Branding Belitung Through Culinary
The Belitung regency administration in Bangka-Belitung province invited FoodieS along with the team from BEKRAF (Creative Economy Agency) to visit the wonderful island in relation to the regency’s program to develop local culinary potentials as a mainstay of creative industry sub-sector.
FOR THAT PURPOSE, along with BEKRAF and other culinary enthusiasts like Tria Nuragustina (Managing Food Editor of Femina Magazine) and Dade Akbar (Social Media Expert), we arranged and presented a seminar titled “Bincang Boga Belitung” (Belitung Culinary Talk).
Taking place at Billiton Hotel and Club, the seminar was attended by more than 100 participants who are generally comprised of culinary practitioners such as owners of restaurants, diners, and local entrepreneurs who produce Belitung signature foods and snacks.
The seminar was opened with materials on region branding for Belitung, which is expected to provide an understanding that the brand of a tourism destination is very important in ‘selling’ and promotion campaigns.
We continued with the topic of gastrodiplomacy as part of the branding of a country or region. Interestingly, in this session, participants were challenged to propose one food item that will perfectly represent Belitung as a brand, and in the end we concluded that Gangan is very potential as Belitung culinary icon.
Participants were getting more enthusiastic when Tria Nuragustina shared story about how to build an interesting and inspiring story behind the success of a culinary business. According to her, with her experience as editor for a lifestyle magazine, a culinary business will be more visible to the media when it has a story to share.
To that end, she advised culinary business practitioners in Belitung to focus on their own unique story. The last topic was presented by Dade Akbar, who gained popularity through his Instagram account @warteggourmet. Through his account, Dade shares simple warteg (traditional diner) dishes in a fine dining presentation. Dade expected the seminar participants to be able to do the same, which is to present something usual in a very unusual way.
Enthusiasm of the participants was well maintained even after two and a half hour after the seminar was opened, and participants took turn to ask questions. This seminar is expected to help boosting the potential of Belitung culinary to gain national and even international recognition.