28 Jan / AUSSIE CHEF IMPACTING TOURISM IN FIJI
Like most expatriate workers that go to Fiji, Australian Lance Seeto has fallen under the spell of the Melanesian culture’s lifestyle of simplicity and contentment; he’s discovered happiness. Now in his fifth year working on the iconic Castaway Island Fiji, Seeto has become more than just a chef for the award winning family resort. Through his adventure television series, Taste of Paradise, that is seen in 13 South Pacific countries; a long anticipated book on his life changing experiences; and articles that appear in global travel publications; Seeto has become one of the most influential Australians making an impact on tourism to the island archipelago. Combining his self-taught knowledge of the country’s multicultural Fijian, Indian and Chinese culture with a reinvigorated passion for fresh local produce, he has been credited with sparking a culinary revolution in homes, villages and the tourism industry. Once a bastion of over cooked mahi mahi, blackened steaks and overseas produce, Seeto is pioneering regional Fijian cuisine by embracing the techniques and flavours of the Pasifika and Asian cultures, and promoting the use of the local and mainly organic produce that once only graced the tables of local families.His television series has become one of the most watched locally produced programs that is showing his South Pacific audience new ways to cook their local produce.
Following his 2012 award for marketing Fiji, Lance Seeto has again been shortlisted for two of the 2013 AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award prestigious categories of Best Restaurant and Services and Support to the Tourism Industry. The restaurant award nomination is in recognition of his pioneering “1808” Fijian Asian fusion menu on Castaway Island, a cultural dining experience on the sand and under a canopy of stars. The latter award would confirm Seeto as Fiji’s culinary ambassador to the world, through his multimedia exposure and promotion of food tourism. Seeto’s deep and personal journey of change since arriving to Fiji also puts him in a unique position to market Fiji to a global audience, and he has appeared in many Tourism Fiji-organised media events and is regularly called upon to meet international journalists and food critics. The final award winners will be announced at a prestigious gala dinner to be held on 21 February, 2014 at the Sofitel Resort and Spa grand ballroom.