Irza Noer Hajati is a traditional Indonesian chef who hosts cooking classes where she teaches the history and cultural tradition of each dish. Irza and her husband, Aditya, are originally from Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia, and together they co-founded Pecel Ndeso, a licensed Indonesian community catering company, named after Irza’s specialty dish, Pecel (Indonesian pronunciation:
). This is a traditional Javanese salad, consisting of mixed vegetables in a peanut sauce dressing, usually served with steamed rice or compressed rice cakes of either lontong or ketupat style. The word Ndeso is used in Javanese language to mean village or villager. The couple started this business venture in 2005 by making small batches of food and selling them in Indonesian stores in South Philadelphia. The food was so sought after by local residents that the couple started being hired to cater for special occasions. Since then, Pecel Ndeso has participated in many community events in South Philadelphia. Their services & cooking are sought after by Indonesian communities up and down the East Coast, including the Indonesian Consulate General in New York City.