Ubud Food Festival 2017 Opens With A Bang

It’s been months in the making and now the first day of Ubud Food Festival (UFF) is finally here!

UFF Day One was packed with dozens of high-energy, maximum flavor events. Below is some of the highlights of the first day.

In on the morning session, Arif Springs, Indonesian jamu guru, shared to the audiences about efficacy many kind of herbs like tamarind and turmeric at Teater Kuliner. He also showed how to make asam jawa from scratch. In the end of his sessions, the audience was invited to the taste the healthy and refreshing asam jawa.

On the Kitchen Stage, chef Jethro Vincent, the man behind all of the venues in the 8 Degree Projects group (Sisterfields, BO$$ MAN, Expat, Roasters and Bikini restaurants), shared to keep himself in a creative mode throug like reading, researching, flavor pairing, and go further by pushing boundaries like blending cultures, unlimited trial and error, maximizing the social media as modern tool to promote your food, and ultimately find the best ingredients to work with. In the end, he showed how to make Jerusalem artichoke with white chocolate and apple, successfully putting smiles on everyone who tasted it.

In the afternoon, the main stage Think, Talk, Taste: Eating the Seasons, discussed about how traditional markets were attuned to nature’s flux, but many restaurants too often demand year-round supply. Speakers advocated how localism and sustainable farming will reduce the ecological impact of constantly available produce, and muse don the magic of seasonality.

Later, Arie Parikesit hosted the Kitchen Stage: Street Foods Secret of Indonesia. Known as a ‘walking dictionary’ of Indonesian street food, Arie was shared some of his knowledge about the massive variety of street food in Indonesia. He also shared his latest project of kelana rasa at Minangkabau, Jawa and Maluku.

On another Think, Talk, Taste session, titled Food Fad Frenzies, a pretty interesting topic was discussed: how does what we write about food translate to what’s on our plate? All the speakers were well-known culinary writers talking about food fad vs food trend and how to create awareness on health and social issue related to food.

At Teater Kuliner stage, Mandif Warokka, manager of three fine dining venues in Bali – BLANCO par Mandif, Teatro Gastroteque Restaurant, and Modicum Gastronomy Artisan Bar, showed how to make an asinan based on a recipe passed down in his family.

Before the sunset at Kitchen Stage, The Festival’s fieriest battle royale heralds the return of reigning chili champion, Bali’s Made Sujaya. For this spicy showdown, Jay was pitted against Jogjakarta’s Jon Priadi and international chefs Penelope Williams and Reynaldo deLuna II. It’s literally a high heat battle between the chefs and the fragrant smell from the sambals kept the audience on their seetas. Made Sunjaya successfully defend his title with his sambal matah with an added twist of belimbing wuluh and anchovy.

When the sun goes down, Pasar Senggol started to show their colorful food just.

Day Two is sure to keep excitement going and the knowledge flowing. Among the most interesting events on the second day are as follows.

At the kitchen stage, MOKSA’s plant-based specialists Made Janur and Made Runatha, and Bali Asli’s owner and Executive Chef Penelope Williams will share the trick of using jack fruit, the new darling of the vegan set popping up in everything from pizza to paella.

Join coconut connoisseurs as they crack open the secrets of this rich, silky superfood, and assess the challenges and opportunities for the world’s biggest producer, Indonesia, at the Think, Talk, Taste event at Joglo Taman Kuliner.

Later in the day, also participate as chefs hailing from Canada, Spain and France carve up the current trend of transforming humble local ingredients into hyper-modern morsels, breathing life into traditional flavors and cooking techniques as they revitalize culinary legacies and patriotic pride.

At the Kitchen Stage in the afternoon  Spanish-born Chele González will demonstrate how humble ingredients can be transformed, making the familiar unfamiliar with aubergine and squid, kwek kwek (a popular Filipino snack), and lambanog (distilled coconut vodka). At Manila’s Gallery VASK, Spanish-born Chele creates ‘anthropological cuisine’ – earning him No. 35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list and the Philippines’ ‘Best In-Country’.

See you!


Feature image credit: Matt Oldfield.

Written by FoodieS May 12, 2017.