Bali: Ubud comes alive with annual food festival

Locals and tourists alike swarmed Ubud over three days for the annual food fest. Source: @UbudFoodFest.

THE annual Ubud Food Festival – now in its third year – saw a warm reception from locals and tourists alike last weekend who got to sample some of Indonesia’s signature dishes and join pivotal discussions about food.

Renowned chefs, restaurateurs, personalities and writers came together over the course of three days to showcase Indonesia as one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting food destinations.

Among the activities were panel sessions, cooking demonstrations, competitions, street food markets, and degustation dinners.

Some of the highlights at this year’s edition were the husband and wife duo Dylan Jones and Bo Songvisava of Bangkok’s Bo.lan, a strong feature on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Talks from social innovators and culinary specialists included topics on sustainable fishing, waste management in Bali, Indonesian food fads, ceremonial food cultures of Bali, as well as the indisputable rise of tempe.

Visitors also had the chance to sample snacks and beverages from some of Indonesia’s artisanal start-ups, some that promote Balinese cashews, locally harvested wild honey, curiously flavored ice cream and even an Indonesian cheese start-up.

While Ubud has seen a surge in interest for its status as Bali’s yoga retreat among tourists from Australia and the West, the area truly comes alive during the food festival as well as the annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

Earlier this year, TripAdvisor users crowned Bali the title of best destination on Earth ahead of London, Rome and New York City.

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