Watch for glorious television about the South Pacific islands of Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu in the Cook Islands on prime time SBS during the next two weeks’ episodes of Island Feast with Peter Kuravita (Thursday nights 7.30pm).
On Thursday 12 July, acclaimed chef, restaurateur and TV presenter Peter Kuravita explores stunning reef-encircled Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, where self-sufficiency is a necessary way of life. Peter learns how to search for octopi, catch freshwater prawns, and goes deep-sea fishing just metres from the coast with surprising results.
Back on land, local cook Kafo invites Peter into her home to learn some secrets of Polynesian cuisine. Visitors can meet Kafo on the Progressive Dining Tour of three local homes that occurs several evenings a week (bookings and information www.cookislandtours.co.ck) The fantastic fisherman who guides Peter into the lush mountainous interior looking for freshwater prawns and fishing beyond the reef for wahoo is Captain Moko, who offers visitors similar adventures daily from his Avana Harbour base (www.fishingrarotonga.com).
In a fitting conclusion to the visually splendid Island Feast series, made by The Precinct Studios for SBS, on 19 July Peter explores breathtakingly beautiful Aitutaki and the coves and jungles of Atiu, the Cooks’ third largest island, population just 400. In this final episode he forages in Aitutaki’s exquisite turquoise lagoon, learns how to spearfish and hunts for mud crabs by traditional means, before cooking with Aitutaki’s famed mud crab restaurateur Tupuna. On Atiu, Peter visits one of the legendary tumunus (traditional bush brew clubs) before cooking his final meal of the series – bush beer battered fish – on a wildly beautiful beach.
“The Cook Islands was thrilled to be chosen to conclude Peter’s Island Feast journey,” says Cook Islands Tourism CEO Carmel Beattie. “The Cook Islands has arguably the best cuisine in the Pacific, thanks to an abundance of fresh tropical ingredients and fabulous seafood, and this beautifully produced series will do so much to bring the beauty, food and culture of the undiscovered Cook Islands to a much wider Australian audience.”
Seafood is cooked in a myriad of ways, commonly underground in an earth oven known as an umu. Raw fish is also popular, such as in the popular dish, ika mata, a raw fish salad with coconut. Staple ingredients also include papaya, coconut, cassava, breadfruit and taro, which is grown in many parts of the Cook Islands. Atiu produces excellent Arabica coffee, which is widely served throughout the main visitor islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Rarotonga has more than 50 restaurants and cafes.
Air New Zealand flies direct from Sydney to the Cook Islands every Saturday and the flight to the main island of Rarotonga, in the middle of the South Pacific, takes six hours. Air Rarotonga offers several connections daily to Aitutaki and three services a week to Atiu. Both inter-island flights take around 45 minutes. Visitwww.cookislands.travel for the latest holiday deals.
For more information or high res images please contact Gaynor Stanley, PEPR Publicity, email@example.com, (02) 9380 8080