This year, ten restaurants were competing from 1-11 August, 2013 to showcase the best of Samoan and New Zealand Cuisine.
“We are absolutely delighted with our win in the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge. Last year we were the overall winner and to this year be awarded the best innovative design and technique proves just what a fantastic team we have 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 Ten participants in the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge included Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Seabreeze Resort, Sinalei Reef Resort, Portofino Restaurant, Aga Reef Resort, Scalini’s Restaurant, Leon’s Restaurant, Sails Restaurant, Paddles and Seles Café.
The competing restaurants had to design a dish that combines New Zealand 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 for the first time this year and they visited every restaurant tasting the challenge dish. The judges were Steve Johnston from APTC Chef School, Rainer Goessner an international guest judge and Stuart Horne, Deputy High Commissioner of New Zealand.
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).
Head Chef at Seabreeze Resort Sili and his talented team, designed the dish Mea'ai manaia, a mouth-watering coconut crusted NZ Orange Roughy topped with a zingy kiwifruit salsa with coriander Sav sauce, served with Chefs Papaya taro Au-Gratin complimented by a mescalin with cherry tomato mix and drizzled with papaya seed dressing for the restaurant Challenge.
“I thought my team’s dish, Mea'ai manaia, was a brilliant combination of Samoan and New Zealand produce and flavours. We always strive to offer guests at Seabreeze the highest quality food that is innovative and that looks and tastes superb. This was reflected in this dish and we were very proud to have won the award for innovation and technique.” Explains Sili Silivale Apisalais Head Chef, Seabreeze Resort.
This Master Chef style of competition 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.
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.