Join celebrated New Zealand chef Robert Oliver for a discussion and special lunch inspired by the Pacific Islands.
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 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 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 and team released “Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia” (Random House) at the request of the Prime Minister of Samoa. This book won the “Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World 2013” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in association with his television series REAL PASIFIK- a series that travels across the Pacific Islands connecting chefs to traditional cuisine and indigenous agriculture
Robert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand and Fiji Airways, was a judge on the hit prime time cooking show “My Kitchen Rules New Zealand” in 2014 and 2015, and in 2015 was co host for the Maori reality cooking show “Marae Kai Masters” with esteemed actor Tekohe Tuhaka.
In 2017, Robert was honored with a KEA World Class New Zealander Award and was named UNDP Advocate for Pacific Health, Food and Sustainability. In 2018, Robert will be the Executive Director of “Pacific Island Food Revolution”, a media-led social movement across the South Pacific designed to return the region to traditional cuisine in an effort to address the Pacific’s NCD crisis.