Me’a Kai Beats Usual Suspects
“You could call it the gastronomic upset of the night,” The Independent said. “New Zealand-born chef Robert Oliver beat out some formidable competition to land the title of best cookbook, which was announced last week in Paris [at the 211 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards]. His book Me’a Kai was deemed superior to Noma, titled after the Copenhagen restaurant which was named the World’s Best Restaurant in 21, and The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Me’a Kai features the cuisine of six South Pacific island nations, Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Cook Islands. Oliver’s win also marks the first time a New Zealand chef has taken the top spot at the awards. ‘We’ve never seen a win from such small, modest origins,’ spokesman for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Edouard Cointreau said. ‘This year was different.’” Oliver is currently a consulting chef for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in Shanghai.