Beyond The Book: The UWRF is a Foodie’s Paradise Too

Now on it’s 13th year, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is the region’s leading festival for words and ideas. What many might not know, the Festival also has many food-related events which can whet any foodie’s appetite.

Now on it’s 13th year, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is the region’s leading festival for words and ideas. What many might not know, the Festival also has many food-related events which can whet any foodie’s appetite.

SCHEDULED FROM 26-30 October, this year’s festival celebrates the theme: Tat Tvam Asi or ‘I am you, you are me’. This powerful ideology is crucial to the collective identity of Indonesia – uniting people from incredibly diverse religious, ethnic, cultural and historical backgrounds to share common respect and understanding. The festival draws crowds of up to 30,000 people to the normally idyllic town of Ubud. The five-day program spans over 200 events, from open-air panel sessions to lavish literary lunches, live music and arts, film screenings, workshops, cooking demonstrations, food tours and more.

The Festival brings together a diverse mix of Indonesian and international writers, speakers, thinkers, artists, advocates, commentators and activists, to create a space for cross-cultural dialogue and connection. The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is the major annual project of the not-for-profit foundation, the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati. It was first conceived of by Janet DeNeefe, co-founder of the Foundation, as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing.


For foodies wanting to attend, a whole slew of food-related events are in store.

LAVISH LITERARY LUNCHES (and Dinners) – Meals with a literary twist, some of Ubud’s best restaurants play host to the world’s leading authors and artists.

A New York Night With Hanya Yanigahara | Room4Dessert | 27 October

Head to Ubud’s own slice of NYC for an intimate chat with Hanya Yanagihara. Hosting this one-of-a-kind author for one night only, Room4Dessert’s chefs will prepare a special family-style menu inspired by the locations and characters of A Little Life. Intimate, delicious, unmissable.

Around The World in 80 Bites | Bridges | 29 October

The best stories take us places. Enjoy an evening of exquisite Bridges’ fare, and let your imagination take flight as Festival authors from Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada, and Singapore guide you on a journey around the globe. Featuring: Juan Pablo Villalobos, Helon Habila, Nino Ricci, Amanda Lee Koe, Kamila Shamsie, Dewi Lestari and Gill Westaway.

The Traveller’s Lunch | Alila Ubud | 29 October

Indulge your inner nomad with tales from near and far over a sumptuous lunch in the breathtaking surrounds of Alila Ubud. Join Jamie James, author of The Glamour of Strangeness, Richard Loseby, chronicler of Afghanistan and China, and Heather Ellis, who travelled across Africa by motorcycle. Now boarding!

Look Who’s Coming To Lunch | Locavore | 30 October

Nab your reservation to Ubud’s highly-lauded, hot-ticket restaurant, Locavore. An intimate lunch, with an unforgettable degustation, this is an imagination-meets-fine-dining mash-up, where foodie’s dreams collide with the fine minds of our Festival favorites. Panelists include: Suki Kim, Louise Doughty, David Dyer, Agustinus Wibowo, Elizabeth Pisani and Jeet Thayil.

A Delicious Journey | Casa Luna | 30 October

Arriving in Australia 40 years ago – fresh from her Cordon Bleu training in London – Valli Little was confronted by a lack of fresh produce, and an early meal of mince on toast! Since then, she’s been at the centre of a food revolution as a writer and editor at delicious. magazine and author of 12 cherished cookbooks. She shares her food journey over a mouth-watering brunch at Casa Luna.

THE KITCHEN – Runs from 28-30 October at Toko Toko. 12 cooking demonstrations from some of Ubud’s best kitchens, including Locavore, the Night Rooster, MOKSA, Hujane Locale, Taksu, Seniman and by UWRF and FF Founder & Director Janet DeNeefe

Highlights Include:

Where Style Meet Taste | 28 October

Senior contributing editor at delicious. magazine and well-known cookbook editor, Valli Little, will show you how to whip up some undeniably delish and stylish dishes – including an escabeche of local fish, pork skewers with foraged salad, and a coconut pannacotta with miso caramel. Drool-inducing.

Cocktail Hour Locavore-style | 29 October

It’ll be something to crow about when Raka Ambarawan of much-lauded Locavore, and newly-opened cocktail lounge The Night Rooster, shakes, stirs, and squeezes his way onto the UWRF stage. Don’t miss out on a locally-inspired, world-class tipple from this master mixologist.

Coffee In The Making | Seniman Coffee Studio | 29 October

Join Rodney Glick and the team from Seniman Coffee Studio for a coffee workshop like no other. From green bean to rich espresso, you’ll discover how to create the perfect brew. Discover the details of Seniman’s classic slow-drip cold brew, in-house coffee roasting, and more. Get ready to wake up and smell the coffee!

What are you waiting for? Book your tickets now! See you in Ubud!

Instagram: @ubudwritersfestival

Written by Andre Arditya October 5, 2016.