Multiple award-winning Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort chef, Navneet Reddy plays a pivotal role in assisting the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resorts ‘Schools Chefs Challenge’ in a desire to share his passion with future generations of the industry.
“I want to encourage and inspire more young Fijians to become chefs, therefore helping to increase the local talent pool and assist the tourism industry resolve the current labour shortage in this skillset,” said Chef Reddy.
Here we chat with Chef Reddy about his passion for food and Fiji’s unique culinary offerings.
What three ingredients are always in your kitchen?
The three most important ingredients in my kitchen is my mother’s hand selected Indian spices, fresh garden herbs and lastly my grandmother's authentic Fijian and Indo Fijian food recipes. This third ingredient is very close to my heart as l always treat her recipes as the most important part of my kitchen because l grew up seeing her cook like a "Master chef" creating delicious dishes from basic and limited ingredients available in her kitchen feeding a large family, it always amazed me how aromatic and delicious her food tasted. That was the day l was inspired to treat my kitchen like a mystery box competition inspired to create wonders with basic ingredients available in my garden and pantry.
Where is your favourite place to travel to and what do you like to eat while there?
My most favourite place to travel is Australia, as l feel connected through food. I have travelled numerous times during my chef competitions and food shows and blessed to say I enjoyed every aspect of the food culture in Australia. In particular I thoroughly enjoyed so many of the desserts that l find it hard to name any favourite!
What do people need to know about Fiji’s food scene?
Fiji’s food scenery is a dynamic combination evolved from nature and our cultural identity. The story of the food strongly relates to the story of our people’s history. Naturally flavoursome fruits and vegetables enhance the "Pure Food" destination for tourism.
Do you eat the meals provided on planes? Why/why not?
Yes, l enjoy my travels with food. As a chef by profession, I am always connected to food. Whilst l enjoy experimenting with different food styles on my travels, I am also intrigued by some airlines that provide little unexpected surprises and petite packing designs, delivering cuisine these days more often being light and healthy.
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