Q&A with Fane Sitauti – NZ Real Pasifik Chef
What has the experience of working with Robert taught you?
This entire experience has been truly amazing and awe-inspiring. I think the most important thing that Robert has taught me is that, although we may need to alter some of our recipes to better fit the
ingredients available to us or to better fit the market, we can do so without losing our integrity and changing what makes us Pacific Islanders.
Have you been able to introduce any new local dishes or ingredients into your dishes where you work?
Not as yet, I’m still working on a couple of ideas but I’ll definitely be introducing some Island Cuisine in the near future. I especially want to introduce some Pacific inspired salads as summers is just around the corner.
Has the management of your workplace been enthusiastic about encompassing any local ingredients or recipes?
Yes, of course. I’m really fortunate to work at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour where one of our pillars is culture, which has made this whole experience so much more incredible, as I found so much support. As far as incorporating Island ingredients and recipes to my workplace, I really do feel fortunate as I work for an amazing Executive Chef Scott Brown who really does allow you to learn, grow and develop as a chef as well as giving you opportunities that many other head chefs won’t offer to junior chefs. To have so much support from your executive chef is amazing, but I also found so much support from our General Manager Wouter de Graaf and Head of Sales & Marketing.
Have you been dreaming up new recipes? What ideas do you have for the future?
Honestly no, I’ve actually found myself trying to discover recipes of the past and the way food was prepared, more than dreaming up new recipes. As for the next couple of years I’m not too sure, but I know that I would like to continue changing people’s perception of what Pacific Island Cuisine truly is; as well as introduce the world to this amazing cuisine.
How do you see Pacific Island food now and how do you want to use it in the future?
As one of the healthiest cuisines the world and one that can truly stand against any other cuisine in the world, given the chance. Definitely in restaurants, where everyone can experience what an amazing cuisine the Pacific has.