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Fiji Time: 6:26 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Fresh local ingredients main attraction at food fest

Felix Chaudhary
Sunday, March 18, 2012

FRUITS from the tree of life were transformed into an amazing array of dishes and drinks by celebrity chef Michael Meredith at the South Pacific Food and Wine Festival yesterday.

In a master class live cooking display titled Coconut Inspired, Mr Meredith wowed close to 100 people who watched as he diced and blended coconut flesh and tropical fruits into a salad and pre-dessert dish.

The Samoan born, New Zealand resident also created yoghurt using blended coconut flesh and combined this with local fruits to create a tantalising dessert dish.

"The great thing about Fiji is the wide variety of fresh produce and fruit that is readily available," he said.

The inaugural Food and Wine fair has been hailed a success by organisers and guests, with many looking forward to revisiting the event next year.

"This is yet another attraction to Fiji and brings a whole new slice of the tourism market with it, in the form of culinary connoisseurs and food lovers," said Fiji Tourism and Hotel Association chief executive officer Michael Wong.

"The feedback we have received has been tremendous and this event will grow to become one of the biggest drawcards to Fiji in the very near future," he said.

The South Pacific Food and Wine Festival featured some of the biggest names in cooking including celebrity chefs Robert Oliver, Peter Gordon, Manu Fieldel, Ben O'Donoghue and Peter Kuruvita.