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There’s a food festival happening in Ubud, and you need to hear about it

Freya Herring

The food in Bali is worth travelling for – from crisp, melty babi guling to the roasted coconut tones of beef rendang and clean-tasting, satay-dipped charcoal-grilled tuna, you’re up for some of the best eating of your life when you set your sights on this tropical paradise.

So it makes sense that a food festival would take place in the culinary – and physical – heart of the island, Ubud (where incidentally, we once ate the best babi guling of our lives). Now in its eighth year, this year’s three-day long Ubud Food Festival – running from Friday May 27 until Sunday May 29 – is all about thinking ‘local’, so you can expect plenty of traditional Balinese produce, reincarnated for the 21st century.

There will be markets put on especially for the festival, running all day long and late into the night. There will be constructive events including a talk with food photographer Petrina Tinslay, known not just for her food photography, but also for her portrait photography of famed cooks like Nigella Lawson, Donna Hay and Bill Grainger. Other talks include a conversation with Indonesian-cooking royalty Sisca Soewitomo (who’s also doing a cooking demonstration at the festival) and talks on the future of food in Indonesia as well as on the history of food culture in Ubud itself.

There will be a kitchen stage where you can learn all about Indonesian ways of cooking, food tours across Ubud (including a tour of the local chocolate factory and another one where you will witness two lovable grannies making tofu the traditional way), live music and of course, this being Ubud, every morning of the festival there are yoga classes at the Festival Hub to ready you for the gluttonous day ahead.

Who needs the beach anyway? With a festival like this, you’re going to want to move to Ubud and never leave.

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