doing this morning?
I love a slow Monday. I’m in bed with my coffee, sorting out my to-do list for the week—a must with my ADHD helping me stay organized. Meanwhile, I’m catching up on emails and kind of mulling over whether I should cancel my date tonight.


Describe your work environment
If I’m not at my table in the front room, surrounded by my record collection and (mostly Tiny Studio-designed) framed posters from past pop-ups and food events, you’ll find me in the kitchen. Both spots have radiant views of the garden, which is a regular stage for the neighbours' cats and feisty squirrels. Oh, and there’s my new barbecue still in its bubble wrap—I should probably add that to my to-do list.



Which magazine do you first remember?
I think it was Teen Magazine with Hilary Duff on the cover. It was filled with pre-internet era makeup tutorials, dating tips, and teen celebrity gossip—very appropriate reading material for a 10 year old with a tendency for maladaptive daydreaming.

Which magazine matters to you the most this morning?
This morning, it’s all about the Financial Times from last weekend.  It featured my guide to Jakarta, my birth city, that I shot with them during my trip there in December. It’s perhaps the most personal and meaningful published press I’ve got so far. I’ve finished the stock in my local news agent to distribute to family members at my next trip back.


Describe Pedas in three words
Spicy, fierce, delicious.

You’re busy with the Spoons supper club and your Substack… what does a printed zine add to the mix?
I wanted something tangible to represent what I do—bringing real Indonesian food culture to the global table. So, why not a zine? The zine is a collaboration between myself and Tiny Studios who have been responsible for designing all my flyers for three years. It’s clear we share the same aesthetic vision so it made sense to collaborate on this physical manifestation of our practices, completely on our own terms.


Tell us about the visual inspiration for the zine
From the get-go, the first word I used to describe what I was looking for was maximalist. We’ve gone all out with all our designs since then. The zine design presents interpretations of food imagery in really playful layout that mirrors the “dizzying” effects of consuming spicy meals.



Highlight one story from the current issue that sums up the magazine and its mission
This is probably cheating, but the author’s note at the start perfectly captures the essence of our zine and my personal journey. It delves into the significance of Pedas—which means spicy in Indonesian—not only Indonesian cuisine, but also what it represents to me as an Indonesian woman, as well as a little glimpse into the vibrant food culture of Jakarta.


Have you seen Indonesian food in London improve since you arrived in the UK?
I have my go-to spots like Pino’s Warung, Toba, and Triple Hot Spicy, but honestly, the overall representation in the market hasn’t stepped up much as there are still so many inaccurate representations of our food culture. Even after 11 years, too many places still think satay is just about the peanut sauce, for example.

What one piece of advice do you have for someone producing their own magazine?
Own it. Self-publishing means complete creative freedom, so take that and use it to your advantage unapologetically.

What are you most looking forward to this coming week?
I’ve got a table at Singburi this Saturday—aka London’s best restaurant where it’s notoriously impossible to get a booking.


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Pedas #1

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