GO LOCAL: Ubud Food Festival in 2015

The second year of the Ubud Food Festival (http://ubudfoodfestival.com) held 27, 28 and 29th May 2016 promises to bring just as much joy celebrating food as its first phenomenal year.

With it’s ‘Go Local’ theme attendees at the second Ubud Food Festival will be exposed to the often overlooked vast variety of Indonesian cuisine. Well known Chef Rahung Nasution has said that even Indonesians themselves are not aware of the variety of dishes created across the archipelago, joking that many might think the national dish is Ayam Goreng, fried chicken. It’s unsurprising though as the majority of culinary schools teach students European cuisine and it was only last year that a traditional Indonesian meal was served to visiting foreign dignitaries.

“Go Local’ will also mean a spotlight falls on the produce that is being used to create the foods, and Bali is certainly moving forward with the times when it comes to farming for the table. The emphasis on the slow food and raw food movement, especially in Ubud, a yoga (http://www.theyogabarn.com) and raw food paradise, has allowed for local farmers to revert to traditional methods of production, and rather then meet demand for more with the use of chemical boosters and pesticides they are now cultivating healthy soils, authentic to region produce and sustainable production methods that mean a build up of prestige for farmers who have for years been maligned and impoverished.

TV cooking shows have never been more popular in Indonesia and many of the chefs attending are audience savvy and know how to put on a fantastic show. The chef competitions will no doubt be a uproarious success with much banter and laughter, which is the best atmosphere in which to prepare and eatfood. For those interested in the herbal traditions of Indonesia, and fans of the wonderful jamus, the quintessential drink that sustains the nation, there will be demonstrations on how to get the best from the raw ingredients of turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and cloves.

Highlights include the launch of the world’s first durian cured cheese by farming cooperative Wanaprasta, if you are a fan of the most controversial fruit on the planet you will be simply salivating at the thought of it, and a beautiful raw food dining event at MOKSA (http://moksaubud.com). 

MOKSA, located on the Ubud side of the Sayan Ridge, offers a superbly health giving menu created from the inquiring and inspiring minds of Chef Made Runatha and Yasa Januar. Begun just one year ago the pair have combined their love of wellbeing with the talents of a permaculture designer to come up with a garden to table concept that provides good food that “educates the palate”. Their varied menu is designed to suit all tastes and dietary preferences, but rather than promote ‘raw’ or ‘vegan’ they prefer guests to discover how good plant based cuisine can be.

The pretty seating areas are surrounded by carefully cared for garden beds and there is a feeling of abundance and bounty within the simple styles of the restaurant building, that discreetly houses a state of the art kitchen and a full compliment of highly trained professional, local staff.

MOKSA derives from the balance of the swastika and is the phase of existence, also called vimoksha or mukti, that brings emancipation, liberation or release from samsara. Here at MOSKA the restaurant there exists a palpable sense of freedom, of inspiration and a release of stress. It’s a place where you can watch nature nurture as the sun and rain give their gifts of growth to the earth. Its a place where guests can eat in harmony with the seasons, with the earth and with themselves.

Article posted by Kayti Denham, a writer educator and good food enthusiast living in Bali.

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