I first met Robert Oliver a few years back in NYC. Robert and I were working for different charities in a voluntary capacity, Robert in NYC and myself in London. We met at a conference. As the years went by we re met at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards where Robert won Best Cookbook in the World for his excellent work on sustainable food Me’a Kai. Robert and I spent some time together in Beijing earlier this year and I’m looking forward to more laughs over dinner on Thursday night in Frankfurt at the Frankfurt book fair.
Robert Oliver is a New Zealand chef who was raised in Fiji and Samoa. He has developed restaurants in New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Sydney, “farm to table” resorts in the Caribbean and food programs feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City.
Robert returned to the South Pacific to write his first book, Me’a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific (Random House, New Zealand), with Dr. Tracy Berno and photographer Shiri Ram. Written with a development mission to connect Pacific agriculture to the regions tourism sector, Me’a Kai stunned the food world by winning top prize, “Best Cookbook in the World 2010,” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, considered to be the Pulitzers of cookbooks, beating the books from NOMA and The New York Times.
Robert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and brand ambassador for “True Pacific,” a consortium of Pacific Island food producers. He is based in Shanghai as consulting chef to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and continues his work in the islands of the South Pacific.