Our kitchen is dedicated to celebrating the bounty of
Mother Nature

Food has been his number one passion since he was nine years. After school, Simon
Jongenotter would jump into the kitchen and cook for his whole family. And today, he’s living of
this passion still - cooking. Chef Simon J. is the founder of New Earth Cooking and Exec Chef of Zest Ubud and he will join Slow Food & Yoga Festival at Gili Air in the days of June 20-24. But what is it
exactly New Earth Cooking are doing?

New Earth Cooking

New Earth Cooking

Their 3 pillars of activity are growing, cooking and healing. Although strictly speaking,
cooking is their only true activity, as growing naturally happens when they nourish their soil and
plant seeds. Healing naturally happens when they are brave enough to face and embrace the
very things that block them from being the powerful creators that humans naturally are.

New Earth Cooking is not a rigid doctrine or a fad diet. It’s an invitation to question the choices
you make on a daily base. It’s about what happens when you find harmony in every phase of
the food cycle from the moment a seed is planted. Forget about being an organic consumer or a
raw food goddess. Dare to be honest about the origins of your food. Recognize that your body
will naturally choose what it needs. There’s something special and nourishing about food
prepared with that spirit. Eventually, you’ll come to realize this and lose interest in eating
processed food from cardboard boxes.

But why did Simon feel the need for creating New Earth School?

“Ever since my days as the resident chef at Bali Silent Retreat, and more recently with the
success of Zest Ubud, people have requested to learn a style of food I coined ‘New Earth

The message from Mother Earth was clear: plant as many trees as you can and create a
space for people to connect, play and learn by doing. The rest will fall into place. There are no
secret seasonings in my recipes, the key is the heart that gives rise to these dishes as an
extension of nature.

Yes, our talented team will teach cooking and gardening techniques, recipes and culinary
skills. But first and foremost, we are here to hold space for your own inner greatness to unfold.
We feel the Earth is longing for your talents. That’s how much we believe in you.

New Earth Cooking

A cooking philosophy

One night, whilst sweating and stressing out in the kitchen of a fine dining establishment in
the UK, I was told to cut a perfectly round potato into a square and throw the trimmings away in
the garbage. That was the moment I realized that cooking just for the sake of pleasing people
wasn’t going to cut it for me. It also marked the start of an intense personal healing journey,
letting go of emotional scars, which stand in the way of becoming the best version of ourselves.
Before I could make an impact on the world I had some cleaning up to do in myself.

I spent years working in trendy organic cafes where I became obsessed with the origins of
our food. The way we eat has changed more in the last 100 years than in humanity’s entire
history. We’ve seen our population quadruple in the last century. We witness thousands of
people dying every day from hunger and obesity. We produce more than enough food to feed
every person on the planet. In fact, most crops we grow now go to livestock and bio fuel. I’m
certain that the way we feed ourselves will dramatically change in our lifetimes as precious
resources start to deplete.

Locally grown food

Chef Simon J. and his team are joining Slow Food & Yoga Festival, where focus is on
showcasing the local culture and the flavors of Indonesia. All the proceeds from Slow Food & 
Yoga Festival will be supporting educational initiatives in Gili and Lombok to include a
zero-waste permaculture garden project to be set up at the local school as a way of fostering
long-term sustainability initiatives for the Gili Islands. Sustainability is a big theme of the festival
and the festival ground will have zero plastic or throwaway containers or packaging. But why is
it so important to use the local ingredients of Indonesia?

Eating local cuts back on pollution, energy consumption and promotes local farmers. We
need to modify our beliefs about what we should eat. We need to connect with the wonderful
bounty that is already grown here. Why are Bali’s health food shops importing ancient Macca
root powders from Peru, rice crackers from Bangladesh and dried papaya from Thailand? Rice
and papaya are already abundant in Bali. We don’t realize that together we have considerable
power as consumers. Many eateries today advertise the fact that they are MSG free because
customers demanded it. Now let’s just ask that they also sell locally grown ingredients!

Traditionally, the Balinese use coconut oil for cooking. Now most use palm oil or soybean oil,
which aren’t really responsible choices. We should all use coconut oil! The variety of rice served
is another important issue. We should be asking not for white rice but for nasi merah, nutritious
traditional red rice that is often grown without chemicals. If you prefer white rice, ask for beras
tahun, the traditional Balinese strain. Sugar should always be palm sugar, gula merah and not
white sugar, even if it’s raw. Healthy wild fern tips can be found on the menu of many warungs.
When you eat chicken, look for ayam kampung or free-range village chicken. Any commercial
chicken product has been fed hormones and antibiotic laced feed. Mind you, this happens
around the world, not just in Bali. Be willing to pay more. Traditional ingredients cost about
double the price and the restaurants willing to choose quality should be compensated.

New Earth Cooking

Slow Food & Yoga Festival

The team behind Slow Food & Yoga Festival are very proud to announce that Chef Simon J.
and his team of New Earth Cooking are joining the festival on Gili Air. It will be 5 days of
inspiring yoga classes, tasteful Indonesian food, cooking competitions and local shows &
performances. The festival is organised by a collaboration of foreign and local stakeholders;

Gili Air Fest 2019 all rights reserved

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