22 May 2014

Pacific cuisine features in cookbooks' Oscars

7:38 pm on 22 May 2014

Chef and author Robert Oliver has delivered Samoan cuisine to the world stage, by winning a prestigious international award.

Mr Oliver has won the Gourmand Award for Best TV Chef Cookbook for Mea'ai Samoa: Recipes from the Heart of Polynesia, in conjunction with his cooking show, Real Pasifik.

It's his second win - in 2010 Mr Oliver and his co-author Tracy Berno also won the main award for their debut book featuring food from the Pacific.

Mr Oliver who spent time growing up in Fiji and Samoa says the renaissance in Pacific cuisine can drive health benefits and economic development.

"If we package the cuisine that the cuisine is the link between the tourism industry and the farmers. If you've got foreign menus you need foreign supply if you've got local menus you need local supply and right in that circle is kind of a cycle of prosperity so we really drove that thinking."

Robert Oliver has been working with Samoa's Women in Business Development in establishing a programme to link small organic farmers with local hotels and restaurants.