Monday, October 28, 2013

Vanuatu National Culinary Chefs Team for 2014 announced at Awards

For immediate release 27th October 2013: After a week of strong competition amongst the best Ni-Vanuatu competitors of the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show, the 2014 National Culinary Team was announced at the grand finale, the Gala Awards Dinner.

All competitors, both Senior Chefs and Junior Chefs, who wanted to make it into the National Culinary Team had to compete in compulsory cooking competitions. They had to make a dessert, cook a Vanuatu beef dish and follow a secret recipe in the Mystery Box challenge. The competition for the Senior and Junior Chef of the Year 2013 is tough with highly skilled Chefs competing against each other for top points and the chance to represent Vanuatu at international cooking competitions. 

Iririki Island Resort takes out top team events

For immediate release 28th October 2013: The premier team events of the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show are always hotly contested by the Resorts, Hotels and Restaurants. Iririki Island Resort entered both the Origin Restaurant Challenge and the Cocktail Canape Event, the only team events of the competition that includes Chefs and Wait Service staff, and they won both events. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vila flyboard is here

Vila Flyboard recently informed the VTO that they have started their operation since early July this year. Vila  Flyboard is another latest VTOA member that has just registered with the association. Located in the second lagoon after Star Fish cove area, the lagoon becomes a playground for those who want to “fly like a bird, swim like a dolphin”. VTO congratulates the owner Aurelie Leboux, and looks forward to working together and promoting the destination abroad.  For more information, contact the Vila Flyboard Vanuatu on phone +678 5931987/7712646 email

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Art of Cake

Click here for  full Origin Salon Culinaire program

For immediate release:  Many people bake cakes and many succeed, and then there are those who are passionate about cakes! For them cakes are like an artist’s canvas, it is their creative outlet where they transform a cake into a masterpiece. Each year the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show has beautifully decorated occasional cakes on display. The cakes are part of the competition; they are judged and awarded points with the winner announced on the day of the competition. This year the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association are thrilled that Parts Plus have sponsored The Art of Cake class and we encourage the public to come and view the cakes on display at Chantillys conference room from 10.00am on Thursday 24th October. 

Nothing beats a day with Atmosphere Tour

By Charlie Sikal, media student attachee: Warriors disperse in their hiding location and as the breeze gently brushes your face, you quickly pick up a whiff of smoke in the bush from the fires that are lit in the gardens. At a distance we start to see warriors stand their guard with bows and arrows as they come towards us. It’s a scary feeling, and reminds me of the ancient days stories that our village elders used to tell us when I was growing up, stories of their ancestory tribal wars and the likes, they looked fearsome. The guests and I remained standing at the village entrance, observing what was to happen next when suddenly a conch shell was blown nearby and the village chief welcomed us to his nasara or village.

Vanuatu Student of the year 2013 announced!

Port Vila, Vanuatu, 21st October 2013 : The opening day of the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show has announced the first winners! Trainee Chefs from both APTC and INTV went head to head in a full day of competition that produced some beautiful dishes and by the end of the day winners were found for each training school. 

Monday, October 21, 2013 supports Miss Vanuatu in Korea

Valerie Martinez, the reigning Miss Vanuatu, is now in Korea representing our country in the Miss Asia Pacific World. Ltd is very proud to be able to sponsor and support Valerie and Vanuatu in this contest. John Dow of handed over our sponsorship money of over 400,000vt to Valerie on the day before her and chaperone, Beverly Stafford, departed for Seoul. John Dow said that, “ wishes Valerie success in this competition and the upcoming Miss South Pacific. The company is betting that they are on a winner with Valerie.” He went on to say that are committed to adding it’s support to the Miss Vanuatu pageant in 2014 and is looking forward to it’s participation as a major sponsor of the event. Right photo: Photo above John Dow of and Valerie Martinez, Miss Vanuatu

Lookout Nemo here we come!

By Michaella Rory, VTO Information Officer: We needed to get out and see what all this excitement was all about, Nemo Underwater Scooter, so the three of us, Sebastien Bador (Events and Trade Manager), Maina Lukai (Trade and Events officer) and I, strolled down to the Nambawan café to the Big Blue dive office to get ready and embark on Vila’s first underwater scooter experience. I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Outer islands yachting an important Niche for Vanuatu

A Vanuatu Yachting Guide Presentation took place on Wednesday 09th October 2013 at the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) conference room. For the last five months Anne & Eric Simmons (professional underwater photographers & tourism and yachting passionates) sailed on their yacht to over thirty islands in Vanuatu with an aim to improve the accessibility and desirability of Vanuatu, as a destination for yachting tourism. The adventure bore a mission to create a yachting guide that includes recommendations for yachting tourism products and their development, a mission that was assigned by the VTO and was able to be implemented by the Simmons, thanks to the New-Zealand Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) program. 

Real Pasifik likely to elevate standard of Salon Culinaire competition even higher

Robert Oliver and Zoomslide, the New Zealand production company responsible for bringing new food television series Real Pasifik to the world, are heading back to the Iririki Resort in Vanuatu to be part of the esteemed Salon Culinaire competition.

Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show is heating up!

The Holiday Inn winning team of the 2012 Origin Restaurant Challenge
For release: Exciting times are ahead for the competitors of the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show.  The organizers have locked down the competition schedule and Chefs, Bar Staff, Baristas, Wait Staff and Housekeepers are out there practicing their skills to take on their mates in a fun, exciting and pressure competition. The showground between Chantillys and Moorings is being decked out in banners to let everyone know where the hottest competition is going to be on 21st – 25th October.

Ni-Vanuatu Trainee Chefs open the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show!

Student and Sarah Kymbrekos, President of the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Assn at the 2012 Salon Culinare.
16th Oct. for immediate release: There is amazing local talent hiding in the kitchens of Vanuatu, and they will be the opening feature of their industry’s event of the year. APTC and INTV are training a diverse mix of students, and are excited about having their students competing on the opening day of the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show.  Aaron Dixon, Cookery Trainer of APTC says “It is important for the students to have a positive introduction into the world of competitive cookery, and be inspired to take on further challenges ensuring the future of the culinary scene in Vanuatu will continue to prosper.” 

A Night of feasting & dancing at Ekasup

By Charlie Sikal, media student attachee: On Friday last week, I was joined by over 30 tourists to go to Ekasup cultural village for a spectacular Melaneisan Feast including witnessing great cultural dancing and performances by the local bamboo band.
I was picked up downstairs at the Visitor Info Centre and in a few minutes arrived at the village entrance. We were by a village warrior blowing the conch shell to signal the others that we’ve arrived. It was getting darker as we were  escorted through the jungle, just a few minutes walk before meeting the chief and his villagers. 

Air Vanuatu adds to fleet with Twin Otter, ATR planned for 2014

15 October 2013: Air Vanuatu has purchased an additional aircraft a Twin Otter DHC6-300, Chief Executive Office Joseph Laloyer has announced.  The aircraft, purchased in Alaska, will begin operations before the busy Christmas/New Year period and will significantly increase capacity in the domestic market. It is currently in Hawaii, enroute from Alaska and expected to arrive in Vanuatu by the weekend. “Twin Otters are very reliable aircraft, they are considered to be the workhorse of the Pacific, so we’re thrilled to finally have secured this plane. We have been searching for some time for suitable aircraft – with low hours and well matched to our conditions. I’m pleased to say this aircraft meets those requirements,” Mr. Laloyer said. 

Marketing heads meet to formulate regional plan

October 15, 2013: 14 Heads of Marketing representatives from National Tourism Offices
in the Pacific meet in a Regional Tourism Marketing Workshop today, Tuesday 15th
October, at the TATTE Samoa Conventional Centre in Apia, Samoa. Mr Allan Kalfabun VTO Marketing Manager, attended the workshop, which focuses to facilitate the contribution and discussion of ideas, suggestions and recommendation of programs and activities that will result in the drafting of a regional marketing plan. 

“Focus on untapped possibilities” - Hunter

October 16, 2013: A total of 30 delegates representing public and private sector from South Pacific Tourism Organisation  (SPTO) member countries met today at a Regional Tourism Strategy Stakeholder Consultation Workshop at the Samoa Conventional Centre in Apia, Samoa. Mr Allan Kalfabun, VTO Marketing Manager, attended the workshop, which focused on deliberations from participants and consultants to formulate a framework for a Pacific Regional Tourism Strategy for 2014 to 2018.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sydney PADI examiner congratulates local dive instructors

Five new Ni-Vanuatu and one expat PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) Open Water Scuba instructors successfully completed their dive program with Big Blue last week, and from Espiritu Santo was Lionel Jimmy of Allan Power Dive Tours. This quote from the PADI examiner Mr Colin Melrose, to the aspirants, “The candidates worked very hard both individually and as a team during the PADI Instructor Development Course and fully deserve the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor ratings.” He continues, “Great scores throughout their IE and a willingness to learn from mistakes and counseling,  ensures these new Ni Van instructors will have a great future in diving.” Vanuatu Tourism Office and PADI extend their congratulations to all five dive instructors and look forward for their valuable contribution to the Vanuatu diving tourism industry through their employers. The VTO also commends the support of employers as well as families and friends of the dive instructors that continue to be a significant factor in their success. Congratulations and well done everyone!