There are so many culinary communities in Indonesia. Even one of them has been established since almost 16 years ago. It’s Jalansutra. Initially this culinary community started from a mailing list. At that time, Wasis Gunarto, who was one of Kopitiam Oey founders, took the initiative to establish a culinary community. Under the care of deceased Bondan Winarno, slow but sure, Jalansutra began to stand and succeeded in becoming one of the largest culinary communities in Indonesia.
Established in 2003, the name Jalansutra was an inspiration from a culinary column written by Bondan Winarno in a newspaper. Initially, there were only 20 members. The Jalansutra mailing list was formed as a place to sharing information about Indonesian culinary, dining experiences, and places to get to know about Indonesian foods more deeply. However, after Pak Bondan presented a culinary program on Indonesian national television station, more and more people were interested to join this community.
Although it started with discussions via internet, but in the last few years Jalansutra has grown into a solid association, and is familiar to culinary enthusiasts throughout Indonesia. Until now there are more than 12,000 members spread on mailing list, Facebook, and WhatsApp group. They come from all over Indonesia, from Jakarta to Padang.
Aside, Jalansutra also held a big culinary festival. In 2004, with Pak Bondan, this community created a culinary festival called Heritage Food in Heritage City. The festival is also the bearer of culinary festivals trend in Indonesia.
Jalansutra also actively publishes culinary books, of course with Pak Bondan. Such as 100 Maknyus Joglo Semar to the latest one, 100 Maknyus Jalur mudik. Not only that, this community is also a place for its members to explore their potential in culinary field. Many members switch professions into culinary stuff, after they share their experiences, passion, and were supported by Pak Bondan. Many of them are now successful, including Yohan Handoyo who is now CEO of a culinary company, and Ratna Somantri who is now studying tea.
The success of Jalansutra is of course with several obstacles. When it was first established, many restaurants refused to be reviewed. They are forbidden to take photos of the food, to bring a camera. Unlike now, where culinary actors are more open to media.
For those wanting to join Jalansutra, you can directly register to Jalansutra account on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/169144073096629/. There are no special conditions, everyone can join, and it is free to join, because Jalansutra is a non-profit culinary community.
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