The Chefs & Mamas Cook Off encouraged the use of fresh produce from around Samoa
Restaurants in Samoa are getting a boost on their menus with the inclusion of traditional foods.
Jerry Brunt of the Orator Hotel says the culinary scene is changing as stakeholders attempt to capture local produce a growing share of the domestic market.
“We’re strong advocates of using local produce in our kitchen and we want a good return for Samoan farmers.”
“My wife Charlotte and I are heavily involved in agriculture and work closely with the Samoa Farmers Association,” he said.
Jerry and Charlotte Brunt are the owners of the Orator Hotel and recently hosted the Side Event celebrating Women in Agriculture & Nutrition: Flowers, Food & Art at the second Pacific Week of Agriculture in Apia.
“We’re also in the tourism industry and we can see agritourism as a real benefit to farmers, we want to see it grow.”
The Government of Samoa is also working with farmers to create awareness in the origins of food.
“Our food expresses our intimate relationship with the land, the sea and our ancestors,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi.
A recipe book was produced at his request, featuring healthy Samoan meals with ingredients “from the heart of Polynesia”.
Industry leaders want farmers, chefs and governments to work together as it would enhance much needed cooperation in Pacific island nations.
“There needs to be a line of communication adopted in the Pacific among the key players, learning how the other works, understanding how local produce can be used in the menu while also addressing a consistent supply of produce,” said Chef Lance Seeto.
“Food connects people across time, cultures and generations. How else do we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the world! We’ve got to embrace our environment and culture into our cuisines.”
*The Side Event was presented by PIFON and PARDI 2 together with the support of the Samoa Farmers Association, Orator Hotel, Samoa Tourism Authority and South Pacific Tourism Organisation. **