A rijsttafel prepared by Dutch-Indonesian chef Jeff Keasberry. The feast became a social phenomenon and much-enjoyed ritual in the Dutch colonial world after it was adapted from traditional Indonesian communal gatherings. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Keasberry A rijsttafel prepared by Dutch-Indonesian chef Jeff Keasberry. The feast became a social phenomenon and much-enjoyed ritual in the Dutch colonial world after it was adapted from traditional Indonesian communal gatherings. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Keasberry
A rijsttafel prepared by Dutch-Indonesian chef Jeff Keasberry. The feast became a social phenomenon and much-enjoyed ritual in the Dutch colonial world after it was adapted from traditional Indonesian communal gatherings. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Keasberry
Food and Drinks

Indonesian food with a colonial twist: how the feast of rijsttafel, or rice table, became a social tool and status symbol

  • Rijsttafel is inspired by traditional Indonesian communal eating, which Dutch colonists adapted to their own culture
  • The extravagant display of rijsttafel became a symbol of colonial power among the Dutch, turning special meals into a spectacle

Topic |   Food and Drinks
A rijsttafel prepared by Dutch-Indonesian chef Jeff Keasberry. The feast became a social phenomenon and much-enjoyed ritual in the Dutch colonial world after it was adapted from traditional Indonesian communal gatherings. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Keasberry A rijsttafel prepared by Dutch-Indonesian chef Jeff Keasberry. The feast became a social phenomenon and much-enjoyed ritual in the Dutch colonial world after it was adapted from traditional Indonesian communal gatherings. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Keasberry
A rijsttafel prepared by Dutch-Indonesian chef Jeff Keasberry. The feast became a social phenomenon and much-enjoyed ritual in the Dutch colonial world after it was adapted from traditional Indonesian communal gatherings. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Keasberry
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