Ubud food festival: best of Bali on a plate

February 28, 2017

The towns second food festival showcases traditional Balinese cuisine alongside fine dining and raw food

When Australian-born author and restaurateur Janet DeNeefe first visited Ubud as a adolescent over 40 years ago, it was a traditional Balinese village, a cluster of terracotta rooftops snuggled amid ancient rice terraces and jungle gorges.

There wasnt a food scene back then, she recalls.

Having fallen in love with Bali and met and wedded a Balinese human in 1984, DeNeefe moved to Ubud and has gone on to open eateries, bars and a cookery school in the area. This weekend, the second incarnation of her Ubud food festival will depict thousands to the lush green spaces and concealed eateries along the Ayung Gorge. Needless to say, there will be much, much more on the menu than the 70 s staples of cheese toasties, dodgy pasta and nasi goreng .

A market at the celebration. Photo: Matthew Oldfield

Even before Elizabeth Gilberts bestselling 2006 volume Eat, Pray, Love set Ubud on the self-discovery pail list, this bustling tourist town was a spirituality and wellness destination. Diana Von Cranach, who will preview her new Herb Library restaurant at the celebration, pioneered the living food motion. Alchemy, the raw, vegan cafe idea, has helped attain Ubud a purist feeing destination, too.

The town has also proved a focal point for resurrecting and refining traditional Balinese create and cuisine. The Balinese heritage black animal was close to extinction a few years ago. Later this month, the porkers will star in a beauty parade, a 20 -course tasting menu, and more.

Moziac, one of Ubuds fine-dining eateries

It is a relatively small event for Indonesia, where major cities often showcase local specialities. But, says Jakarta-based food consultant Arie Parikesit: In words of the breadth of topics and depth of content, its the most comprehensive celebration in the country.

While Ubud is home to world-class fine-dining eateries, such as Mozaic, Hujan Locale and Locavore which will launch its long-awaited cocktail lounge, Rooster, at the celebration theres more than eateries to the foodie scene. You have interesting venues in Ubud, says Parikesit. But in the area, you have fresh create, plantations, markets. Its a small town, but surrounded by a lot of great producers.

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