Real Pasifik Secondary Schools Recipe Competition

Kia ora, Talofa, Malo e lelei, Kia Orana, Bula,

We invite New Zealand secondary school students to enter the REAL PASIFIK Secondary Schools Recipe Competition 2013.

We’re really interested in inspiring communities to make and experiment with traditional Pacific cuisine using local ingredients, so we’re giving students the chance to show their culinary culture in a competition. We’re hoping students will watch the REAL PASIFIK TV series and be inspired to make Pasifika dishes.  REAL PASIFIK is a TV series presently running on TV ONE on Saturdays at 4pm. Each week Chef Robert Oliver visits a new island with a group of young Pasifika chefs discovering traditional dishes and food heroes in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Fiji, Aotearoa and Tonga.

The REAL PASIFIK Secondary Schools Recipe Competition 2013 wants students to make a South Pacific Island dish that focuses on using a traditional recipe and ingredients OR a new twist on a traditional dish. The dish can come from any island in the South Pacific including Maori recipes/dishes from Aotearoa.

All each student, or student group needs to do is:
1. Read the Competition Guidelines (download zip folder below)
2. Make a traditional dish or add your own twist to a traditional dish.
3. Fill in the Entry Form (download zip folder below).
Include in the Entry Form:
– all your contact details
– your full recipe with how you made it.
– 1 to 2 photos of the dish and add these photos to the Entry Form.
4. Send Entry Form (with photos) on a flashdrive by 5pm Oct 31st 2013 to:

Real Pasifik Secondary Schools Recipe Competition 2013
c/o Zoomslide
1A Elgin Street
Grey Lynn
Auckland 1021

Click here to download the following files:

  • Competition Poster – for you to print out
  • Competition Guidelines
  • Entry Form
  • Exemplar Entry Form


Seven-part food and culture TV series based in the Pacific hosted by Robert Oliver and produced by Zoomslide.

Series airs on TV One on Saturdays at 4pm from 7 September.

Each show is 30 minutes in duration and focuses on one of the following island nations:

  • Cook Islands (7 Sep)
  • Samoa (14 Sep)
  • Vanuatu (21 Sep)
  • Fiji (28 Sep)
  • New Zealand (5 Oct)
  • Tonga (12 Oct)
  • Pasifik on a Plate (19 Oct, a deeper dive into local, authentic recipes, ingredients and techniques.)

In each country Robert arrives at a top resort and gathers together a team of talented local chefs.

Robert and the chefs then head out to meet national food heroes in cuisine, organics, sustainability and heritage recipes.

Next the team returns to the resort and develops a five star menu for tourists using only local ingredients that features the very best of Pacific cuisine.

Chefs become inspired to continue building menus around locally sourced recipes and products.

NZ On Air and Pacific Voyagers are funding partners of the show and TVNZ a broadcast partner.



Robert Oliver, acclaimed international chef and social entrepreneur presents REAL PASIFIK, an epic gastronomic journey. We travel across the South Pacific Islands and New Zealand where we meet extraordinary people, ancient cultures and dive into the heart of one of the most exciting cuisines in the world. Each week Robert Oliver arrives at a top resort in a new country and lays down a challenge. Over the next week the resort’s aspiring young chefs have the chance of a lifetime – together they will create a multi- course indigenous meal using only local ingredients.

This is a bigger challenge than you would think. The two main sources of income in the Pacific are tourism and agriculture yet up to 70 percent of their food is imported. Traditional recipes have been nearly obliterated by “corned beef” generations and many local chefs think west is best. Robert takes the young chefs out to the farms, onto the reefs and into the kitchens of some of the Pacific’s best cooks. From indigenous knowledge to haute cuisine, from organic farms to pristine lagoons, from roadside stalls to niche exports, Robert and the young chefs are going to experience the very best cuisine that country can offer.

It’s an emotional journey for the young chefs as they reconnect with their culinary roots and experience ways of life that are fast disappearing. They experience their ancient food techniques with national treasures. They visit guardians of cultural knowledge, from growing through to collecting and preparing. They eat the rarest food grown in forests and isolated reefs. This begins to change, not just the way they see their work, but the way they see themselves.

It’s a race against time. Robert’s going to have to work his magic and help these young chefs translate rustic, local products into fine dining, haute cuisine for tourists. They will be cooking for high chiefs, Heads of State and a string of outspoken matriarchs who have been declared culinary queens in their own nations. But the biggest challenge is that these young chefs will have to change their perceptions of what can be on the menus for tourists in top resorts.

Further Information

The TV series REAL PASIFIK is based on Robert Oliver’s award winning book ‘Me’a Kai – The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific’.

REAL PASIFIK forms part of a movement aiming to drastically reduce the amount of imported food used within the tourism industry throughout the Pacific. At present, 70% of food for tourists is imported, Real Pasifik aims to turn this around so that within five years 70% of food is grown locally instead.

Zoomslide is a production studio founded in 2000 based in Grey Lynn, Auckland. Zoomslide produce film, television and transmedia content for a vast array of clients both within New Zealand and abroad.


Online videos and information

Episodes of REAL PASIFIK available at TVNZ Ondemand
REAL PASIFIK TV series trailer
‘Me’a Kai – the food and flavours of the South Pacific’ Award winning cookbook by Robert Oliver and Dr Tracy Berno available in bookshops. Recipes and stories from six South Pacific Islands. Published by Random House.
Robert Oliver’s TEDx talk.  This gives a great overview of the whole REAL PASIFIK project and Robert’s mission to promote indigenous Pacific cuisine.
Follow REAL PASIFIK on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook:
Thanks for talking the chance to join the REAL PASIFIK Secondary Schools Recipe Competition 2013.

Please let us know if you need any more info by sending an email through to

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