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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, Shiri Ram (Photographs by)

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Format: Hardback, 496 pages
Other Information: colour photographs
Published In: NZ, 30 April 2010
* Named the 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, 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!

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 and Samoa, 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 has worked as a chef in Fiji, New York City, Miami, Sydney, Las Vegas, the US Virgin Islands, Barbados, Trinidad and more. Robert has developed farm-to-table resorts in the Caribbean, and food programmes feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City.On his books, Robert collaborates with New Zealand academic Dr Tracy Berno and photographer Shiri Ram. Mea'ai Samoa: Recipes and stories from the heart of Polynesia follows award-winning Me'a Kai: The food and flavours of the South Pacific, which was named the Gourmand Best Cook Book of the World 2010, Gourmand's top prize. Robert is a chef ambassador to Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, a brand ambassador for food products True Pacific, and a features contributor the Huffington Post (NYC) and New Western Cuisine magazine (Beijing). A television series Real Pasifik, based on his work and the food culture of the South Pacific, will be released worldwide in 2013.See more at Edouard Cointreau, president and founder of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, wrote of Me'a Kai: 'Your book is a breakthrough in linking sustainable food, the economic interests of local agriculture, and tourism services. It is a benchmark for similar efforts in other parts of the world. The book is entertaining, profound and efficient, with all the high quality of Random House New Zealand hard covers. It will be a reference for culinary history culture.'

EAN: 9781869621759
ISBN: 1869621751
Publisher: Godwit
Dimensions: 23.8 x 21.1 x 4.2 centimetres (1.50 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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3 review(s)
All Reviews
Sophia Tupuola on
Absolutely fabulous book. Beautifully presented and currently taking pride of place on my bookshelf/coffee table.

I love in particular the introductions to each island; one gets a real insight into not only the food, but the food culture within the Pacific. From discussions on organic farming and government initiatives to village life, you get a real sense of the author's love for not only the cuisine, but the people. It has an excellent mix of authentic recipes using ingredients only available in the pacific (sasalapa and o'o to name a couple) along with others modified for the benefit of home cooks everywhere. Included were recipes handed down through generations to modern takes on island food.

It was wonderful to see some of the dishes from my childhood represented so beautifully - the use of colour and presentation captures the vibrancy of the Pacific - a truly remarkable book.
Dr Benjamin Pittman on
This book is almost edible in itself! It is truly a feast of the Pacific, resplendent with food, people and stories and magnificent photos. Apart from the recipes, it is a book to savour from end to end; it is a journey in the art of living and eating, with Pacific and Polynesian culture and colour underpinning it all. A coffee table book to share and use.
asupa motuapuaka on
Wondering, have read the book, if comments!

Fabulous book and article, authentic and very enjoyable!!

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