What better time than Thanksgiving... for a Food Fest?
In what is sure to become a Thanksgiving tradition, Origin Energy will be hosting a first ever Food Fest this coming Friday and Saturday at the Origin Compound in the Tafuna Industrial Park for residents and visitors alike.
Called simply, ‘The Taste of Samoa' this festival is loaded with great recipes, prizes, entertainment - and for the finale, a competition among the best chefs in the territory.
It's a great fundraising event, not only for our athletes going to Australia, but also for any group that wishes to participate.
It's free to enter and it's free to attend.
The main event of the Food Fest will be a contest that will have prizes awarded for each of the following categories - best local dish, best dessert dish, best tuna dish, best BBQ dish, best ethnic/international dish, and best Thanksgiving Leftover dish. Some of the prizes include gas grills, stoves, hotel stays and certificates for free dinners, according to Origin Energy Sales and Marketing Manager, Ethan Lake.
"What we are looking for this Friday and Saturday is what we are calling the ‘Taste of Samoa'... and for our first ever food festival, we thought we would celebrate healthy food and healthy living," said Lake.
"What we have noticed throughout the years, is that there are a lot of good dishes out there and what better time to do this, than right now, during Thanksgiving time. If they bring some of these different foods down to our Origin Compound on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. they can enter their dishes into the contest. We would like to know who has the best dish out there."
"This would also be a great time to bring the family out and judge some of the great dishes that some of the local people have to offer. We were fortunate enough to have the top chefs on island, who agreed to come out and judge these great dishes. We have Chef Sualua from the American Samoa Culinary Academy, Chef Jason from the Equator at the Tradewinds Hotel and Chef Charles from Sadies.
The public has the opportunity to be a judge of these dishes as well. They will have a chance to purchase small amounts of the food to be judged and mark on their ‘judge sheet' their score for each dish they sampled - and they (the people) will be the ones judging for the ‘Peoples Choice Award,' the award given along with awards from the judges."
The proceeds collected will be going towards helping to send local athletes to Australia for athletic competition.
"I encourage everyone to come on out on Friday, with their best dishes. Please bring enough for each judge to sample along with the people who will be judging as well. But let us know before Friday."
On Saturday, farmers are encouraged to come out and bring their biggest produce, because "we will be having a competition for them as well, for largest pumpkin/squash, biggest cucumber, biggest taro and largest banana bunch and whatever else you have that is an exceptionally large fruit or vegetable, with prizes for these, too!"
Lake continued, "Remember, all of this is 'FREE' to join. If any food vendor would like to come out to sell food for a fundraiser or for anything else, come on out. We are also inviting non-food vendors as well to come on out and set up. But please let me know before this coming Friday if you are coming, by calling 699-9749, 770-1006, or contact me by email at, firstname.lastname@example.org," he said
There will be cooking demonstrations done by the American Samoa Culinary Academy and cooking demonstrations by the chefs/judges. There will also be entertainment and a jumping castle for kids. On Saturday, the chefs/judges will also be having a ‘Top Chef Showdown,' with each chef preparing a full course meal within one hour on a NATEC's 2 burner mini oven.
Entries will also be taken on Saturday morning for anyone wishing to enter the coconut husking competition and the coconut grating competition, with prizes given away for the champion of each competition.
There will also be a sale of up to 20% off on Origin items. Tickets for the upcoming Tevaka concert and the upcoming Mixed Martial Arts fight will also be on sale on both Friday and Saturday at the event.