Forest Talk, Mini Fair, and Food Feast

Posted by OmarTarakiNiodeFoundation
18 February 2019 | blogpost

All eyes and cell phone cameras were fixed on Chef Nurman Fajri of Almond Zucchini Cooking Studio as he was showing how to make ayam bakar madu hutan, forest honey roasted chicken. He skillfully mixed some ingredients and patiently informed the audience how to cook golden brown and juicy roasted chicken in the oven (see recipe below).


The cooking demonstration was part of a series of activities in an event – Forest Talk for Bloggers and Journalists on February 9th organized by Yayasan Doktor Sjahrir and The Climate Reality Project Indonesia. It aimed at increasing public awareness on the importance of sustainable forest management in Indonesia

Featured in the half-day meeting were an interactive talk show, a mini fair, a live tweet and instagram competition, a food feast, and a post-event blog contest.

Meeting organizers listed some venues that have environmentally conscious management teams and finally decided to hold the event at the Almond Zucchini Cooking Studio. It turned out that last year its co-owners, Rianto Hidajat and Chindy Lie, attended a 10-day green leadership program at Eco Learning Camp in Bandung.

 Image: Almond Zucchini

 Image: Almond Zucchini

Almond Zucchini is promoted as a fun and exciting alternative venue that promises to be different. It offers facilities for hands-on cooking classes, team building activities, and hosting events.

Amril Taufik Gobel, a senior blogger and former Vice President of the Indonesia Chapter of ASEAN Bloggers, led the talk show with the following resource persons and topics:

*DR. Amanda Katili Niode, Manager of Climate Reality Indonesia – The Climate Crisis and Its Solutions.

*DR. Atiek Widayati, Tropenbos Indonesia – Sustainable Forest Management.

*DR. Sri Mariati, Executive Director of Belantara Foundation – Conservation and Economic Empowerment Efforts.

*Ir. Murni Titi Resdiana, MBA, Assistant to the President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change – Trees and Creative Economy.



A mini fair consisting of several large wooden tables displayed a number of forest-based products, complementing information shared during the talk show. 

Rumah Rakuji,  a shelter for Indonesian cultures, arts and crafts,founded by Myra Widiono, occupied a corner full of forest-base crafts from all over Indonesia. Among them were traditional textiles with natural dyes, carpet made from bamboo fibers, bemban clutch bags, doyo jacket, and ikat wrap skirts. Bemban and ulap doyo are natural woven materials from forests on the Island of Kalimantan.

Komunitas Cipta Handycraft Innovation Product (CHIP) had a selection of waste wooden crafts. This community, led by Suherman and assisted by the CSR Program of Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper, creates a number of products including  model ships, planes, trains and cars, key chains, and photo pallets.

Javara Culture – Shop, Eat, Learn displayed its variety of forest-based food products.  Javara is a one stop cozy place to shop, eat and learn about Indonesia’s widest and finest selections of artisanal, natural and organic food products.

On its website, Javara categorizes its goods into grains & beans; oil & condiments; jam, spread & honey; coffee, tea, and beyond; sweeterner; snacks & nuts; spice & seasoning; super food; gluten free; pasta & noodle; and hampers.

To date, Javara who works with over 52,000 smallholder farmers across Indonesia has created almost 1000 artisanal products, 100 of them forest-based. Impressively, Javara has a network of more than one million indigenous farmers.

Forest Talk participants had a chance to try some of Javara products as Yayasan Doktor Sjahrir and Climate Reality Indonesia prepared bags filled with coconut oil, gourmet noodle, and conservation coffee.

According to Javara’s partner, GFP Organik Indonesia, conservation-focused coffee planting, also known as agroforestry, addresses environmental issues. Its farming practices allow coffee trees to be part of the existing rainforests. Javara’s Coffee Tale Hampers contain 12 single coffee arabica origin, namely Bali Suksema, Gulali, Buntu Lenta, Srikandi, Tolu Batak, Tiba Teing, Telagawangi, Gayo Berijin, Bunisora, Naganingrum, Aromanis, and Bedhaya. Image: Javara

One of the objectives of the Forest Talk, is to encourage bloggers and journalists to communicate the issues of sustainable forest management in Indonesia. Another objective is to disseminate sustainable forest management solutions and innovative approaches by government, business owners, and communities. The final objective is to convince communities on the importance of planting trees that can create superior products in most villages.


The highlight of the Forest Talk event was a food feast incorporating forest products as part of the ingredients. In this case the Almond Zucchini team went all the way to research and to test what would be the ideal menu of the day.

To illustrate the menu, it is appropriate to quote Michael C Gavin and a group of researchers who have published a research article in The Royal Society Open Science, entitled The Global Geography of Human Subsistence. Basically, they stated, “how humans obtain food has dramatically reshaped ecosystems and altered both the trajectory of human history and the characteristics of human societies. Our species' subsistence varies widely, from predominantly foraging strategies, to plant-based agriculture and animal husbandry.”

Here is the Forest Talk environment friendly food feast, with a menu that represents the varieties of human subsistence as explained by the researchers


Combro, savory cassava snack

Sweet cassava with shredded coconut


Sup Kimlo -  a Mandarin dish that consists of a number of vegetables, fish meatballs, tuberose flowers and ear mushrooms.


Karedok - Mixed raw vegetables with peanut sauce


Nasi Kecombrang - coconut rice with torch ginger

Nasi Putih - steamed white rice

Main courses

Ayam Bakar Madu Hutan - forest honey roasted chicken

Gindara Pepes Pohpohan - steamed black cod with pohpohan, leafy greens rich in antioxidants.

Lempah Kulat Pelawan - spiced chicken with coconut milk and Pelawan mushroom. Considered as the most expensive mushroom,  it grows in Pelawan trees, endemic in Bangka Belitung Islands

Sate Ayam Bumbu Kacang -chicken satay with coconut milk

Sate Maranggi Bumbu Kecap - Maranggi beef satay with soya sauce. The dish originates from the city of Purwakarta in West Java, Sate Maranggi is made from lamb or beef. The meat is marinated in a mixture of green chilli paste and cuka lahang (sugar cane vinegar) and served with sliced shallots and diced tomatoes.

Sate Jamur Bumbu Empal - mushroom satay with empal sauce. Empal is a fried chunck of beef, mostly marinated with coriander, ginger, turmeric, bay leaves, garlic, and shallot.





Donat Kampung tabur gula bubuk - Homemade donut with powdered sugar.

Aneka buah - fruit platter.

Bubur madura set - assorted porridge made from rice flour, glutinous rice items, sweet potatoes and sago flour. The set comes with coconut milk and liquid brown sugar.


Dr. Kartini Sjahrir of Yayasan Doktor Sjahrir emphasized partnerships between government, business people, NGOs and communities as very important to prevent the rate of deforestation and to replant damaged areas.

Representatives of Yayasan Doktor Sjahrir and Climate Reality were pleased to see the audience enthusiasm and hopes that bloggers and journalists will actively participate in campaigning sustainable forest management in Indonesia.

One way to understand the concept of sustainable forest management leading towards concrete actions at the local level is through the introduction of food and forest-based creative economy.

A website name Lestari Hutan, has been created to document the Forest Talk series of activities including some references and blog posts by the participants.


Forest Honey Roasted Chicken*


• 1 medium-sized chicken

• 2 pc of lemongrass

• 2 bay leaves

• 1 tbsp of tamarind juice

• 2 tbsp of forest honey

• 100 ml of water


• 5 pc of onion

• 4 pc of garlic

• 1 tbsp of coriander

• 1 tsp of pepper

• 1 tbsp of salt


• 2 tbsp of forest honey

• 2 tbsp of water


1. Saute the spices, lemongrass and bay leaves until fragrant. Add chicken, stir until spices are evenly distributed.

2. Add tamarind water and honey, stir until all ingredients are mixed. Add water if necessary and continue cooking until the water boils.

3. Reduce the heat, cook with low heat until all the water is absorbed.

4. Preheat oven to 180C.

5. Transfer the chicken to the baking pan, spread the honey evenly, bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cooking Time: 45 Minutes



Text: Amanda Katili Niode. Images: Firza, unless otherwise noted.