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Ubud Food Festival 2016: A Journey to Explore the Indonesian Cuisine!

Ubud Food Festival 2016: A Journey to Explore the Indonesian Cuisine!

It is always been a great delight to see how the festival scene in Bali has been growing continuously, presenting such amazing and diverse festivals, often made even better by the chosen venues that happen to be set around the island's most iconic and charming locations!

Ubud, known as one of the most artistic destinations on the island since long before the mass tourism era, has unsurprisingly been one of the most favored towns for the selection of annual festivals hosted in Bali. And through time, we have been offered with the opportunity to be indulged by more of these superb festivals as held in this pretty town in Gianyar regency.

After having owned a very special place for its achievement of presenting one of the island's most high profile annual international festivals for 13 years through its prestigious Ubud Writer & Reader Festival, Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati had expanded from the one major annual event to the culinary world through the celebration of the annual Ubud Food Festival!

Ubud Food Festival is a three-day culinary experience where Indonesian food takes place under the spotlight, held on May 27-29, 2016. This festival is Southeast Asia's most exciting new culinary event showcasing Indonesia's diverse cuisine, innovative chefs and extraordinary local produce.

This year, the festival has chosen to focus on the theme of "Go Local". Bringing together the roles and elements of the culinary world from Indonesia as well as well-respected icons from around the world, this festival revolves around everything that is fresh; both on the literal level as the produce and taste, as well as the other level where freshness of ideas will be flowing too!

Through the superb selection of programs starting from the live cooking demonstrations, special events, workshops, foodie tours, markets, and much more; the festival will invite you on an inspiring journey to explore Indonesian culinary landscape in the variety of its form! And remember, this exploration will completely treat the local grown produce as the stars of the programs and exotic culinary experience!

During the Press Call held for this festival at the calm and green setting of Warwick Ibah in Ubud on Thursday, May 16, 2016, Ibu Janet DeNeefe, the Director and Founder of Ubud Food Festival who is also known as the founder of Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, stated the simple yet very honest fact that everyone loves food and therefore this festival is here to celebrate food and our love for food; which in this occasion focuses on the Indonesian cuisine.

The Press Call alone was already inspiring and interesting in many different ways that it actually lead to a question of how great it would be to follow all those notable icons of the culinary world during their actual sessions where their stories, experiences and expertise would be shared on a kitchen stage, and not merely behind a microphone as a panel speaker! It definitely looks very promising and exciting!

Aside from Janet DeNeefe, the presented panelists were Dr. Ketut Suardana, MPhil who is the Co-Director of the festival's foundation, Ibu Sisca Soewitomo who has been the face and icon in the Indonesian national culinary world for over 35 years now, Margarita Fores who is an outstanding Filipino-born chef who was recently awarded as Asia's Best Female Chef for 2016 by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards, as well as Made Janur who is a eco-conscious chef who is also partner of Ubud's plant-to-plate focused restaurant, MOKSA.

During the session, Margarita Fores took the opportunity to share some insight on her excitement about the similarities she noticed in the Indonesian and Filipino original mother-cuisine. She pointed out the way coconut, shrimp paste and other ingredients are used in the exact same way in both the original traditional cuisines of the two countries.

She also made Indonesians feel much closer to the Philippines as she explained that the Indonesian kangkung is their kangkong, that rendang is exactly what it is both here and there, and that the same goes for sate!


She also went into the always-interesting stories of how acculturation brought by the different elements in the country's history has made Philippines culinary world a rich mix with a Spanish influence. Wonderful chef that she is, she concluded the Filipino famous desert Halo-Halo which literally translates into mix, as the perfect metaphor to describe the Filipino cuisine!

Overall, the Press Call was a great preview to prepare ourselves what a fantastic journey the Ubud Food Festival would be, and that food is never only about the food! There is always so much more to explore and discover! And not to mention, so many more amazing chefs and culinary experts too! In short, see you at this delicious festival!

For more information, ticket purchase and program details, please visit

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