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Cooking up an exciting future for Bali

Media Release – Garuda Indonesia – November 2003

Cooking up an exciting future for Bali

Balinese culture and cooking unfolds new layers of delight for New Zealand visitors

An Australian woman who has invested her life in advancing international understanding of the culture of Bali says visitors are beginning to appreciate that the island offers far more than good value holidays and great beaches.

Janet De Neefe is the principal of the Casa Luna Cooking School and boutique Honeymoon Guesthouse at the craft and cultural centre of Ubud. She says that visitors are beginning to look beneath Bali’s obvious attractions to find a vibrant artistic community, whose roots are steeped in more than 1000 years of evolution as an advanced society.

Janet has welcomed top international chefs and celebrities to her acclaimed Casa Luna Cooking School, which offers a range of courses.

First up is a trip to the local markets, where the freshest spices and produce are purchased. Following this sensory delight, Janet takes guests through the steps of a number of traditional Balinese dishes, which she herself learned at her now-sister-in-law Kasi’s table.

Janet says that she and her husband Ketut are very positive about the future of Bali. They hope to expand the cooking school soon to include a holistic wellbeing centre, where guests can learn traditional Balinese methods of relaxation and health maintenance, using the natural healing energy which exists in Bali.

“At Casa Luna we have taught the Balinese way to nourish the body since 1992. Now I want to show guests how to nourish the spirit,” says Janet.

During her early visits to Bali, Janet attended what she refers to as a ‘culinary/cultural college’ with Ketut’s extended family. She has, this year, fulfilled her early dreams by writing the book she has researched for the past 20 years.

Chronicling her exploration of the Balinese way of life, Fragrant Rice is much more than a cookbook. The recipes are scattered among reminisces which give a remarkable insight into Balinese culture, as well as Janet’s (often comical) attempts to understand it.

Janet’s book ‘Fragrant Rice’ is published by Harper Collins and available in all good bookstores.

Garuda Orient Holidays ‘Bali on ANY budget’ brochure features the Casa Luna Cooking School, which can be incorporated into any Bali holiday. For further information, see your travel agent or call Garuda Orient Holidays on 0508 650014.


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