A two-day culinary training workshop being held in Apia, Samoa this week aims to improve the knowledge and skills of culinary business owners in the South Pacific region as well as chefs from small and medium sized hotels in Samoa.
The Chefs Culinary Training workshop is a joint collaboration between the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), Netherlands-based Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Samoa Tourism Authority. There will be around a total of 25 trainees consisting of chefs, assistant chefs, APTC students and kitchen support staff.
The workshop also hopes to capitalise on the growing food tourism boom worldwide where destinations are offering unique culinary experiences to visitors by encouraging qualified chefs in the region to work with local communities to source local food resources for their menus and use greater innovation and creativity in food preparation.
The workshop, which will feature South Pacific chef ambassadors Robert Oliver and Colin Chung, is part of the second regional Agribusiness Forum being held in Apia from 29 August to 2 September, which aims to promote links between agriculture and other productive sectors (such as tourism) in the Pacific islands.
The theme for this year’s forum is “Linking the agrifood sector to local markets for economic growth and improved food and nutrition security”.
Organised by PIPSO, along with key partners such as CTA, SPTO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Pacific Agriculture Policy Project and the Pacific Community, the forum has resolved to set up a regional initiative to drive plans for developing agribusiness and agritourism.
SPTO will be represented at the forum by its Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocker, who will contribute to the high-level discussions on strengthening the agribusiness sector to better serve tourism markets and proposing plans to brand the region as a quality food destination.
“It is important that there is a strong link between the tourism, agriculture and fisheries sectors. Tourism is like a “new kid on the block” linking up with backbone traditional sectors of the Pacific economies of agriculture and fisheries” said SPTO Chief Executive Chris Cocker.
“If the Pacific’s local agriculture and fisheries sectors are able to service the local demands of their respective tourism industries, we would have achieved a milestone in our efforts to encourage import substitution in the Pacific.
SPTO’s main objective is to develop and build the capacity and capability of the Pacific to be branded as an exotic & quality food destination” he added.
The forum will look at a number of agribusiness and tourism-related areas including ideas for a regional project on sustainable sourcing by the tourism industry from small-scale farmers and the local agribusiness sector.