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Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific



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Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific by Robert Oliver
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1.9% of people buy Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific and The Cook's Companion (Updated Edition) ~ Hardback ~ Stephanie Alexander.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Based on 14 Customer Ratings

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5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

This is a really great easy to follow cookbook that reminds me of my fantastic adventures around the Pacific!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
"Recommend buying this book ... "
5 stars"

Beautiful colourful photography. The chapters are split by island, and each details not just recipes but the culture & customs of the countries and how the food has evolved and developed through the years from international influences through the various migrants that have settled in the region. The Fijian chapter stands out. My only problem is sourcing some of the ingredients as I live in Western Australia. Some recipes do offer alternative ingredients.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
"I wanted to know who created the food NOT the writer-"

I would buy the book if the money goes back to the people who created and prepared the food in the Islands.

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


Winner of the 2011 Best Cookbook in the World for 2010 at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

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, Niue, Tahiti, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands to track down the most skilled local cooks.

Adapting their recipes for modern kitchens, this outstanding, landmark 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. 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!

Author Biography

Robert Oliver is a New Zealand-born chef who has spent much of his highly successful careeer working in leading overseas restaurants. Raised in Fiji, he is deeply commmitted 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 Tracey Berno and photographer Shiri Nam.

Award Winning Book:

Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific by Robert Oliver with Tracy Berno and Shiri Ram has been named the Best Cookbook in the World for 2010 at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

In December, Me'a Kai won the New Zealand Best Book of the Year in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, thus gaining entry into the final round of the Awards. There is was up against fierce competitors such as the UK's NOMA Cookbook and the impressive New York Times Cookbook.

The Gourmand awards are extremely prestigious and 154 countries participated in the 2010 awards, entering books in 53 categories. All countries, authors and publishers - big and small - are given equal opportunity to enter, so it is a huge honour to take first prize. The lavish award ceremony took place on the first day of the Paris Cookbook Fair at the Theatre Le 104, in the new artistic centre of the city of Paris.

Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific is a beautiful book which celebrates six South Pacific nations, their culture, cooking and traditions. The book promotes the 'farm to the table' concept, introducing the reader to the easy and delicious local foods which are available off the typical tourist route. Robert and Tracy decided to put together a gorgeous recipe book that would say to Pacific chefs: 'This is who you are! Your food is as great as any.' They approached Fiji’s best photographer, Shiri, whose response was 'If it’s good for the Pacific, count me in!' And so began the journey that has led to the creation of the stunning Me’a Kai.

Their goal is to improve the quality of food offered to the South Pacific region’s tourism market and to contribute towards rural prosperity in the Pacific by creating an increased demand for locally grown foods.

Underpinned by a philosophy of sustainable tourism, sustainable agriculture and sustainable cuisine, Me’a Kai is much more than just a cookbook.

Release date NZ
April 30th, 2010
Photographs by Shiri Ram
Country of Publication
New Zealand
All-time sales rank
Top 2000
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