Real Pasifik Chef: Dora Rossi writes from Samoa

Dora Rossi with Robert and Adi Tafuna'i at the Kelemete Coconut Oil Plantation in Sagone Village.

Dora Rossi with Robert and Adi Tafuna’i at the Kelemete Coconut Oil Plantation in Sagone Village.

A few weeks ago I was preparing to cook a beautiful fillet of red snapper at home for my family and I was tossing around a few ideas in my head, when a little angel or devil(?) appeared on my shoulder whispering in my ear, it was Robert Oliver…

Since finishing my time with Robert and the REAL PASIFIK team I am more inclined to take risks and experiment with local ingredients, which is something I would usually not venture into, especially whilst designing a new menu for the restaurant.

There has definitely been a shift in my choice of ingredients when creating dishes at work since networking with Robert and the REAL PASIFIK team. Observing how he appreciates and values our Pacific ingredients has inspired me to look beyond food per se and really understand how my choices as a restaurateur could actually influence our economy here in Samoa.

Since the programme, I have taken steps to support our local farmers by shopping mostly locally and introducing new dishes prepared with amazing Samoan organic produce. A new menu is in the works at the moment and I am very excited to showcase more Samoan produce especially to our overseas tourists.

My brother Giovanni and myself are also working on opening a new cafe here in Apia before the end of this year and we are very excited and honored to be able to network with Robert Oliver on this particular project. As half Italian and half Samoan chef I can say that my cooking techniques have been largely Italian however since Real Pasifik  I think that I am cooking more out of my Samoan side.

The biggest dilemma I am faced with now is whether to reach out for the olive oil or the organic coconut oil.. mmm

Dora Rossi
Paddles Restaurant

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  1. Seugagogo Fololi Lologa-Iosua - October 5, 2013 10:37 am

    Dear Dora
    Hi I was quite fascinated by the Real Pasifik episode you did with Robert and two other Samoan chefs…I am interested in finding out how I can get hold of that Organic Coconut Oil and the Organic Avocado Oil from Samoa please. I posted a notice on my Facebook page and to no luck and then I announced it on our Radio Samoa 1593am here in Auckland, but still no luck. I’ve even gone to the Body Shop to enquire, but they do not have a clue as to where I can get hold of these Samoan made oils…if you can point me to the right direction I would be very grateful. And I look forward to my next trip to Samoa to visit your restaurant in Apia. I shall look forward to hearing from you soon. Keep up the great work you are doing in Samoa. Best Regards and Faafetai tele lava….Seugagogo Fololi

    • Robert - October 11, 2013 8:50 am

      Hi Seugagogo Fololi

      Its Robert here and I am sitting at a conference in South America with Adi Tafuna’i of Women in Business and she says to contact Alberta on

      Best R


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