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World's top chefs in Fiji for South Pacific Food and Wine Festival

27th February 2012 Print

The South Pacific Food and Wine Festival will be taking pace at the island resort of Denarau, Fiji, between the 14th and 17th March, 2012.

The four-day festival offers a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s best chefs creating a modern take on South Pacific cuisine, with Master Classes, cooking demonstrations, market tours and degustation dinners.

The South Pacific Food & Wine Festival’s Culinary Ambassador is world-renowned chef Robert Oliver. Fijian bred Oliver has just won the award for “Best Cookbook in the World 2010” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris for his recent book Me’ A Kai – The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific.

Oliver was born in New Zealand and moved to Suva, Fiji in the 1970’s. His father’s work with the YMCA meant for the Oliver family interacted constantly with the Fijian village communities. The family then lived for many years in Samoa. During this time, Robert developed his passion for the flavours and foods of the South Pacific.  He is joined by celebrity chefs including “Godfather of Fusion Cuisine” Peter Gordon and British chocolatier Willie Harcourt-Cooze.

The festival presents a dynamic programme of engaging experiences. Highlights include.

A tour of the produce market at Fiji capital Suva, followed by lunch with Festival ambassador Robert Oliver.

Degustation dinners and lunches hosted by celebrity chefs.

Daily Master Classes and cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs.

Fishing Expeditions and Fish School on the Beach

Plantation and Market Trek

Sample wines from boutique wineries, gourmet food producers and top suppliers

Festival Kids’ Cooking Workshop

The celebrity chefs include:

Peter Gordon – Multi-award winning chef, author and restaurateur, hailed as the “Godfather of Fusion Cuisine”.  Peter has award-winning restaurants in London and his native New Zealand.  He famously set up The Sugar Club in Notting Hill and Soho along with The Providores, Tapa Room and the recently opened Kopapa in Covent Garden. He has written extensively for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, the Financial Times and has appeared regularly on TV programmes for Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater.

Robert Oliver – Bought up in Fiji, born in New Zealand, Oliver is author, chef, and restaurateur. Oliver has just won the “Best Cookbook in the World 2010” for his cookbook Me’ A Kai – The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific. The book is written with co-author Dr Tracy Berno and photographer Shiri Ram and profiles the traditional foods and food culture of Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.

Over the past 25 years Robert has worked as a chef in Fiji, New York City, Miami, Sydney and many more. He is currently executive chef and owner of restaurant SUVA in Miami, with actress Marisa Tomei.

Willie Harcourt-Cooze - a passionate chocolatier, author and TV personality, known as The Chocolate Man, Willie has been producing chocolate from his farm in Venezuela since 2007 and is the only small cacao grower and producer in the UK.

Ben O’Donoghue – Renowned Australian Celebrity Chef, Ben started his career working in Sydney’s top restaurants “Tribeca” amongst others, before moving to London where he spent four years in the UK at “The River Café” before joining his mate Jamie Oliver as Executive Chef at “Monte’s Club.”  Ben then worked with Oliver Peyton as Executive Chef at the Atlantic Bar and Grill before returning to Australia where he has made a name for himself on countless TV shows of his own.

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