Javara’s Gastrodiplomacy Journey: Celebrating Indonesian and Qatari Cuisine

By May 11, 2023No Comments
Qatar Years of Culture
Javara Gastrodiplomacy.
In the spirit of cultural exchange and culinary diplomacy, Javara has recently embarked on a gastro-diplomacy journey in Qatar. As a leading Indonesian social enterprise promoting sustainable agriculture and healthy foods based on indigenous wisdom and culture, Javara was beyond humbled to be taking part in such prestigious international events. It was such an honor to be invited by the Director General of Culture of The Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian Embassy in Qatar to conceptualize, curate, and organize culinary events for the Qatar Years of Culture and Qatar International Food Festival 2023. The initiative was part of Javara’s mission in promoting the forgotten food biodiversity of the archipelago globally through the gastro-diplomacy program which incorporates food as a means to bridge cultural differences, showcase the diversity of culinary traditions, and promote sustainable and healthy food systems.

Javara’s team led by Helianti Hilman as the founder and featuring food storyteller Ade Putri, created a series of unique and memorable experiences for international audiences. The culinary events brought together local Qatari chefs to co-create dishes that combine Indonesian and Qatari flavors. We were delighted that some of Javara products were chosen as the ingredients for the Qatar Creates event hosted by Sheikha Al-Mayassa. 

Chef Ade in action

One of the highlights of Javara’s gastro-diplomacy journey was the Cultural Dinner which took place on 16 March 2023 as a collaboration between Jiwan Restaurant by Alain Ducasse, National Museum of Qatar, and delegations from Indonesia including Javara and Chef Ade Putri. Upholding the theme From Tropical Landscape to Middle East: Reminiscing Ancient Spice Trade from The Indonesian Archipelago to The World, the dinner showcased delectable menus created from Indonesia’s high quality food ingredients with a twist of fusion of Qatari cuisine. The dinner was guided by Helianti Hilman who narrated stories and cultural origin behind the ingredients & menus served. Some of Javara’s products featured in the dinner included Blue Rice, Andaliman Sambal, Blue Pea Syrup, Organic Coconut Sugar, Smoked Salt, Emping Chips, and Fried Shallot. The culinary journey series continued the next day through a Live Cooking Demo event featuring Indonesia’s Heritage Food Culture that took place at Lusail Boulevard. The cooking demo proudly presented Indonesian local cuisines as a part of gastro-diplomacy with Ms. Helianti specially preparing Blue Rice and Chef Ade Putri cooking up rendang and lamb. 

On 18 March 2023, W Doha Hotel enlisted the expertise of Indonesian culinary luminaries Ms. Helianti and Chef Ade Putri as menu consultants for The Sultan Tent event, a two-week ifthar celebration featuring traditional Indonesian dishes. Working alongside W Doha’s own chefs, Ms. Helianti and Chef Ade showcased the best of Indonesian cuisine, including the beloved banana based Ramadhan dessert, kolak, specially prepared for the occasion. As the culinary collaboration unfolded, Chef Ade also shared insights on other Indonesian delicacies such as corn fritters and rendang, providing inspiration and ideas for breaking the fast.

The series of the event culminated in the Javara Experience Table which took place on 19 March 2023 at Yasmine Palace. The experience table was narrated by Helianti Hilman, who shared captivating stories about Indonesia’s food biodiversity, culinary tradition, and forgotten food heritage which all of them have been consistently preserved by Javara. The guests included culinary professionals, top chefs & restaurateurs, and distinguished professionals from companies such as Nestle, British & Qatar Airways, to Ritz Carlton. Some of the menus include Kapuranto Rice (a symbol of sincere apology), Rainbow Veggie Noodle, Banana Blossom Rendang, Emping Chips, and many more.

It was also a humbling experience to be invited by the Indonesian Embassy in Qatar as one of the selected Indonesian brands to present a booth & installation at Agriteq 2023, an international Agricultural Trade Expo that took place at the Doha Exhibition Convention Center.

Javara is beyond grateful to be participating in the Qatar Years of Culture and Qatar International Food Festival 2023. The series of events was a testament to the power of food as a connector and a catalyst for positive change. We were glad to showcase the vibrant and diverse culinary traditions of Indonesia and Qatar and fostered new friendships and partnerships between the two countries. Moreover, it was also a great chance to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable and healthy food systems, which are essential for the well-being of people and the planet. We look forward to embarking on more gastro-diplomacy journeys in the future.


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