Next month, the annual three-day celebration will be making its return for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gourmands eyeing a Bali trip this summer should time their visit for the upcoming Ubud Food Festival (UFF) being held on June 24–26, an event that will build on the “Heroes” theme intended for the postponed 2020 edition. Over three days, participants can look forward to a smorgasbord of flavors from across the Indonesian archipelago and beyond, along with plenty of cooking, masterclasses, discussions, and food tours, as well as live music and films.
Demonstrations range from making brem, Bali’s own fermented rice wine, to a session led by U.K.-based Manadonese chef and cookbook author Petty Elliott, who will transform traditional dishes into modern creations. Talks and workshops will educate festival-goers on topics such as seaweed and sorghum cultivation, the benefits of jamu (Indonesian herbal tonics), climate change, and sustainability.
Prominent local food expert William Wongso will reflect on his own culinary journey and personal heroes, while Ragil Imam Wibowo, chef of mod-Indonesian Jakarta venue Nusa Gastronomy, discusses efforts to preserve the culinary culture of Bali’s indigenous community in a special cookbook. History buffs are in for a treat: social entrepreneur Helianti Hilman will present a feast inspired by the reliefs of Borobudur, showcasing near-forgotten indigenous ingredients such as jawawut (foxtail millet) as she shares her ongoing research into a lesser-known aspect of Indonesia’s gastronomic heritage.
Also joining the event is a crop of locally based international chefs and notable guests from abroad. Puglia-born Maurizio Bombini, the man behind the Seminyak fine-diner Mauri, will be making his return to the UFF lineup: expect a five-course Mediterranean menu that showcases his artistry at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Meanwhile, Melissa Palinkas from Young George, a popular haunt in the historic Perth suburb of East Fremantle, will offer a taste of Western Australia featuring Akoya pearl oysters and innovative shared plates at tapas spot Donna.
Ubud’s new rooftop eatery, Cantina, will host visiting Mexican chef Diana Beltran as she joins hands with others from Chile and Peru to create a Latin American–themed night, and Nyesha Arrington — an acclaimed L.A.-based chef of African American and Korean heritage — plans to serve her next-level plant-based cuisine at Fivelements. Over on the grounds of Viceroy Bali, Apéritif is showcasing the new Irish cuisine of Andrew Walsh, who heads the kitchen at Singapore’s Michelin-starred Cure.
The full program and tickets for UFF are now available at ubudfoodfestival.com.