Friendly Reminder About Kendeng
Food is not only for pleasure and satisfaction. As a basic human right, we need to start caring about every aspect of farm-to-table, which we all know is important but must remember.
Kendeng is a small village in Rembang, Central Java, home to farmers who have been fighting against a state-owned cement company for years in a high-profile land conflict.
Brave women farmers, called Kartini Rembang, have done a lot to deliver their message to the government, even in an extreme way by encasing their feet in cement in front of the State Palace in Jakarta earlier this year. Their protest mainly focused on how the cement company will ruin their fertile farmland by turning it into a barren wasteland.
Aulia Reino from Third World Country Co., a multi-disciplinary community of food and beverage enthusiasts, who spent time visiting Kendeng, said the ongoing issue needs continuous attention.
“We are witnessing this directly and we believe it’s a real issue where Kendeng’s harvests are being threatened because of it,” said Reino. Together with Jakarta Supper Club and PT Sukanda Jaya, they created an event to help raise more awareness about Kendeng, called the Charity Dinner for Kendeng.
Guests are invited to make a donation of Rp 500,000 for Kendeng and in return they get five-course dinner with dishes made using Kendeng produce. It started with a foie gras taro puff as a starter, then Kendeng vegetables with smoked peanut sauce and bacem, pepes waluh with merico broth as one of the authentic dishes from the Rembang area, sous vide duck breast and sous vide angus rib-eye as the main dish. It was concluded with two desserts: soursop panna cota and raspberry dumbeg with kawista gel—kawista is an endemic fruit from Rembang.
Respati Tamio from Jakarta Supper Club, one of the chefs who cooked for the event, believed that it was important for people living in the city.
“We from Jakarta Supper Club always try to appreciate food by putting up some knowledge at each event,” said Respati. That is why they also invited Sukinah, a member Kartini Rembang, to deliver a speech to diners on the farmers’ current situation.
Photographs by: Jakarta Supper Club