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The Mexican Kitchen: A Quintessential Gili Air Experience

Slow Food & Yoga Festival is taking place in Gili Air - Again! From the success of the first edition in June 2019, we have decided to do a second edition in October 2019. The dates are set: October 17th-20th, 2019 - and this time there will be even more yoga to attend, and even more food to taste!

From the beginning, the aim of Slow Food & Yoga Festival was to showcase the best of what Gili Air has to offer. Our beautiful barefoot luxury island hides delicious and healthy food, secret and cosy cafés, and magical beach restaurants all around the island. We want to make sure that each visitor gets around the island to explore the best of the best!

The topic is set: Food journeys! We want to take Slow Food & Yoga Festival visitors on a journey around Gili Air from one location to another to explore, experience and taste - The Mexican Kitchen being one of the location!

We met Janset, Owner and Director of The Mexican Kitchen, who told us a little more about this lovely restaurant: 

“At The Mexican Kitchen Gili Air we cook, what we cook at home - closest possible to authentic Mexican flavours with local ingredients. We are here to contribute to the joy, colors and beauty of Gili Air. Creating a peaceful and harmonious space at our tiny corner in this earth, where guests and employees alike enjoy being.”

Mobirise

We’re living the dream, like there’s no future

How Janset describes The Mexican Kitchen, is also how we experience this lovely little place in Gili Air. With music, delicious cocktails, and dancing, The Mexican Kitchen creates an authentic culinary experience. As they say it themselves; The Mexican Kitchen isn’t just another venue - It’s an institution that’ll impress you with its great energy!

“We are just ordinary people with an extraordinary appetite for good food, music, art and love. We try our best catering to all senses of our guests. Simplicity and honesty go a long way and we're having a great time since our opening in July 2014. We're living the dream like there's no future!”

We simply LOVE this perspective, that Janset has. Cause why would we live in the future, when we can get the most out of the present instead? This is also why we love to attend the Monday Night Salsa Classes at The Mexican Kitchen. Dance like there’s no future! Every monday starting from 7.30pm, Mexican Kitchen is hosting free salsa dancing - and classes are available before it’s time to dance the night away! This is exactly why we fell in love with Gili Air! We asked Janset, what her favourite thing about Gili Air is:

“It's magical realism for sure. Surrendering to mother nature, Gili Air is a representation of what life is. Different precious species of birds going crazy at sunrise, our island children, our horses and cats and monitor lizards... But most of all, we are the United Nations hosted by the people of this island.” 

Mobirise

Promoting Sustainable Tourism

A huge topic of Slow Food and Yoga Festival is sustainability and responsible tourism. We strive to put focus on how we can make Gili Air more green, and our dream is a Zero Waste Gili Air. We wish to support the local community and bring the island forward at the same time. Janset told us a bit about how The Mexican Kitchen works towards supporting the local community and sustainable tourism:

“Like all other businesses, we are proud to provide employment and skills training.
I come from an international community development background and have worked all around the world building capacity and empowering communities for almost two decades. It is wonderful to use these tools independently for one's own community.”

”We were the first culinary business to use and influence the use of bamboo straws on the island. We have also taken up sustainable practices of others - many amazing sustainability initiatives were started on this island over the past six years, and we support all of them!”

“Although an ample topic, we simply operate from the consciousness of our ethical compass. We operate from a place of respect for all living beings. We try to operate in ways to preserve traditional food culture, promote social equity, enhance the lives of people and communities and contribute to economic prosperity. We give back a considerable amount of resources into sponsoring suitable projects, we have several orphaned children under our financial care and so without getting into much detail, we believe in "todo para todos" - everything is for everyone. I sleep peacefully every night because of this.”

“At The Mexican Kitchen Gili Air we want our guests to rest assured that despite the hardships of the location and the supply chain, we take sustainability very seriously. We focus on solutions rather than matters we don't have control over. We only support sustainable retail products that are locally made, fragrant organic soaps, coconut oil, bamboo charcoal, bamboo straws etc. that are available to take home as lovely souvenirs.”

Mobirise

Joining the Slow Food Movement

Slow Food & Yoga Festival strives to bring forward the slow food movement and raise awareness towards nutrition and how slow food can be beneficial. We want to teach and explore the Indonesian food culture, and we would love to brand the Indonesian Cuisine to the world, as we definitely think it’s worthy to be acknowledged as a delicious and inspiring cuisine. We asked Janset what the slow food movement means to her, and what about that inspires her: 

”I love this question so much, because it brings up my passion for local food cultures, traditional cooking methods and the history of food. It is astonishing to see the many native meso-american vegetables embedded in Indonesian cuisine for example. How did avocados, chayote and jicama become staples the Indonesian archipelago cooking? Where do the mesmerising aroma of all the spices used in this geography stem from?”

“Then there's the cultural aspect of what cooking and eating mean for communities. There's a resistance of people all around the world to preserve their cultural identity and the culinary heritage is a very important part of it.”

Mobirise

Gili Air Fest 2019 all rights reserved