Kua Chefs showcase Samoan cuisine in Australia

Prospect, Australia will be getting a triple dose of Polynesian flavour at an event in June featuring three very popular Samoan chefs.

Our very own local celebrity chef, Kopelan Tuulame,  also known as Chef John, has joined forces with Ugapo Uaealesi Tutunoa (Savage Samoan Chef) and Chef Anania Tavita Betham (owner of Pappas Nuthouse cafe) of Sydney to form “the Kua Chefs”.

The group of Chefs came up with the name ‘Kua’ to symbolise several things, one of which are the three initials of their name. According to the group description online, it is also a reference to their roles as being in “the back” and unseen in the kitchen and a tongue in cheek nod to the Samoan meaning of being from the outback.

The Kua Chefs will present “From the Ground Up: Evolution of Samoa Food”. It will be a first event of its kind in Australia to showcase some of the talented Pacific Island chefs in the area.

The three Samoa chefs intend to take Australians on an island food journey where attendees will get to enjoy a 10 course degustation menu as well as experience them in action as they prep and plate each dish in front of the guests.

Each chef will bring their own flavours and creativity to their plates by infusing island flavour with western modern methods. They have chosen the degustation approach to their service because they want their guests to appreciate the careful tasting of various foods which involves sampling small portions of each chef’s signature dishes.

Being fans of each other’s work for quite some time now, the three chefs followed each other on social media with Chef John and Irlene dropping in to meet Chef Anania at her café in Prospect, Sydney. 

“We have been followers of Ugapo’s Instagram before we met him,” said Irlene to the Samoa Observer. 

“We first met through social media and loved his food he would post. Chatted online for a while then finally got to meet in person here in Sydney.”

They talked about doing a collaborative event to showcase their skills and talents. The Kua Chef’s media representative, Irlene Mokaraka, said the occasion is a kick start event to test how it would be received in Australia.

“There has also been some talk about being able to take this on the road interstate in Australia and God willing internationally with Samoa being a priority. These are all future goals and will have to gauge how this goes.”  

“For now, the chefs are happy to just be able to showcase in a one of a kind live cooking night and one set up around the idea of a degustation menu which will allow each chef to highlight an entree, main and dessert dish.”

In promoting their work, the trio of chefs also realised the potential to promote Samoa tourism to a much targeted area such as Australia. 

“For Chef John, it’s part of his plan to promote Samoa tourism in Australia,” said Ms. Mokaraka. 

“This is all about promoting them, but also promoting their cultures, backgrounds and the fact that Samoan people have so many other talents other than what they are normally known for which is sport.”

“Chef John will always be an advocate around tourism to Samoa as his work base is Samoa. So the opportunities to do something like this in Samoa would be a dream come true for these chefs.”

“From the Ground Up: Evolution of Samoan Cuisine” will take place at the “Guts & Glory Crossfit” premises in Prospect on June 2, 2018. For more information check out their facebook page ‘The Kua Chefs’.

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