The international chefs who are helping the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation develop a Cook Islands cuisine strategy arrived in the country early this morning and will join representatives from the 25 businesses and groups that have put their hands up to sponsor the ‘Takurua O Avaiki Raro, Avaiki Vaenga, Manavanui’ programme at an opening event at Highland Paradise this afternoon.
As in other cultures, food is a major part of Cook Islands life, culture and ceremonies, and the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation is eager to develop the ‘Takurua’ brand with a focus on defining our cuisine culture so that it can be as big a part of attracting people to our shores as our climate, islands, beaches and people are.
Director of sales and marketing Karla Eggelton sums it up like this: “There is so much depth to all elements of food and what it represents for our people,” she says. “We chant, sing, and dance about it.
“Takurua is intended to provide a platform from which the Cook Islands can speak to food, the meaning of food, types of food, cooking and service methods of foods, and the cultural importance of foods and food ceremonies to the nation.”
From a visitor perspective, food tourism is a current buzzword in the industry that won’t be going away any time soon.
People are looking for meaningful reasons to travel to destinations and have authentic experiences. Visitors want to connect with everything ‘local’ – because that is where unique experiences can be had.