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Legends Café Chefs Jay Son and Irako Tasi are delighted to meet with Murray Dick the Continental Director – Pacific Rim for the World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs)

Legends Café Chefs Jay Son and Irako Tasi are delighted to meet with Murray Dick the Continental Director – Pacific Rim for the World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs)


The Samoan Culinary Association (SCA) has achieved a lot since it was formed in August of 2015. SCA President and Vice President Joe Lam and Michael Hardy have worked tirelessly to create networks globally with well-known chefs and align SCA with major culinary associations. SCA has moved ahead at a gallop following guiding principles to educate, to develop, to promote food sustainability, to reach into the community, (the Healthy Lunch Project at the end of 2015) and develop competitions, where skills and ideas are shared and flourish. 

The Samoa Culinary Associations Grass Roots Training Programme offered successful applicants twelve weeks at various restaurants in Apia, Amanaki, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Scallini’s Restaurant, Home Café, Izzys’ and the Curry House. Of the twelve trainees who began the course six remained dedicated to the training and graduated last night (Saturday 30th January) at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.  Each of the successful trainees (five men and one female), have jobs in restaurants as a direct outcome of this training. 

SCA is delighted to be promoting the culinary arts in Samoa.  Members see a real need for consistency and professionalism in this highly competitive industry that is becoming a very considerable part of Samoas’ tourism attractions. World trends more and more promote foods that are locally grown and that are embedded in our unique culture. The members of SCA are also passionate about training and youth employment and to this end SCA is moving ahead with their major aims to advance education in curricula, including schools and technical institutes, and to up-skill trainers and providers of culinary services, by providing advice, training and guidance. 

The Keynote Speaker for the graduation was the President of the Pacific Rim Worldchefs Association, internationally renowned chef Murray Dick. A New Zealander, Murray Dick was appointed Continental Director – Pacific Rim for the World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs) in 2014, at the Worldchefs Congress in Stavanger, Norway.

Murray is a past President and Life Member of the New Zealand Chefs Association as well as a life member of Worldchefs; an honour bestowed upon him after assuming the duties of the Worldchefs Congress Director when Worldchefs held their 2006 Congress in Auckland.

The appointment of Continental Director for the Pacific Rim is both an honour and a challenge, says Murray. “The Pacific Rim is a melting pot of cuisine styles and because it is so vast an area it will always be a logistical challenge to meet the needs of all the participating islands and countries.”

“Our region relies on tourism as one of its major income resources and hospitality plays a critical part of that. Worldchefs has many programmes that can be adopted to enhance relationships between different countries and encourage development to enhance the area’s capabilities. These include inter-country culinary competitions, student exchanges, training the trainers, lectures, demonstration chefs and much more.”

Last night Murray Dick gave an inspiring and personal address to the young graduates noting that they will be a part of the worldwide chefs community. The Worldchefs Association is the largest association in the world with a membership close to ten million chefs, cooks, pastry-chefs and they are globally representing one hundred and three countries. Samoa is now an associate member of the Pacific Rim branch of the Worldchefs Association. 

Murray Dick acknowledged the need for Samoan youth to find a trade and the “Worldchefs Association is dedicated around the world to mobilizing youth development programmes to enhance this. Appreciating that our youth are our future Murray Dick recognised the dedication of the young trainees who exhibited perseverance and commitment to their rigorous training. Throughout the process the trainees were not paid but the rewards at the end of the training were well worth the effort and time given to the training - certificates of attainment and knife rolls donated by the sponsors. 

Murray noted that, “these young individuals can congratulate themselves for their commitment to achieve and their willingness to enhance their knowledge within the catering world. This willingness to commit will only enhance their opportunities within hospitality in the future.”

Murray Dick and Joe Lam President of SCA, gave sound guidance to the graduands. Joe Lam spoke personally about each trainee and their journey.  Murray Dick stated that …”you have already started your journey – you need to participate in culinary competitions, this allows you to differentiate yourselves from others, to see where you stand and to learn in the process of competition. This allows you to keep ahead of the trends, concepts and the latest technology.” Competition enables all chefs to fine-tune their skills and broaden their knowledge by learning and sharing ideas with others. 

Murray Dick continued that cooking is a daily task; it is at the core of family life.” We know that cooking is also an integral part Samoan culture and daily life, as it is in every country of the world. We use food not only for nourishment but also to define who we are as it is a part of our ceremonial life. Murray sees food as “… an integral part of our evolution as a people.” 

Therefore the trainees were a part of a long rich history of cooking. Murray explained that the uniform and chefs apron are something to be “proud of as it pays homage to a rich history.” Food today is one of our major tourist attractions and the trainees were offered sound advice for their future careers. Everyone at the graduation acknowledged the great opportunities being offered to the trainees and that the food industry “… is a tough career path with demanding long hours, hard work, it is also extremely rewarding.” 

Murray Dick concluded that …”The satisfaction, trials and tribulations, opportunities to grow and experience the world, meet interesting people, serve others and bring satisfaction by creating food to stimulate their palate makes the food industry as truly a special career path, and (the trainees) should be proud of the path you have chosen.” 



Dr. Vanya Taule’alo writes & edits the Observer Art Page for the Samoa Arts Council (SAC). Guided by SAC’s vision “to envisage a future where the Arts Sector is fully developed for the benefit of Samoa”, the page promotes all forms of art and promotes the arts in the Samoan community. For more information on SAC see and Samoa Arts

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