Caption:The Outrigger on the Lagoon team and the Castaway Island teams at the awards night. PHOTO:SUPPLIED
Castaway Island’s pioneering Asian fusion restaurant, ‘1808’ has been named Best Restaurant at the AON Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards.
The award which recognizes establishments that deliver impeccable service, exceptional food and a great atmosphere, is the culmination of a culinary odyssey by Australian Executive Chef Lance Seeto, who has spent more than four years travelling throughout the Fijian archipelago researching local cuisine.
Resort Manager Steven Andrews said the award was particularly noteworthy as the outdoor, feet-in-the-sand restaurant was only opened following the aftermath of Cyclone Evan in early 2013.
In naming ‘1808’ Best Restaurant, the judges praised Chef Seeto for his ability to embrace the heart and soul of Fijian food.
“He has cleverly brought the flavours of Fiji on to the international stage,” they said.
Chef Seeto said that as a foreign chef, he was able to look from the outside in and fully appreciate what Fiji had to offer.
“There are some unique and very old Pacific island techniques and flavours that may seem ordinary to locals, but are new to the rest of the world. Harnessing those elements combined with the fresh local produce is what I believe the international traveller wants to experience,” he said.
‘1808’ is named after the first year the Chinese presence was recorded in Fiji and incorporates artisan Fijian, Indian and Chinese cooking techniques with live fire cooking and tropical flavours.
Lance Seeto is the host and presenter of Fiji TV’s top rating adventure cooking series ‘Taste of Paradise’ which is seen weekly in 13 countries across the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea. He also has a regular food column in the Fiji Times.
Accessible only by boat, seaplane or helicopter, the AON Best Restaurant accolade is Castaway’s first since the private island was acquired by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts from its previous owner Mr Geoffrey Shaw earlier this month.
For additional information on Castaway Island visit www.castawayfiji.com