Chef Training in the News and Media
– Chefs undergo training to promote use of local foods
New Zealand-based celebrity chef Colin Chung is teaching a group of local and experienced Pacific chefs how to use local produce and ingredients to make internationally attractive cuisines. Chung 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. This week he is in Samoa conducting the training in the 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum. The chefs will be preparing a four course meal for a banquet that will be held at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel tomorrow night. “I don’t want to see any potatoes because it isn’t local. There are so many ways to make internationally contemporary cuisines using local ingredients while at the same time making a stance in what Pacific island food looks like,” said Chung. The chef turned caterer is working with another celebrity chef Robert Oliver to deliver the training.
– Tuilaepa warns against cheap food imports
Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has warned that food security in the Pacific is being eroded as people move to the towns and rely on cheap imported food. About 120 delegates are attending the three-day conference 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum in Samoa’s capital. Tuilaepa told growers, manufacturers, restaurant and hotel owners at the Apia conference that the influx of imported food had contributed to health problems for islanders. “Consumption of fruits and vegetables is low and vitamin and mineral deficiencies widespread,” he said. “We often experience food-borne ilnesses which compromise the ability of Pacific food products to meet export standards.”
– Health concern in the Pacific region
The Pacific region is facing a health crisis that is directly linked to agriculture, food and nutrition. A joint statement by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) states that obesity rates within the Pacific Island countries are among the highest in the world. In some islands, more than 60 per cent of the people are obese. This, according to the three organisations, has led to an increase in the rate of late onset type 2 diabetes, heart disease, morbidity and mortality. And there is a number of contributing economic and demographic factors, but dependence on imported, cheap, calorie-dense, and low-nutrition foods is the main culprit and primary cause of this crisis.
– Workshop on food tourism
A workshop which hopes to capitalise on the growing food tourism boom worldwide where destinations are offering unique culinary experiences to visitors by encouraging qualified chefs in the region to work with local communities to source local food resources for their menus and use greater innovation and creativity in food preparation is in progress in Samoa. The two-day culinary training workshop in Apia, Samoa aims to improve the knowledge and skills of culinary business owners in the South Pacific region as well as chefs from small and medium-sized hotels in Samoa. The workshop features South Pacific chef ambassadors Robert Oliver and Colin Chung.