Real Pasifik Chef: Dora Rossi writes from Samoa
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