They say food brings people together and transcends across borders. That was certainly evident as I was immersed in the Indonesian world of culinary at the Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival (JFFF) 2015. Back for its 12th year, JFFF celebrates culture, traditions and heritage through a showcase of the Indonesian food and fashion industry on an international level.
Stationed at Summarecon’s La Piazza for 2015, this Food Festival has always been in the limelight for its medley of various traditional offerings and its preceding success with the public of Jakarta. This year, the main highlight of the Food Festival would be Kampoeng Tempo Doeloe (KTD), a food fair set up with more than 100 stalls offering traditional Indonesian fare.
To the folks of Jakarta, KTD isn’t just any food fair. The set up and well-thought-out decor resembles the Sunda Kelapa harbour, an old iconic port which played a significant role in the city’s development and a historic landmark close to the hearts of the people of Jakarta.
At KTD, many attractive ornaments and bright replicas of ship parts were aplenty. This created a nostalgic setting that held a ton of sentimental value and ultimately, it offered the public the warmth of being in a zone of comfort they were all familiar with. Fuss free, modest and completely enjoyable, KTD was all about letting loose and savouring good, simple food.
To bump things up a notch at KTD, Chef Marinka, Indonesia’s very own MasterChef judge, also collaborated with JFFF for video demonstrations showing the public the art of food plating and presentation to enhance its appeal. Chef Marinka has taken some of Indonesia’s finest dishes and added a modern twist to the way the dishes are prepared and served.
For a first timer to Jakarta, I thoroughly enjoyed sampling the Indonesian cuisine available at KTD. Some of the most popular food vendors in the country took part in the event, so you could say that I’ve pretty much tasted some of the best tasting food Indonesia has to offer. The flavours are intense, diverse and delicious.
Adjacent to KTD was the Wine & Cheese Expo which offered a variety of wine, cheese and chocolates hailing from Japan and Eastern European countries, as well as Indonesia’s very own produce. The Expo fundamentally encouraged a cultural exchange between the participating countries and Indonesia, exploring expertise and diversification. To my pleasant surprise, the Indonesian cheeses were fantastic.
On my last evening at JFFF, I was treated to a Wine Dinner prepared by Chef Alicia Tivey, the executive chef at The Moluccas Room at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Inspired by her French culinary training and her Indonesian mother, authentic Indonesian cuisine was served with a modern interpretation and first class presentation.
Do access the official website for the Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival for more details and check out our interview with the Chairman of JFFF, Mr. Soegianto Nagaria. Stay tuned for more articles regarding the festival coming your way!