Book just the recipe for a modern Pacific Islands cuisine


Renowned Raglan chef Colin Chung’s first cookbook went to the printers last week – but don’t expect it to grace every second coffee table around the country.

That’s because ‘Kana Vinaka: Contemporary Island Cuisine’, as it’s titled, is all about getting Pacific Islanders – and Fijians in particular – to use their local produce “properly”.

Islanders no longer need to make Western food like the french fries and steak-and-egg meals of old, says Colin. Not for themselves and certainly not for tourists.

Instead they need to know how to use their own fresh seafood and meats, vegetables and fruit in a more modern way.

And this is the main focus of Colin’s 102-recipe cookbook, he says, which shows practical and tasty ways to use local sustainable produce rather than imported products.

Tenderise the pork and beef or transform it into an Island-style stew, he suggests, or create flamboyant desserts with the abundance of tropical fruits.

It’s skills like these that have seen Colin – since moving on from Raglan’s legendary Vinnies cafe – work as a hospitality consultant in the Pacific Islands, training up chefs in the tourist industry.

Now his own consultancy has gone 50-50 with Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture to get ‘Kana Vinaka’ – roughly translated as good food – printed in Hong Kong and freighted to Fiji by mid-April for three book launches on different days in different areas.

The first will be in the capital of Suva for Government officials supporting the local economy, the second in the city of Nadi where the main island’s hotel industry is based and the third on  one of Fiji’s outer islands.

First Published on March 2, 2017