“Me’a kai” means “Come! Eat!” in Tongan, and this friendly welcome sums up the spirit of Me’a kai. The food and flavours of the South Pacific.
The cuisines of the South Pacific island nations are noted for their sensational use of coconut cream, fresh fruit and the most delicate fish. Away from the big resort hotels, skilled local cooks make the most delicious meals, whose range would surprise most tourists. Two years ago, New Zealand-born chef Robert Oliver, who has had a stellar career in the United States restaurant industry, went back to Fiji, where he grew up, to rediscover the art of Pacific cooking. He travelled to Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands to track down the most skilled local cooks. This outstanding, landmark table-thumper of a book brings together a treasury of South Pacific cooking, arranged country by country, with 90-plus recipes and photos that capture the essence of the Pacific. And there's much more than just recipes, it's a culinary journey. Along the way Robert pauses to tell fascinating stories from his encounters with both local cooks and food producers. Flipping through its pages is like going on holiday!
Me’a kai: The journey
- No such thing as too many mangoes.
- The great Pacific melting pot.
- Pacific background basics.
- Market guide.
Regions and recipes
- Rarotonga and the Cook Islands.
- The Kingdom of Tonga.
About the author:
Robert Oliver is a New Zealand-born chef who has spent much of his highly successful career working in leading overseas restaurants. Raised in Fiji, he is deeply committed to sustainable food production and tourism in the South Pacific and wants to elevate the appreciation of the Pacific's local cuisines and produce. He worked on this innovative book, which was a two-year project, with New Zealand academic Dr Tracy Berno and photographer Shiri Ram.