The cuisines of the South Pacific island nations are noted for their sensational use of coconut cream, fresh fruit and the most delicate fish. Away from the big resort hotels, skilled local cooks make the most delicious meals, whose range would surprise most tourists. Two years ago, New Zealand-born chef Robert Oliver, who has had a stellar career in the United States restaurant industry, went back to Fiji, where he grew up, to rediscover the art of Pacific cooking. He travelled to Tonga, Niue, Tahiti, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands to track down the most skilled local cooks. Adapting their recipes for modern kitchens, this outstanding, landmark book brings together a treasury of South Pacific cooking, arranged country by country, with 90-plus recipes and photos that capture the essence of the Pacific. And there's much more than just recipes. Along the way Robert pauses to tell fascinating stories from his encounters with both local cooks and food producers. Flipping through its pages is like going on holiday!
Robert Oliver is a New Zealand-born chef who has spent much of his highly successful career working in leading overseas restaurants. Raised in Fiji and Samoa, he is deeply committed to sustainable food production and tourism in the South Pacific and wants to elevate the appreciation of the Pacific's local cuisines and produce. He has worked as a chef in Fiji, New York City, Miami, Sydney, Las Vegas, the US Virgin Islands, Barbados, Trinidad and more. Robert has developed farm-to-table resorts in the Caribbean, and food programmes feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City.On his books, Robert collaborates with New Zealand academic Dr Tracy Berno and photographer Shiri Ram. Mea'ai Samoa: Recipes and stories from the heart of Polynesia follows award-winning Me'a Kai: The food and flavours of the South Pacific, which was named the Gourmand Best Cook Book of the World 2010, Gourmand's top prize. Robert is a chef ambassador to Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, a brand ambassador for food products True Pacific, and a features contributor the Huffington Post (NYC) and New Western Cuisine magazine (Beijing). A television series Real Pasifik, based on his work and the food culture of the South Pacific, will be released worldwide in 2013.See more at Edouard Cointreau, president and founder of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, wrote of Me'a Kai: 'Your book is a breakthrough in linking sustainable food, the economic interests of local agriculture, and tourism services. It is a benchmark for similar efforts in other parts of the world. The book is entertaining, profound and efficient, with all the high quality of Random House New Zealand hard covers. It will be a reference for culinary history culture.'
Winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards: Best Book All Categories 2011
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