Chefs Training Programme

Apia, Samoa, 29th – 30th August 2016

Organised by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) on 29 and 30th August (09h00-17h00), it will culminate with the Chefs for Development Dinner: Contemporary Island Cuisines.


Pacific Contemporary Island Cuisine Training Manual 

Menu – Celebrating Pacific Island Cuisine 

Read: Top Chefs showcase Pacific flavours at Regional Agribusiness Forum in Apia, Samoa

New! articles on Chef Training



8:00–9:00am   Registration

9:00-9:30am     Presentation – Increasing Linkages between Agriculture and Tourism – by Greg Cornwall

9:30-10:00am   Presentation – Adaptation of Local Produce for International Visitors in the Pacific Islands – by Celebrity Chef Colin Chung

10:00-10:15am   Morning Tea

10:15-1:00pm    Live cooking class – Adapting elements of South Pacific cooking into modern cuisine – by Celebrity Chef Colin Chung

1:00-2:00pm    Lunch

2:00-2:30pm     Presentation Topic TBC – by Celebrity Chef Robert Oliver

2:30-5:00pm      Live cooking class – TBC – by Celebrity Chef Robert Oliver




8:30-9:30 am        Opening Remarks

Formal opening: Honourable Prime Minister or Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development & National Disaster Management of Samoa

– Mereia Volavola, CEO, PIPSO

– Hoonae Kim, Director, Asia and the Pacific, IFAD

– Michael Hailu, Director, CTA

– Head of the European Union Delegation

9:30-12:30pm         Practical- Trainee Chefs prepare for Dinner Event – Administered by Celebrity Chefs Colin Chung and Robert Oliver

12:30-1:00pm   Lunch

1:00-5:30pm       Practical- Trainee Chefs prepare for Dinner Event – Administered by Celebrity Chefs Colin Chung and Robert Oliver

7.00-10.00pm     Celebrating Samoan Cuisine – Dinner

 End of the Culinary Training Workshop


  • Colin Chung – Chef
    Trained in hotel management, Colin has a wealth of experience in all aspects of hospitality. His career has taken him around the globe. Moving to New Zealand from his homeland Hawaii in the 1980s, Colin settled in Raglan on New Zealand’s West Coast. From there, he has run several successful cafe’s and bars – including the legendary Vinnies in Raglan – while travelling frequently to the Pacific Islands as a hospitality consultant. Throughout his career, Colin has assisted many of the world’s most famous hotel brands with their operations, whilst cooking for some of the globe’s most famous names – think Nicole Kidman, The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake. Whatever the assignment, Colin takes it all in his stride, bringing his trademark Pan-Asian flavours and the gracious hospitality of his Hawaiian heritage to everything he does.
  • Chris Cocker –  CEO, South Pacific Tourism Organization
    Mr. Christopher Cocker is a Tongan national and is the CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation. He has over 20 years’ experience and expertise in Pacific trade, investment global tourism marketing and promotion. Before joining SPTO in June 2016, he was a short term consultant with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) based in Suva, Fiji, the Project Manager for the EU-funded Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme (PRTCBP) administered by the SPTO (2013-2015) and prior to SPTO, he was the Marketing Officer for the EU-funded Increasing Commodity Agriculture Trade (IACT) project administered by SPC. His previous work posts based in Auckland, New Zealand, include Trade Commissioner of Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) and Senior Programme Manager, Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF). Earlier in his career he was the Marketing & Memberships Services Manager at SPTO promoting regional tourism in global markets.
  • Robert Oliver – Chef
    Robert Oliver is a New Zealand chef who was raised in Fiji and Samoa. He has developed restaurants in New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Sydney, “farm to table” resorts in the Caribbean and food programs feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City. Robert returned to the South Pacific from the Caribbean to write his first cookbook with Dr. Tracy Berno and Fijian photographer Shiri Ram. Written with a development mission to connect Pacific agriculture to the regions tourism sector, “Me’a Kai The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific” stunned the food world by winning top prize, “Best Cookbook in the World 2010,” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, considered to be the Oscars of cookbooks, beating the books from NOMA (the world’s best restaurant) and The New York Times. In 2015 “Me’a Kai” was deemed by the Frankfurt Bookfair to be the 3rd best cookbook in the world in all categories for the years 1995-2015.In 2013, Robert released “Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia” (Random House). In May 2014, this book won the “Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World 2013” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Beijing in association with his television series REAL PASIFIK. REAL PASIFIK is the Pacific’s first regional food television series and travels across the Pacific Islands connecting chefs to traditional cuisine and local agricultureRobert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu and is a judge on the hit prime time cooking show “My Kitchen Rules” and is host for the Maori reality cooking show “Marae Kai Masters”.

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