For three days in May, the usually tranquil Ubud was lively with more than 9,000 eager food enthusiasts visiting the Ubud Food Festival (UFF) 2017. While the crowd and the line-up came from different cities and different countries, the highlight of the event was still the progress of Indonesian cuisine in the international spotlight. With more than 100 speakers and 100 events set against the picturesque Campuhan Ridge, Ubud Food Festival 2017 proudly showcased the incredible diversity of Indonesia’s cuisines, outstanding Indonesian chefs and entrepreneurs and the bright future of the nation’s culinary industry.
Teater Kuliner, the all-Indonesian free cooking demonstration stage that will become a permanent fixture at UFF, was a success where Indonesian heroes and rising stars delivered their contemporary takes on popular classic dishes. Fernando Sindu delighted fans with lontong sayur, Sisca Soewitomo made fish soup, and the most intriguing might have been Charles Toto, the Jungle Chef from Papua, who challenged the audience to try live sago worms foraged from the Papuan highlands. The Indonesian chefs also shone bright on the Kitchen Stage, with Petty Elliot enticing the sweet-toothed with her delicate coconut pudding, and self-taught TV supercook Bara Pattiradjawane whipping up the traditional Javanese cake wingko babat.
“Food is like a language,” UFF Founder and Director Janet DeNeefe said. “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.”