Ahead of the release of the French-translation of her popular cookbook, Bali: Food of My Island Home, Founder & Director of the Ubud Food Festival (UFF) Janet DeNeefe has travelled to Paris and Germany this month to share the secrets of Balinese cuisine with food-lovers from across the world.
Re-printed by French publishing company Hachette and due to hit the stands later this month, the cookbook features over 100 Bali-inspired recipes, a collation of DeNeefe’s life-long love affair with food and – since first visiting Bali as a 16-year-old girl – Indonesian cuisine.
She will share this passion at the acclaimed French culinary school, L’Atelier Des Sens, as she hosts an intimate cooking masterclass in Paris, before heading to the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, where she will represent Indonesia as this year’s Guest of Honour by cooking up a few of her favourite dishes.
“I first travelled to Bali with my family when I was just a teenager,” Janet explains of her relationship with Indonesian cuisine. “I was enthralled with Balinese cuisine from the moment I first tasted it – the smells, spices and colours were so beautiful. Yet when I returned to my home-town in Melbourne, I couldn’t find anything about this amazingly diverse cuisine.”
It was from this first introduction to Balinese food that DeNeefe returned to the island just a few years later, this time with a mission to produce a cookbook that would introduce it to the rest of the world. Twenty-six years on and she’s now the author of three books, owner of Casa Luna and Indus restaurants and Cooking School, Honeymoon Guesthouse and Bakery, and the Founder & Director of not only the recently launched Ubud Food Festival, but Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and Bali Emerging Writers Festival as well.
“Everything in my life comes under the banner of hospitality, whether it’s bringing together some of Indonesia’s leading chefs to share in and promote the deliciousness and diversity of Indonesian cuisine, or hosting long-table dinners with the world’s best writers, thinkers, artists and performers,” DeNeefe said.
“The people of Western Europe have such an appreciation of Bali, so it’s incredibly exciting to help promote greater cross-culture and culinary understanding between two parts of the world so obsessed with good food.”