The popular Oka Festival organised by the Samoa Culinary Association is gaining global appeal.
That’s thanks largely to international coverage being provided New Zealand’s Fresh T.V. and other international media groups.
Filming the Festival for the third time since its inauguration in 2016 was New Zealand based Fresh T.V, who have become big supporters.
Lisa Taouma, Producer of Fresh T.V. and founder of the online community Coconet, said the Festival is important not only for Samoa but for Pacific Islanders all over the world. This is why she makes it a point to film it every year.
“Even though Fresh T.V have filmed the event every year, but I’ve never been able to be here so I’m so excited because it’s the first time that I’m here,” she said.
Being here personally to participate was exciting for her, proving that the oka festival has a point of difference in the vast list of global food festivals.
According to Tauoma, Soul food is making a comeback and what encourages her ongoing commitment in promoting the Oka Festival is the engagement of younger Pacific Islanders in connecting with their culinary heritage again in a generation that is growing up in a culture that values fast foods.
“Food that is made with love and soul food is making a massive comeback because so many islanders around the world are too busy to do a lot of cooking and I think the generations that are coming up just don’t know a lot of our cooking techniques – they might not know how to make oka.
“It seems unthinkable and so connecting people to this kind of soul food which they may never have time to make, it just inspires them to go out and do it.”