Samoan, Polynesian cuisines world’s best

26/05/2014

Pacific foods and cuisine has never had it so good. <!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_6097" align="alignleft" width="305"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/DSC07113.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-6097" alt="Award winning chef and writer Robert Oliver with PT&amp;I Beijing Deputy Trade Commissioner Louisa Sifakula after the award ceremony. Photo: Louis Ofele." src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/DSC07113.jpg" width="305" height="202" /></a> Award winning chef and writer Robert Oliver with PT&amp;I Beijing Deputy Trade Commissioner Louisa Sifakula after the award ceremony. Photo: Louis Ofele.[/caption]

Closely on the heels of Pacific food exporters’ first ever participation at China’s biggest food show SIAL China 2014 earlier this month (see accompanying <b>Pacific Periscope</b> story in today’s edition), Pacific Island cuisine has won a prestigious international award – all in the space of a week.

<i>Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes from the Heart of Polynesia</i> and television cooking show, <i>Real Pasifik</i> won the Gourmand Award for Best TV Chef Cookbook In The World 2013. With this coveted accolade, award winning chef and writer of the book, Robert Oliver, has brought Pacific cuisine to the world centre stage for the second time. He won the award for his first book <i>Me’a Kai</i> in Paris three years ago.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are considered the Oscars of the cookbooks. The awards were created to honour those who cook with words, and to help readers find the best of the more than 24,000 cookbooks published globally each year. Edouard Cointreau, from the family brought to the world the famous Cointreau liqueur, as well as the Cognacs Frapin and Rémy Martin founded the awards in 1995.

This year’s winning Samoan and Polynesian cuisine beat 187 countries that participated in the competition. Of the 94 that were shortlisted, 61 made the top three. Finalists were from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. This was the first year that China hosted the awards.

Accepting the accolade at the Daxing Centre in Beijing, Oliver said that he felt both honoured and humbled. “I guess at this point you could say that Samoa cuisine has truly arrived on the world stage,” he added.

Louisa Sifakula, <b>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I)</b> Beijing-based Deputy Trade Commissioner, who has been leading the promotions in China said, “The international recognition provides us a platform to share our culture with the rest of the world.

“Robert Oliver has been a strong advocate for Pacific island cuisine and the communities behind the food. <b>PT&amp;I</b> Beijing is proud to have facilitated the promotion of the Pacific Island cuisine and culture with Robert Oliver during his week in Beijing.

“We congratulate Robert and the International School of Suva on their success, and the many people in the Pacific Islands who have been a part of the cook book journey.”

<b>PT&amp;I</b> was also associated with Mr Oliver’s earlier award winning book Me’a Kai