Monday, 30 November 2015

The National Gastronomy Dialogue

H. E Arief Yahya, Vita Datau and William Wongso on the Opening 
Prof. Murdijati, Magdalena Wenas, Amanda Katili, Endro during the keynote session

What matters on food, is the sustainability, especially when it comes to the origin, heritage, nature resources, empowerment, cultivation, existence.

Along with commemorating the previous World Food Day, the Indonesian Gastronomy Academy or Akademi Gastronomi Indonesia (AGI) hosted the first National Gastronomy Dialogue from 23 / 24 November 2015 at the Gran Mahakam Hotel, Jakarta. Being motivated to explore and sustain the national heritage of Indonesia which is rich with various natural resources and spices, AGI is eager to place Indonesian gastronomy – this certainly includes food industry - on the world’s map and sets them on highlight by promoting, synergizing, integrating, globalizing Indonesian gastronomy, and further to make Indonesian gastronomy as a part of essential keys in diplomacy as much as bilateral relations within countries.

Through this dialogue, it is also expected that such a blue print on the Indonesian gastronomy is established, while also increasing the use of natural resources and empowering local entrepreneurship.
The programs in the 2-day National Gastronomy Dialogue covered keynote speech from the State Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, workshop, interactive discussion and working group that aimed at establishing a covenant that will contribute roadmap of Indonesian gastronomy on global level. Some presenters who played important roles in sharing were from government, Indonesian leading culinary expert, food entrepreneur, academics, practitioner, chef, local organization, private sector and gastronomy players.

Measure, and manage!
The opening speech from H.E Arief Yahya clearly emphasized that many countries perform diplomacy and globalization through food or culinary, some key points to start will be through such programs in tourism, gastronomy and roadmap. He explained that Indonesia must have a strong branding and significant portfolio in gastronomy or culinary, positioning, differentiating, and having brand value, to be widely and globally accepted. he added that gastronomy shall consist of goal, motivation, strategy, competitive growth, environmentally-friendly character, establishment of Indonesia-corporated – business, government, communication and media. In addition, programs that also become the main subjects about creativity and creation, and commerce. Creation or cultural values will sustain culinary, in the long run, it incubates through branding and developed into commercial value. However, we should also ensure that such measurement is required, to enable us to manage this goal.

Indigenous Knowledge for Indonesian Gastronomy Sustainability.
Professor Murdijati Garjito from the University Gajah Mada, an expert of food technology and science, observer, researcher, author of some Indonesia culinary books, explored local wisdom we need to have in mind to sustain food and culinary. Started with current trend of eating, where she believed that eating pattern will impact health being in developing country. Activity, increasing numbers of working or career women, urbanization, play role in effecting our daily life style in food consumption. Less home cooking, more fast food, cause Non Communicable Disease (NCD) such as degenerative ailment, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular, hypertension, stroke, obesity, blood clogging or cholesterol, cancer and many others. There is a need to improve the national eating pattern, by remind ourselves on local wisdom by going back to traditional food or home cooking, choosing more natural resources in our very own local area. This is also expected to improve local commodity and the use of local food based cooking. She added that indigenous knowledge through food shall be intensified through using the existing Indonesian Culinary documents, supporting local farmers, setting up series of campaign with integrated players - producers of local commodity with good quality, consumers who need local and good quality of natural resources or ingredients, farmers, agrobiodiversity concept, and incentive plan on the implementation. Is it possible? Yes if we start.

Indonesian Traditional Food Development and Sustainability
Amanda Katili, Ph. D from Omar Niode Foundation, has just opened up our mind as well, that Indonesia has more than 30 spices – rich country in spices that can strongly spice up food and culinary. As the Omar Niode chairman, she emphasized to raise the awareness on food, agriculture and culinary arts quality for both aspects: education and human resources. These are the way to sustain traditional food and culinary. Very well explained in the Omar Niode Foundation’s great and precious effort through the book “Trailing The Taste of Gorontalo’’ where readers are fulfilled with the history of Gorontalo culinary, tourism and travel and so much more. Exploring various traditional foods, bringing up to other areas nationally and globally, involving public to take part and government to support, Indonesia membership within international association, seeking business opportunity, promoting its existence, getting into wider society, engagement with chefs, survey to measure public opinion and achievement of such programs, and further to manage as Arief Yahya previously said. During her presentation, Chef Sabil Al Rasyid, one of the legendary Indonesian chefs, added that what Amanda and Omar Niode Foundation have done in helping to sustain Indonesia food through the book and integrated programs, shall also be followed by others.

The keynoted speech session also reminds us on how collaboration for market space in Indonesia gastronomy is very important, according to Endro Catur from Knowledge Management. Strong development to fulfil consumers’ comprehensive and different need will validize market place, locally and globally. A well-managed market place, will be beneficial for all parties involved or respective stakholders. Transaction, collaboration, will result in a sustainable chain of activity, in this term, culinary. Surely will need strong support and endorsement from government for further development and sustainability.

Magdalena Wenas, AGI communication management expert, said all parties are responsible to communicate our local gastronomy, using 360° PR strategy for all stakeholders with the same passion in gastronomy, involving heritage, local food and traditional culinary, history, hygiene, health, from all area in Indonesia. Further, as she expected, we are able to communicate and sustain what we have, followed by audit for continuous improvement.

The afternoon session takes place in three subjects: Indonesian traditional food heritage and sustainability in which William Wongso shared Indonesian traditional food authenticity within global views, and also other theme such as Indonesian food globalization, and Indonesian food branding.

It is strongly expected that AGI and all stakeholders are able to play important role to sustain our very own Indonesian food, locally and globally, our heritage.


  1. Thank you so much for this comprehensive write up :-)

  2. Thank you so much for this comprehensive write up :-)

    1. Ibu Amanda Katili, the pleasure is mine, having an opportunity to attend and seeing you sharing the valuable experience at the event was precious... Thank you for the comment :) I do appreciate that, hopefully someday I will have another opportunity to meet and learn from you, Ibu.