It is a common knowledge that Sweden is one of the most sustainable countries on the earth. Encounters with the way the Swedish societies live sustainable life to some extent should have impacts towards people who stayed there for a while, including Indonesians who studied at Swedish universities. Those values most likely will still be on their minds even after they finish their studies and get back to Indonesia.
Alumni Swedia tried to refresh its members’ memory on sustainable living by organizing a sharing session on “Restaurant x Small Scale Produces; a Collaboration Towards Food Sustainability” at KAUM Restaurant in Jakarta, December 10, 2017. Thanks to financial support from the Swedish Institute, around 30 participants of the event, not only had a chance to discuss and gain knowledge on sustainability within the food industry but also had the opportunity to taste delicious authentic traditional Indonesian cuisines.
KAUM was chosen, as the sharing session venue not just because the atmosphere in there is cozy, but also because of two other reasons. First, KAUM Restaurant has a mission to present authentic Indonesian foods while at the same time being a part of the global lifestyle. The restaurant incorporates the spirit of sustainability into their work. Second, Brand Director of KAUM Restaurant, Lisa Virgiano is a member of Alumni Swedia. She studied Communication for Development at Malmö University.
Fadjar Wibowo, the Chairman of Alumni Swedia says, the event was designed as a platform to facilitate sharing of innovative practices on promoting quality local food as a contribution to sustainable development. “The event can also strengthen the relationship between alumni, which will open the possibility for further collaborative opportunities,” he argues.
During the discussion, the participants were told that KAUM Restaurant was firstly established in Hong Kong in May 2016. By the late of 2016, KAUM opened its branch in Seminyak, Bali. Jakarta branch was the youngest of the three. It was opened in May 2017.
Lisa explained how KAUM incorporates food sustainability within their concept of “authentic Indonesian foods”. At the very basic, authentic means presenting foods from various areas in Indonesia, ranging from Aceh, the western part of Indonesia to Maluku, the eastern part of Indonesia. The restaurant uses special ingredients for the food, as an effort in making sure the original taste is preserved. In addition to that, the foods are processed in traditional Indonesian ways of cooking and presented in its original presentations.
“The foods were very delicious. We were even more fascinated when we were told about the story behind the food making; where the ingredients of the food came from, and how it was processed,” says Tanti Kostaman, one of the members of Alumni Swedia who studied at Gothenburg University.
Tanti also says she is very impressed by KAUM Restaurant’s dedication to supporting traditional methods for food processing. “Even when the prices of the special ingredients are more expensive than the ordinary ingredients, they still buy it in order to preserve the authenticity. And that means supporting traditional farmers as well,” says Tanti.