Efi’s is named after founder Michelle McKay’s mother, even though it was her dad who did most of the cooking in her house growing up.
“I think he would be happy that I named it after my mother. Both my parents were Dutch-Indonesian and lived in Indonesia until the end of World War II. They left as refugees with three kids to Holland, where they lived for many years, having three more kids. They landed in Ellis Island on Aug. 10, 1962, where they made America their new permanent home. Having two more kids, I was the baby of eight. Being so young when my dad got sick and retired is why I learned to cook the way I do. I remember sitting with him and watching him cook.”
“I plan on cooking the Dutch-Indo foods that I grew up with. To give you a little history on how the Dutch acquired the Indonesian cooking styles: The Dutch arrived in Indonesia in the 16 th century in search of cloves, nutmeg, and pepper in the height of the spice trade. When the Dutch East India Company went bankrupt in the 1800’s, Indonesia became the treasured colony of the Netherlands. During this period, the Dutch embrace the delicious cuisine both at home and abroad. This is why you will find many Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands. Because Santa Cruz is so open to new things, I believe they will be very receptive to the Dutch-Indo cuisine.”