Well, let’s be honest. I owe everyone an apology. I was shooting for the last three weeks in the far reaches of Indonesia, had no web access and couldn’t update the blog. I hate it when that happens on the sites I follow regularly, so mea culpa.
Anyway, in all fairness, I couldn’t tell you what the hell is going on here in the restaurant world. I missed the first week of Sea Change’s formal opening, but hopefully I will get there this weekend.
I did read that Gene Huguson (state ag honcho) is plugging away at National Farmers Week stuff (I saw it in USA Today in Singapore, no less) and the big idea is that we all need to be buying locally all week long. Since I am writing this from the airport lounge in Narita, I really can't tell you any more than that. But I have a thought to throw out there—If we need a week dedicated to fighting the "buy local" battle, we may already have lost the war. Who’s not buying local these days? Most people, that’s who. We are so close though, what we need is more/better/deeper distribution channels so that local farm-to-table foods are front and center in our local supermarkets. Those of us who shop at the farmer’s market, grow tomatoes in the backyard, and seek out good cheese are already drinking the Kool Aid. We need to start making small family farmers rich. Then we win.
I saw on CNN that Raul Castro gave a major state of the state speech the day before yesterday. I happened to be in Cuba a few weeks ago. The Cubans want the U.S. to end its embargo. We won't do that until we see some relaxing of the rules that govern the paradise prison that is Cuba. I agree, but after spending time in Cuba it makes me wonder why we have "relations" of a higher order with truly nightmarish regimes like the Saudis. It’s a strange world. Indonesia is also a gorgeous country, like Cuba, but a lot of people don’t like us there. In Cuba, everyone loves Americans. In Indonesia, 10 percent of the country thinks the world would be a better place without us in it.
I am in love with Sulawesi and Bali, and amongst all the amazing experiences of the last few weeks, I got to hang out with Linda Garland in Bali at her estate in Ubud, which is a stunning grouping of almost a dozen buildings that is ground zero for rock stars and royalty, Davos summit headliners, and New Age healers. It's simply a stunning place, and if you go to her website you can make arrangements to hang there, all it takes is a reservation. I also met a woman named Robin Lim, a midwife who runs Yayasan Bumi Sehat, an organization doing amazing things to help women in need of maternal and child health care benefits. Indonesia has the highest maternal mortality rate of any member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and Bali’s rates are higher still. Robin runs a variety of programs and if anyone out there wants to help a grass roots organization that really does great work, check out their site and send a check. It helps.
So who has the best Indonesian food in town? Anyone?