The Culinary Federation of Fiji (CFF) team at The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
Executive chefs from Fiji’s leading resorts have come together to collaborate on a mission to develop the culinary talent to an international level.
It also aims to transform Fiji into an exotic food destination.
The Culinary Federation of Fiji (CFF) has for the first time tourism, brought together the executive chefs, hoteliers, suppliers, farmers, training institutions and government agencies with the single goal of developing the country’s cuisine.
The new not-for-profit body represents chefs from the majority of Fiji’s hotel and resort properties, they include Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, Sheraton, Westin, Sofitel Fiji Resort, Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island, Hilton Fiji Beach Resort, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Castaway Island Resort, Plantation Island Resort, Malamala Beach Club, Holiday Inn, First Landing Resort, Grand Pacific Hotel, as well as local restaurants groups including Jack’s of Fiji, Cake World and Nando’s Fiji.
Federation Executive chair Prabhat Prawin said: “We hope to ignite a passion that may already be there for some and drive them to take the dive into becoming the best chefs they can be.”
The members, who are internationally-trained executive chefs, have offered their time and talent to give back to the country in the form of culinary innovation, collaborative training, food festivals and events.
The federation will also create a hype to encourage interest in the chef profession in the community.
One of the key platforms of the organisation is to develop the international culinary skills of local chefs through a paid apprenticeship programme in partnership with secondary and tertiary training institutions and CFF members.
This workplace training initiative will offer apprentices the opportunity to train in commercial kitchens under the guidance of executive chefs, as well as in other participating kitchens, in a rotational programme, that the CFF hopes will fast track their experience and knowledge as they learn more techniques from other internationally experienced chefs.
Federation co-executive chairman and GPHexecutive chef Mohammed Arun said: “A fascinating culinary journey through the traditional food and culture of Fiji for the international tourist.
“Fiji’s leading executive chefs have joined together and are breaking new ground in ensuring the vibrant Fijian authentic cuisine is found in Fiji, can now extend their voyage of discovery.”
Working with the food supply chain is another critical component of the CFF’s mission to deliver high quality, local produce to the table.
This includes helping farmers and primary producers to identify and grow the right produce that is needed by its member hoteliers, and give all food suppliers direct access to the key decision makers to improve the supply chain and to develop more variety.
Culinary advocate, Lance Seeto said: “For the first time in Fiji’s tourism history, the country’s most influential executive chefs have come together to transform Fiji’s gastrotourism and help the country become one of the world’s newest culinary destinations. Let the food revolution begin!”
Mr Seeto is the co-Executive Chairman of CCF.
Celebration of Fijian Cuisine
The CFF has received wide spread support from the hoteliers, tourism industry, government agencies and suppliers.
Its first public culinary event is part of the HOTEC trade show this year at the Sheraton Fiji Resort Denarau, called Kana Bula, on November 1 -2.
This celebration of Fijian cuisine will give the general public the opportunity to present the best traditional kokoda, vudivakasoso and chicken curry, with cash prizes and national recognition for the winners.
The following day, hotel chefs will be challenged to innovate those same dishes and present their modern interpretations.
Also part of the two day trade event is the attempt to make the longest pizza ever attempted in Fiji.
Federation Executive Board Member Plantation Island Resort Executive Chef Umesh Chand said: “It’s time to build and nurture Fiji’s young talented chefs to the highest Fijian gastronomy and support our farmers, direct farm to plate.”
Federation Executive Board Member Pritam Shirlal, Cluster Executive Chef of Hilton and DoubleTree Resort said: “A new concept and a new take at developing the culinary professionals of Fiji, with the aim of creating a pool of talented, creative and highly skilled culinary professionals.”
Federation Executive Board Member, Adam Roberts, Executive Chef of Sofitel Resort and Spa said: “Very excited and proud to be a part of the start of an amazing journey for Fiji’s Culinary roots and hospitality industry.”
Mohammed Faruk of Cake World said: “I am very proud to be associated with the Culinary Federation of Fiji as an Executive Board Member.
“I am really excited to work together with the members of the Culinary Federation of Fiji to accomplish the Vision and the Mission. I am very excited for the future journey of culinary in Fiji with the CFF guidance,” said Executive Board Member Fredrick Movick, Executive Chef of First Landing Beach Resort.
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