From the Opening Night to the final mouthful, UFF welcomed 15,000 foodies who enjoyed an estimated 24,000 plates of food from 26-28 April.
In its fifth year, the record audience numbers – a 25% increase on last year’s attendance – confirm its position as Southeast Asia’s leading culinary event. With 70% of Festival goers traveling to Ubud specifically for UFF, it once again provided a significant injection to the local economy.
“This year’s theme Spice Up the World was brought to life in countless delicious ways across the Festival’s three days,” commented Founder & Director Janet DeNeefe. “From the tantalizing aroma of sambal at the Kitchen Stage, to the incredible array of regional dishes at Teater Kuliner, to the compelling conversations at the Food for Thought stage, UFF 2019 really did spice up the world with Indonesian cuisine.”
For the second consecutive year, UFF was supported by its Presenting Partner, ABC. Dhiren Amin, Director of Marketing and R&D, Kraft-Heinz Southeast Asia, commented, “We are extremely delighted to have been part of the Ubud Food Festival for the second year in a row. A huge thank you to the teams who have been part of this incredible journey.
“Indeed, with our shared values of wanting to bring Indonesian food to the forefront, and a meeting of minds to excite consumers with the spiciest and most flavorful of dishes, we are confident that this partnership will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come. Looking forward to an even bigger and better festival next year!”
The Official Press Call at Amandari Ubud ignited the Festival’s three-day conversation about the most effective ways to make Indonesian food go global. At the Festival Hub and across Ubud’s top-rated venues, over 100 chefs, farmers, food writers and environmental activists from across Indonesia and 21 other countries plated up thousands of diverse dishes, and delved deeper into Indonesia’s culinary landscape.
“I may have lost my sight, but now the world can see what I have done for Indonesian culinary culture.”
Culinary expert Murdijati Gardjito, 77, was the recipient of the 2019 UFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Losing her eyesight in 2015 did not stop her from pursuing her true passion: researching and writing books on Indonesian food. After receiving the award she commented, “I may have lost my sight, but now the world can see what I have done for Indonesian culinary culture.”
In the spirit of uniting culinary communities from across the archipelago, this year’s UFF featured representatives of the Aceh Culinary Festival (4-6 July 2019), and community-based tourism initiative Cengkeh Afo & Gamala Spices from Ternate, North Maluku.
Kris Syamsudin, Founder of the latter, commented, “We treasure the sense of community when the group of mothers cooks together using bamboo in the outdoor kitchen surrounded by spice plants, just as we treasure the sense of community created by Ubud Food Festival.”
From food waste to single-use packaging, minimizing all types of waste was a central pillar of the Festival. UFF collaborated with six local organizations to manage each type, while seven events explored various waste management solutions. As prominent Australian journalist and former Indonesia correspondent Jewel Topsfield tweeted, “Great to see waste is a strong theme of Ubud Food Festival.”
“This year’s Festival proved we are now a major player in Indonesia’s food scene, uniting culinary communities from Aceh to Ternate,” commented DeNeefe. “Thank you so much to all who attended, and to everyone who helped bring the fifth UFF to life. I hope to see you again from 17-19 April next year!”