Robert Oliver is a New Zealand chef from Taranaki who was raised in Fiji and Samoa. He has developed restaurants in New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Sydney, "farm to table" resorts in the Caribbean and food programs feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City.
Robert returned to the South Pacific to write his first book, Me’a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific (Random House, New Zealand), with Dr. Tracy Berno and photographer Shiri Ram. Written with a development mission to connect Pacific agriculture to the regions tourism sector, Me’a Kai won the prestigious, "Best Cookbook in the World 2010," award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, considered to be the Pulitzers of cookbooks, beating the books from NOMA and The New York Times.
Robert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and brand ambassador for “True Pacific,” a consortium of high value Pacific Island food producers. He is based in Shanghai as consulting chef to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and continues his work in the islands of the South Pacific. Robert contributes regularly to the Huffington Post (New York), New Western Cuisine (Beijing), MACO ( Caribbean), and Spasifik (New Zealand).
For his next book, Robert is working with Dr Berno and a women’s group in Samoa that has fostered 500 organic farms to create an organic Samoan cuisine book to support both that small Pacific nation’s tourism brand and its national health.