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Chef wants Pacific food enjoyed everywhere

Chef Robert Oliver wants to see genuine Pacific cuisine appreciated and enjoyed, both around the world and in the islands.As a child, the New Zealander moved to Samoa and Fiji with his family - an experience he described in his column for website Huffington Post as like going from black and white to colour.He fell in love with island cuisine and has since published two books on Pacific food and opened an acclaimed Pacific-themed restaurant in Miami, Florida. He works with the United Nations developing programmes for organic farmers in Samoa to sell their produce to commercial kitchens.At present 70 per cent of food tourists eat on the islands is imported. In his television show Real Pasifik, Oliver challenges resort chefs to create menus with locally grown food.His second recipe book, Mea'ai Samoa, was recently published by Random House. His first - Me'a Kai - won the Best Cookbook in the World award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris in 2010.Oliver, a chef ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, has run restaurants in New York and Las Vegas, but is keen to one day open a Pacific-themed restaurant in New Zealand.\I think the best part of Pacific cuisine had not been particularly brought forward and was poorly understood. It's always been a great cuisine