23 Feb / Fiji’s top chef wins prestigious culinary accolade
Nadi, Fiji Islands – February 21, 2014
An Australian chef has cemented his position as Fiji’s top chef after receiving the country’s top culinary award, the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award’s Best Restaurant accolade. His cultural dining experience “1808” on Castaway Island Fiji is named after the first year the Chinese arrived to the South Pacific islands, bringing story and perspective to his outdoor dining experience with live fire cooking. The menu embraces the techniques and flavours of Fiji’s three ancient civilizations; the Melanesian/Polynesian/Micronesian, Indian and Chinese who have had the biggest influence on the local cuisine. Seeto’s four year culinary safari across the island archipelago has given him unprecedented access to the Paramount Chiefs, villages and homes through his top rating South Pacific adventure cooking TV series “Taste of Paradise” and his weekly Fiji Times newspaper column of the past 3 years. Judges for the award commented that “Seeto has cleverly embraced the heart and soul of Fijian food, but transforming it on the plate for international visitors.” The pioneering chef is having a huge impact on the direction of Fiji’s cuisine in the country, influencing the flavours and healthy cooking in schools, family kitchens and into nearly every restaurant and resort. “I think its taken a foreign chef to look from the outside in to fully appreciate what Fiji has to offer.” says the award winning chef. “There are some unique and very old techniques and flavours that may seem ordinary to locals, but are brand new to the rest of the world. Harnessing those elements combined with the fresh local produce is key to developing the future of Fiji’s regional cuisine.” Critics have described this Aussie chef, who now calls Fiji home, the Jamie Oliver of the South Pacific, with his message and recipes of healthy eating to prevent non-communicable disease influencing family kitchens across the country. His TV series is sponsored by Fiji’s Ministry of Health.