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Seabreeze Resort Samoa wins New Zealand Restaurant Challenge

August 14, 2014 Food & Beverage No Comments Email Email

Proving it serves the best food in Samoa, the luxury Seabreeze Resort has won the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge as part of Friendship Week, which celebrates the Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa.

Seabreeze's winning dish at 2104 NZ Restaurant ChallengeThis year, nine restaurants were competing in the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge that ran from 1 – 9 August, 2014. Restaurants had to design and serve a special dish that showcased the best of Samoan and New Zealand foods.

“We are so excited and proud to have once again won the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge. In 2012 we were the overall winner and last year we were awarded the Best Innovation & Technical skills. This year inspired by the challenge, Chef Sili designed another amazing dish that the judges couldn’t fault and Seabreeze was the winner once again.

Winning the 2014 New Zealand Restaurant Challenge proves just what a fantastic Chef and team Seabreeze has and how consistently good our food and service is. This is one of the reasons our guests keep coming back”.  Says Wendy Booth, Owner, Seabreeze Resort.

The wining dish was created by head Chef Sili and his talented team who created a dish of mouthwatering Hapuku (commonly known as Groper) wrapped in wafer thin local bacon and topped with a shaved Papaya and radish Salsa. Local and overseas root vegetables were used to create a croquet of Cassava stuffed with Beauregard kumara, with a twist of velvety NZ Camembert. Laupele (Local spinach) parcels complimented the dish which was finished off with a light NZ Oyster Bay Champagne sauce.

A specially designed cocktail, consisting of cherry brandy, Oyster Bay Brut and a twist of juice was also made to compliment the dish.

According to head Chef Sili “The dish was a joint effort and all of my staff played a part. I have been at Seabreeze since 2007 and took over as head Chef in 2011 and I’ve had the same key personnel for most of my time here. At Seabreeze food is our passion and we are a resort of all local Samoans and very proud of it.  I hope this award inspires other local chefs to follow their dreams and only be limited by their imaginations”.

The nine participants in the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge included Aga Reef Resort, Le Manumea Hotel, Leon’s Restaurant, Orator Hotel, Sails at Mulinu’u, Saletoga Sands, Scalini’s Restaurant, Seabreeze Resort and Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.

The competing restaurants had to design a dish that combines New Zealand produce and Samoa flavours and serve the dish in their restaurants. Over the course of the competition diners who sampled the dish had to score the dish focusing on four elements – taste, presentation, Samoan style and service and provide an overall mark.

An independent judging panel was also assembled and they visited every restaurant tasting the challenge dish. The judges were Rainer Goessner an international guest judge, Daniella Ah Leong Leota APTC cookery Trainer and Tony Callaghan Chef and “Samoan Photographer”.

The restaurants were then judged based on the results from the panel of independent judges, feedback from diners and number of “specials” sold (based on the number of diners voting).

This Master Chef style of competition, which first began in 2012, is the only food challenge held in Samoa, so competition between the participating restaurants ensured a mix of Samoan pride with a zeal to showcase their culinary skills and gain formal and international recognition on this Island Paradise.

Re-opened in 2011 and gently nestled into a private secluded bay and hidden amongst coconut palms and tropical gardens, Seabreeze Resort is a unique, boutique property that provides the ideal romantic getaway for honeymooners and couples or for those seeking the ultimate in luxury and intimacy.

Located on Samoa’s famous south east coast of Upolu, in the village of Aufaga, the intimate Seabreeze has its own private lagoon and comprises of 11 villas, all boasting Ocean, Lagoon and Pool views. Dining is first class with three options including the a la carte Waterfront Bar and Restaurant.

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