The Jakarta Post
Fresh: A chef prepares a dish in front of a live audience during the 2017 Ubud Food Festival. (JP/Anggara Mahendra)
The 2019 Ubud Food Festival (UFF) presented by ABC officially began on Thursday night, marking the beginning of a three-day Indonesian culinary adventure.
Over 100 chefs, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, farmers, food writers, scientists and storytellers from 22 countries have come together for the festival, which ends April 28.
The festival was officially opened with the scooping of tumpeng (cone-shaped yellow rice accompanied with assorted side dishes). Tumpeng is a traditional symbol of joyful celebrations for most people living in Java, Bali and Madura islands.
During the festival’s gala opening, the UFF also granted a Lifetime Achievement Award to Murdijati Gardjito, 77, a culinary expert who has dedicated her life to preserving Indonesian cuisine. Murdijati has written at least 60 books about Indonesia's culinary culture and local produce and has continued to research and write books on Indonesian food despite losing her eyesight in 2015.
“I can only express my thanks to God. At this time, I can not see the world. But the world can see what I do for my country and my nation,” Murjiati said after receiving the award.
Murdijati Gardjito receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ubud Food Festival at the gala opening on April 25. (JP/Ni Komang Erviani)
For its fifth year, the UFF is featuring 36 cooking demos across two stages, 23 special events, 15 masterclasses, 23 food forums, food tours, kids events, live music, film screenings and more than 75 stalls. Themed "Spice Up the World", the festival is said to explore the best ways to make Indonesia's culinary identity known.
“Part of our mission is to present Indonesian food from across the archipelago,” the festival's founder and director, Janet DeNeefe, said.
Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Artha Ardana Sukawati expressed his appreciation for the annual festival, which has helped to promote local Balinese cuisine.
“We hope this festival could promote Bali as a culinary destination,” said Sukawati in written remarks that were read by the region's cooperatives and small and medium enterprises agency head, I Gede Indra Dewa Putra. (kes)