Ubud Food Festival 2017 Report
Kitchen Stage: Black Box Mystery Challenge. Kitchen Stage @ Indus. Image Credit: Anggara Mahendra.
Ubud Food Festival 2017: The Finest Local Cuisine and Food Culture with Lots of Insights and Learning

Campuhan Ridge, Ubud becomes the witness of the Ubud Food Festival 2017 that becomes the third time the culinary event is held. If you think that it only hosts cooking class or food tasting, then you are clearly misinformed about the whole competence of the annual festival held by Yayasan Saraswati. From 12 – 14 May 2017, over 9,000 visitors came to see the diversity of Indonesian local cuisine, food produce and industry among other things. Over 100 programs were held during the event at multiple locations and highlighted our country’s rising culinary industry as the main attraction. Teater Kuliner and Kitchen Stage showed the capability of the chefs to serve Indonesian dishes upon the hungry crowd who stood and saw the whole process of cooking until it is served on a plate. Renown chefs and cooks like Bara Pattiradjawane, Sisca Soewitomo, and drove the audience’s attention to Indonesian palette with their own take of main courses, appetizer, and dessert. Bara made Wingko Babat, a Javanese sweet snack made out of coconut and sticky rice. Charles Toto, the Jungle Chef from Papua, challenged his eager audience to try live sago worms foraged from the Papuan highlands, and sample a slice of sago pizza.

Ubud Food Festival 2017 Report
Teater Kuliner: Makanan Nostalgia with Ibu Sisca. Image Credit: Wirasathya Darmaja. Ubud Food Festival 2017

International chefs like Chele Gonzále, Tasia and Gracia Seger, and Joannès Rivière made a good use of Bali’s abundant natural resources for their Southeast Asian taste adventure. It resulted in unique dish using mainly seafood as the protein, cooked in Southeast Asian spices and sauce. On Think, Talk, Taste program, the speakers and attendee discussed about sustainable fisheries and farming, regenerative agriculture, food systems and local and global ecological challenges. “The power is with the consumer. The consumer drives the market. If you want seafood to be sustainable, you must be the one to demand it,” said Fair Trade Manager of Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia Foundation, Yasmine Simbolon, in her panel session on supporting sustainable seafood. This year UFF also spotlighted collaborations between culinary experts in some spots at Bali. The Locavore team plated up alongside Chele González to celebrate Indonesia and the Philippines’ food scenes; Fernando Sindu and Erwan Wijaya created contemporary Indonesian cuisine; and The Night Rooster’s Raka Ambarawan introduced mixologists to Indonesia’s rare exotic fruits.

Ubud Food Festival 2017 Report
Teater Kuliner: Indonesia’s Fermented Foods with Chef Ragil. Image Credit: Anggara Mahendra.

“Food is like a language,” explained Founder and Director Janet DeNeefe. “It’s how we express ourselves. For three days at Ubud Food Festival, thousands of people spoke the same language. We shared all that is meaningful and wonderful about Indonesia, which the world is finally waking up to. “Our mission goes much deeper than sharing Indonesian food – we’re putting the spotlight on the archipelago’s talented and hardworking chefs, cooks, farmers, entrepreneurs, food writers, photographers and restaurateurs. From the top-rated restaurants to our beloved warungs, at UFF we celebrate them all.” This year UFF sure taught us a lot more about culinary from deep within. From the dish that is served on our plate, we can learn more about its origin and environmental state, the preparation that goes within, the custom and culture that are rooted on the food, and the taste that is shaped by the talented cooks.