Books & Literature

Help your favourite vacay spot by buying a traditional Balinese cookbook

Chef Dean Keddell is compiling a cookbook to fund Balinese charities helping those struggling through the pandemic.

Dreaming of visiting the tropical island of Bali again when restrictions ease? Well, your favourite vacation spot needs your help! Purchase a copy of cookbook Our Bali Your Bali to fund Balinese charities and make great meals.

With more than one million Australian visitors to the holiday island every year, Bali enjoys a thriving tourism-based economy, so COVID-19 has caused a major setback for the island.

Even though Bali has bounced back from tourism dips in the past––such as the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005 to the multiple eruptions of Mount Agung in 2017––the pandemic is different; People can’t travel even if they want to. Nine long months have passed without international tourists and there is currently no end in sight.

“Yet again, Bali finds itself in a crisis situation,” said Dean Keddell, restaurateur, executive chef and owner of two of Bali’s most-beloved restaurants, Ginger Moon Canteen and Jackson’s Lily.

“This pandemic has reaped havoc amongst families and communities, as well as costing the economy billions of dollars,” he said.

No tourists means few businesses are open, and there is no local work for the majority of the population, which causes huge financial stress for most families.

While Keddell normally employs 130 staff over his two venues, he says he has now had to cut back to a core of 50. Without clientele for his restaurants, they remain closed and Dean has found it difficult to keep up the well-being and morale of his staff and their families.

“I found myself sitting amongst the chaos wondering what I could do,” he said. “So I thought I would make my staff active by providing a project that we could all get involved in.”

“We began collecting favourite family recipes that have been handed down through the generations of their families and then we expanded to ask local Warung cooks for theirs,” Keddell said.

“We are now producing a beautiful, large hardcover cookbook, Our Bali Your Bali (Bali Kita Bali Kamu), which will incorporate lots of colourful imagery, family and community stories, as well as local recipes and a collection from both my restaurant kitchens,” he said.

The cookbook is currently seeking funding by asking people to pre-order books from the crowd funder. The campaign is called Bali Needs Our Help, and Keddell is asking Australians to support the cause by purchasing one of his books. The project aims to raise over $150,000 with proceeds going to five local charities which have been badly hit.

“The charities we have chosen are the backbone of Balinese society – they support the poor and vulnerable at the best of times. Now with this pandemic, many more families have joined the ranks of the needy, while the charities have found themselves unable to raise their normal funds.”

“I know for sure that cashflows are at critical levels and these charities need financial aid to continue their wonderful support of local families with food, clothing, education and environmental needs.”

The five charities that will receive funding from the project are:

  1. Bali Children’s Foundation – helping thousands of local children to complete school and to find employment. 
  2. Scholars of Sustenance – combatting the effects of COVID-19 by providing nutrition to those in need.
  3. Friends of the National Parks Foundation – working to protect wildlife and their habitats, at the same time supporting local communities.
  4. East Bali Poverty Project – helping people to help themselves
  5. Bali Wise by R.O.L.E Foundation – empowering marginalized women through skills education, as a means to develop sustainable communities.

If you have ever visited Bali or plan to enjoy some time on our tropical island, please buy a book,” Keddell says.

“I promise you’ll love all the stories, photos and local recipes. Bali’s warm and sincere hospitality has been captured between the covers in order for us to bring our precious Bali to you.”

Click here to help out.

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