It has to be said that Bali’s food scene is absolutely incredible.
From the delectable spicy dishes across the Indonesian archipelago to the world of cuisines available at the top restaurants and resorts around the island, food lovers are spoilt for choice in Bali.
It was announced earlier this year that Ubud would become the first United National World Tourism Organisation’s World Gastronomic Center.
The Indonesian Ministry for Creative Economies and the UNWTO have come together to pilot the project in Ubud.
In this world first, Ubud will become a global hub for sustainable gastronomic tourism. The project has been in the pipeline since 2018, with work restarted earlier this year.
The Ministry of Tourism and the UNWTO says the project has been created “with the aim of growing gastronomy tourism as a pillar of cultural and gastronomic heritage and boost the local economy, create jobs and drive sustainable and inclusive development.”
@madgita Recommend!!! 7 course + 5 welcome snack and 1 complimentary dessert, total 13 course 😙 #balifood #finediningindonesia #indonesianfood #balifoodies ♬ Sure Thing (sped up) – Miguel
Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno told reporters on Monday, 11th November, that “Ubud was chosen as a pilot project because of the readiness and good collaboration of tourism and creative tourism actors and stakeholders there.”
He added, “This is part of Indonesia’s commitment to establishing Ubud, Bali, as a world gastronomic destination…One of the discourses that will be echoed in the UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Development is the formation of a ‘Gastronomy Tourism Club.”
According to the UNWTO, the Gastronomy Tourism Club will be developed as a series of workshops that will enable gastronomy specialists, from chefs to community leaders, farmers, and foodies, to come together to turn Ubud into “a global hub of sustainable and authentic community-based gastronomic experiences”.
The Secretary of the Gianyar Regency Tourism Office, Pande Putu Ayu Sri Ratnawati, said “A gastronomic work team has been formed which will follow up on this.”
“The food in Ubud, from breakfast, lunch to dinner, will be a world model, as well as traditional culinary delights which will be packaged in a healthy way.”
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Ubud is a destination synonymous with art and culture, rest, and rejuvenation. It makes perfect sense to add world-class culinary experiences into the mix.
In fact, many would argue that Ubud is already halfway there. The arts and cultural capital of the island is home to some of the most popular restaurants and cafes on the island.
The food scene in Ubud already has a strong commitment to health and sustainability, with restaurants like Moksa, Kebun Bistro, and Zest all showcasing the finest locally grown produce throughout their varied menus.
The development of Ubud as a World Gastronomic Center will happen in three phases, largely focused on the business end of things.
But these technical aspects will quickly translate to a whole new set of culinary experiences for tourists.
As business leaders, the Ministry for Tourism, and the UNWTO, what can food lovers in Ubud look forward to?
There is one new restaurant and theatre experience that opened in 2023 that is dazzling diners. Gajah Putih in Ubud is a fine dining theatre experience from executive chef Aleksey Dokuchaev.
The restaurant is a stunning experience where performance art meets the finest of gastronomy.
At Gajah Putih Gajah Putih, the waiters seamlessly transform into actors, which creates a one-of-a-kind dining experience in Bali.
Diners are invited to fully immerse “in a fusion of culinary delights and theatrical artistry, as these talented individuals skillfully play dual roles, ensuring your evening is a feast for the senses.”
The fine dining set menu is not to be missed, with an incredible 11 courses to sample over the course of an evening.
For tourists wishing to experience some of the old charm of Ubud, look no further than Murni’s Warung. The quaint traditional eatery spans over four floors and is even home to an in-house antique shop.
Serving up classic Balinese dishes in their most authentic form, tourists travel from all around the world to take a seat at Murni’s Warung.
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