How would you correlate climate changing reality with the empowerment of locally sourced food?
The ever-insightful Amanda Katili Niode has the answer for that and a confession to make.
Our benevolent lady of this issue, Mrs Amanda Katili Niode is always in motion, be it when she became a good host in events or behind a laptop and a smart phone in her hand. Of our many encounters, she never fails to greet me warmly and appears relaxed even on her busiest time of the day.
“I am always under the pressure of deadline. I was just recently asked to assist a doctoral research about global dinner table customs and I have to fill my part from Indonesia”, said Ibu Amanda who is also Indonesia’s first certified culinary travel professional of WFTA (World Food Travel Association). People might crack under the pressure of deadline, but she seemed to enjoy it, judging by the cheerful look on her face.
As a holder of Ph.D degree, automatically every aspect that she encounters becomes a subject of observation and research. “There are plenty of social values that became long gone in this modern age. Families rarely sit together on the dinner table again now and I was to find out why. The research requires me to also inspect other curious stuff such as if a dog exists under the table, or who would usually cook and serve the food, and et cetera”, she explained interestingly about this project.
As a patron of better education in food and environmental issues, Ibu Amanda apparently marries the two principles in a mission to save the world. “By working as an environmental specialist, I was made aware that the carbon emissions in the world can be significantly reduced through our ways in treating food”, she explained. “That’s why we have to appreciate our local food!”, I exclaimed as I quickly relate to it. She nodded jovially.
In remembrance of her late prodigy son, Omar Niode Foundation was founded in 2009 with a mission to achieve better education in culinary arts and agriculture for the people through scholarships and awards. The foundation also becomes a medium to organize food and charity events. With that, she aligns the foundation with great minds around the world and the government as well.
With the foundation and her travels to promote the urgency of climate changing reality with DNPI (Dewan Nasional Perubahan Iklim), apparently Ibu Amanda manages to find a time to learn and appreciate the culinary roots of the countries she’s traveling to without fail.
“Before I go somewhere abroad, I usually take my time to research about their food and if there’s any local who I can correspond with”, said Ibu Amada sharing her trick. For her, it’s business first with the climate conference or meetings and other UN affairs though but the food should comes next.
“Food bloggers are usually resourceful, especially if they emphasize more on the human interest. That’s why I can learn so much even from a single visit”, she continued.
Sharing the same city growing up, which is in Bandung by the way, apparently Ibu Amanda has the same interest with a dish that I am really fond of and found only in Lembang.
“Stop by at the market or at the side of the road when in Lembang, and ask for grilled ketan with oncom “, confessed Ibu Amanda. The sleepy town of Lembang was designed solely to make you succumb with the cool, breezy air and that’s when the grilled sticky rice kicks in to invigorate you.
Having to travel around the world and reached her degrees abroad doesn’t mean that you can forget your roots. That’s what I learned from our teacher here.
Visit Omar Niode Foundation’s website at www.omarniode.org
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE February 2015 edition
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