The Jakarta-Ubud Connection: Wanderbites at Ubud Food Festival

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“Hi, Biters & Wanderers. The first time I sat down with Fandy was over Nyonya Nita’s Grilled Chicken. That was years ago. The next time I sat with him was over Nam Nam’s Pho. Food has brought us together and I’m glad to have shared path again at Ubud Food Festival with him. He dropped by my food photography workshop session and I just couldn’t help not asking him to do a write up about it. This is a chance to see the session from the perspective of an participant. And being a great writer that he is, he won me at the first draft. Please give a warm welcome to Fandy’s first contribution to Wanderbites.com. Drop a comment if you think he should write more here. Enjoy!”

I am writing this from a coffee shop in central Ubud, no, not the artsy and extremely popular one but, yes, the international chain one. It’s a walking distance from where I’m staying at during the massive weekend of Ubud Food Festival. This has been the longest-ever Ubud trip for me and I am enjoying every bit of it, includes the sore feet and petered-out bod.

Wanderbites at Ubud Food Festival

Wanderbites at Ubud Food Festival

 

In case you haven’t heard about UFF, this year is the inaugural three-day food festival where Indonesian food is the hero. Celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, food enthusiasts, bloggers and basically, anyone that loves food should be here. Events are categorized into cooking demos, food forums, workshops, master classes, special dinners, food movie screenings, oh this list can go on and on. Ubudians are currently buoyed with these handful world-class events, but ultimately all of us are here to celebrate food.

Food Photography Workshop

@CaptainRuby, the man behind Wanderbites, is among those food heroes, simply because through his works, he captures (well-presented and most of the time, mouth-watering) food and the audience’s hearts at the same time. Putting all those into Wanderbites, and voila, he shared the stage with the industry’s essentials.

Wanderbites Food Photographer Jakarta Workshop

After numerous food photography workshops in Jakarta and beyond, Ruby set foot in Ubud for a sold-out event on the first day of the Festival. A group of 16 enthusiasts with funny backgrounds was seen as happy crowd, not only because they might at least have 2 or 3 additional followers on Instagram, but also because Ruby poured his frenzy from the basic camera knowledge, to his most liked photos on Instagram (nice way to add more fans, huh, Capt?), to a hands-on training of sun-catchers, food-styling and editing on smartphones. Sounds like a lot for three hour workshop? Oh you have no idea. The 80-year old uncle from Ipoh, Malaysia, four guys from Sydney, Jenggala Bali’s photographer and the noisy-but-skillful Bali Foodies moved on to series of practices. Ruby was seen scrolling around the groups, at times he would candidly praise the quick-learners, and rectified the awkwardly-angled camera. He wrapped up by saying “think outside the box, be as creative as you can, know your camera well and be good at editing.” Well said, Ruby!

I am still utterly annoyed and disturbed by the fact that this was his first Ubud trip and both of us later agreed that 2-day hang around the town and the outskirts is not enough. During one rushed lunch, he told me that after this Ubud trip, his days in Jakarta will be completely different. I don’t quite understand what got into him, but he was tad convincing when he said he wanted to change his diet and start serious exercise to get in shape. Well, Ruby, I’ve got one shot for you. Ponder upon this and perhaps let me know if you change your mind?

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Your food-mate,
Fandy




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