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Spicing Up the World from Bali

Ubud Food Festival 2019 to Gather a Pantheon of Culinary Demigods April 26-28

The Ubud Food Festival 2019 (UFF19) has announced its exciting line-up of 100+ chefs, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, farmers, food writers, scientists and activists who will be in Bali April 26-28 to participate in the fifth edition of the popular event.

Featuring industry leaders from across Indonesia and beyond, the 3-day program of cooking demos, special events, food discussions, master classes, and film screenings promises cross-cultural culinary discovery with Indonesian food as the star. In its five year's existence, the Festival has grown into one of Indonesia’s leading food events sharing the Nation’s diverse culinary cultures, unique local produce, and top restaurants. UFF19 has embraced the theme Spice Up the World. “We chose the theme to show food lovers across the globe that it’s time they added some Indonesian dishes to their list of favorites, and through this, learn something about Indonesia,” explained UFF Founder and Director Janet DeNeefe. Adding, “Food is, after all, the easiest way to access a culture.”

UFF prides itself bringing together local food heroes to collaborate with chefs from across the world, encouraging cross-cultural exchange and forging new professional pathways.

This year’s lineup is testament to Indonesian food’s rising status on the world culinary stage. Voted Bali’s Best Chef at Bali’s Best Eats Awards 2018, Wayan Kresna Yasa is the Potato Head Beach Club and KAUM Global Executive Chef, where he plays an instrumental part in putting Indonesian cuisine on the map. He’ll be joined by Thitid Tassanakajohn (Chef Ton) who helms Bangkok’s Le Du (one Michelin star and #14 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018), and Korean-American chef, author and TV personality Judy Joo.

There is a feast of opportunities for cross-cultural culinary discovery at UFF. Three chefs who exemplify this are Debbie Teoh, the poster girl of Peranakan cuisine; Luca Fantin, who in 2014 was anointed Best Italian Chef in the World by Identità Golose Magazine; and Carlos Montobbio, who at Singapore’s Esquina transports diners to the heart of Spain.

Named “One to Watch” at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, Jordy Navarra transforms familiar Filipino flavors at Manila’s Toyo Eatery, while at Dewakan in Kuala Lumpur Darren Teoh creates modern Malaysian cuisine. They’ll be joined by Jimmy Lim Tyan Yaw, who combines Singaporean heritage with his passion for Taiwanese produce at JL Studio in Taipei. Don’t miss Ray Adriansyah and Eelke Plasmeijer of Locavore (#21 on Asia’s 50 Best and Indonesia’s only list entrant).  With a mission to bring Indonesian food, culture and art to the world, UFF welcomes the return of Master Chef Indonesia judge Rinrin Marinka, as well as the beloved Queen of Indonesian cuisine, Ibu Sisca Soewitomo, a previous recipient of the UFF Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s recipient is Murdijati Gardjito, who has written more than 60 books about Indonesian culinary culture.

Showcasing the dizzying diversity of Indonesian cuisines, the free cooking stage Teater Kuliner will welcome the return of Ragil Imam Wibowo, Chef of the Year at Jakarta’s Best Eats 2018. Taking the theme very seriously, he’ll share two Acehnese dishes containing over 20 spices.

Representatives of the Aceh Culinary Festival will also present specialties from the region – kopi tarik and martabak. Adhitia Julisiandi, Chef de Cuisine of contemporary Indonesian restaurant 1945, will prepare a Batak Toba dish once reserved for royalty, while Bali’s leading culinary innovator Tri Sutrisna will dare to dabble with durian, the king of fruits. They’ll share the stage with Gloria Susindra and Vebrina Hadi, two of the capital’s savviest young chefs.

Spotlighting cuisines from lesser-known Indonesian regions remains a core component of the Festival. For her annual Long Table Lunch, DeNeefe will be joined by Kris Syamsudin, Founder of eco-tourism initiative Cengkeh Afo and Gamalama Spices in Ternate, North Maluku. Together they’ll present traditional Ternate dishes slow-cooked in bamboo. Foodies with a sweet tooth are naturally well catered for at UFF. Award-winning Executive Pastry Chef for the Robuchon Bangkok Group, Yannis Janssens is a culinary innovator renowned for his distinctive approach to creating desserts, while MasterChef Australia 2017 Runner-up Ben Ungermann is Oz’s new king of ice cream. Vanilla bay leaf ice cream, and Dutch spiced biscuit and pumpkin galettes with salted butterscotch, anyone?

UFF is committed to minimizing all forms of waste across all program areas, from organic waste at the cooking demo stages to disposable packaging at food stalls. Vendors have been strictly prohibited from providing single-use plastic and polystyrene food packaging, while Festival attendees who bring their own plates and utensils will be rewarded with discounts. The free in-depth food discussion stage Food for Thought features various panels exploring Bali’s most successful waste management initiatives, while the Film Program features Pulau Plastik, a new local series aiming to change public behavior towards Bali’s plastic waste problem.

“We’re thrilled to announce the full lineup of speakers joining us for our fifth year,” DeNeefe, Festival Founder, commented. “The culinary collaborations between international and Indonesian chefs at Ubud’s top restaurants and resorts will strengthen cross-cultural exchanges and professional opportunities. From Aceh to Ternate, we’ll have more regional Indonesian cuisine on the table than ever before. Bali deserves to be one of the world’s top dining destinations and we’ll be tasting the best of the island at UFF19. Things are about to get very, very spicy!”

Ubud Food Festival 2019 - Presented by ABC

26–28 April, 2019

Ubud  Food Festival Website

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