With the arrival of the new year comes new experiences.
That’s what Taumeasina Island Resort is aiming for by inviting a well-known chef from Australia to cater for they hope will be an unforgettable food experience tonight.
Romain Bapst, Chef and Owner of Luctece Bistro and Wine Bar, a top-notch French restaurant located in Brisbane Australia, traveled a great distance to respond to Taumeasina’s call.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, he said he was delighted to be in Samoa and is looking forward to catering for guests who are willing to step out of their comfort zones to try new things.
Working with the Executive chef of Taumeasina, Brad Martain, Mr. Bapst will join forces with Taumeasina’s staff to kick off the New Year with an explosion of exotic nourishments.
“Roman and I are very good friends, I’ve known him for about 15 years,” Mr. Martain told Samoa Observer. “I was also his Sue chef for a couple of years in Brisbane at Lutece. So it made sense to invite Romain.
“It also makes good sense to bring international chefs into Samoa to give Samoa the opportunity to try different things.”
Asked about their plan to expose Samoa to these “new experiences”, Mr. Martain said the meal will be based on a very classical French style cuisine. He said the most challenging but extraordinary part of the menu which the Samoans would have to take a leap of faith in are snails.
“This meal will be very French, very classical,” he said. “It’s the style of introducing new things into the New Year, and that’s where Taumeasina will be heading throughout the year.”
Mr. Bapst added the meal will definitely be a treat for the people who were lucky enough to purchase a ticket, seeing that it’s already sold out.
“We will have some steak tartar, snails, some local lobsters, some freshly caught fish, duck, and crème brulee.”
Mr. Bapst was confident in his menu choices because he has prepared these types of meals over and over again throughout his extensive career as a chef.
There’s no hiding the fact that the food portion is a very important aspect when it comes to food here in Samoa.
Doubts on a Five-star meal satisfying the hunger of a Samoan customer based crowd spiked some concerns due to the belief that all expensive five-star meals come in small proportions.
Mr. Bapst ensured that he is familiar with the importance of food proportions and everyone present at the dinner this Friday night will surely not want to eat after dinning at Taumeasina.
“Look at me; I’m always planning to eat so I understand the importance of food proportions and what it means to the Samoan community,” he said. “We will be conducting a five course dinner, and the meal will be filled with German and French style food, a specialty of ours.
“This special meal will not be one of those small meals, I ensure you that you will not stop at McDonalds after eating. I think Samoans will be very happy with this different type of food, especially with the snails.”
Through hard work, Mr. Bapst has conquered his passion for food, right up to the point where he is now the proud owner of a lavishing restaurant in Australia.
“The restaurant is called Lutece, Lutece is a French restaurant located just on the outskirts of Brisbane, overlooking the western and northern side of the city”
He has made a good name for himself in Australia by dedicating a lot of effort into his passion, and he plans to share his gift with Samoa.
So get ready Samoa because you’re in for an amazing treat.
“All these dishes have been prepared by me since 1980, a very long time” Mr. Bapst stated.
“They will definitely enjoy the food because everyone enjoys French style food.”
“I believe this to be true because in my opinion, Chinese and French food is the base of cooking.”
“They are the oldest cooking style.”
Mr. Bapst has been a chef for an impressive amount of time now, and his inclination for food remains strongly intact.
“I have been a Chef for 45 years, still enjoying and happy to be here. I have had 25 good years in Australia and I have conjured up a good reputation over there. I can do different types of dishes from all around the world. Any type of cuisine, I can do.”
Learning as he goes along, Mr, Bapst's skill in the kitchen has stirred up a certain hobby of mastering cuisines anywhere he goes.
Adding more to his list of mastered cuisines, Mr. Bapst stated that he has already dived into the rich culture of Fijian food in Australia.
Pacific island food shares a basic similarity when it comes down to the style of preparing and cooking, and Mr. Bapst is looking forward to leaning the Samoan cooking style in his short time with us.
“In Australia we actually had a Fijian wedding so I had to prepare a full course Fijian style meal” he said.
“Samoan and Fijian are kind of similar when it comes to food but I’m very interested in learning more of the Samoan life and their food.”
“I’m sure tomorrow I will be able to do some Samoan style cooking.”
Mr. Bapst has only been here in Samoa for a short period of time now, and he’s finding his stay quite enjoyable. Unfortunately for Mr. Bapst, his stay in beautiful Samoa will be of short nature.
“I have been here in Samoa for three days now and I’m greatly enjoying myself” he said.
“Samoa is extremely beautiful. It has beautiful weather, just the right amount of rain to even out the heat, it’s nice.”
Plans to continue bringing in famous chefs, both locally and abroad, remain in the pipeline.
“This Friday has been a huge success,” Mr. Martain said.
"Unfortunately, it’s all sold out but don’t worry. We will be introducing celebrity chefs and guest chefs throughout the year and we will do lots of different little things.”