Samoa is my all-time favourite place to visit. The food is fresh and full of flavour, and there's a new organics movement underway there led by a local women's group 'Women in Business Development'. The work they do is incredible and you can see this value and awareness trickling into local menus. Plus Samoans have embraced their own local food as the cuisine of choice.
If you ever have the pleasure of experiencing Samoa, look out for these places — my favourite foodie destinations in Samoa — for a guaranteed original taste of the islands:
• Dora Rossi's Paddles for the amazing smoked fish lasagne or their asiasi with pawpaw salsa and watercress salad.
• The fabulous Samoan cuisine at Joe Lam's Scalinis.
• Incredible Samoan fare at Nourish Cafe — All organic and great sasalapa and laupele smoothies, the best salads based on local crops.
• Giordanos Pizzeria Garden Restaurant does an unbelievable palusami pizza.
• I love the bone soup with green banana and watercress at EnT's Cafe right next to Fugalei market.
• The terrific contemporary Samoan cuisine at Vanya Taule'alo's Legends Cafe at Taumeasina (turmeric slushies, amazing Samoan nicoise salad).
• Great fish burger and oka at Gourmet Seafood.
• The faboulous toa'nai (traditional Samoan Sunday lunch) at Lupes on the south coast each Sunday at noon.
• The best coffee on the island can be brought at Home Cafe.
MISS: I was invited to speak at a conference in Guyana a couple of years ago. After 40 hours of travel I arrived at the hotel at 2am in Georgetown, Guyana's fearsome capital city. To my shock horror I was told that there was no reservation, there were no hotel rooms in the city at all, no taxis to go ANYWHERE and, by the way you, have to leave our lobby now. After I had been standing in the dark humid heat for almost an hour, one of the hotel cleaners took pity and found a taxi and I was driven to the worst part of town, where I finally found a bed to share with an infestation of cockroaches. After no shower and almost no sleep, I was deliriously happy when one of my colleagues rescued me the next day to take me to a semi-dubious hotel on the Amazon river. In the end, the trip was saved by a very flamboyant chef who made me the most amazing authentic Guyanese meals for the entire week. A definite miss for sure!
● Chef Robert Oliver is Fiji Airways' culinary ambassador.