About Robert Oliver

Robert Oliver, is an accomplished New Zealand chef, global award-winning author, TV presenter of REAL PASIFIK and Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.


Chef / Award Winning Author / Le Cordon Bleu Chef Ambassador / Speaker / Television Presenter

Robert Oliver is a New Zealand chef 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 Fiji photographer Shiri Ram. Written with a mission to connect Pacific agriculture to the regions tourism,

Me’a Kai stunned the food world by winning top prize, “Best Cookbook in the World 2010,” 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.

In 2013, Robert released “Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia” (Random House). In May 2014, this book won the “Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World 2013” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Beijing.

Robert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and is the presenter of REAL PASIFIK, a television series based on the food culture of the South Pacific.

He is a features contributor to The Huffington Post (New York) and Global Gourmet Beijing. Robert was a keynote speaker at TEDx Auckland in 2013 and was one of the authors chosen to represent New Zealand at the Frankfurt Bookfair in 2012 and between 2011 & 2012 Consulting Chef for NZ Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) in China (based in Shanghai). In 2014 and 2015 Robert appeared as one of the Tasting Panel judges in “My Kitchen Rules New Zealand” and co hosted “Marae Kai Masters” with renowned actor Te Kohe Tuhaka on Maori TV”.

Robert is also co-owner and director of Kai Pasifika in Auckland, New Zealand’s first Pasifik themed restaurant.

For bookings please contact agent: Johnson & Laird Management, NZ // bookings@johnsonlaird.com

Chef Author Writer Presenter

Download Robert Oliver's CV and Bio Image

“I love the adrenaline, emotion and the energy on My Kitchen Rules NZ. What you see on the screen is real for us in the studio as well; an incredible calibre of cuisine, New Zealand cooks are creating” – Robert Oliver


Robert Oliver spoke at TEDxAuckland about RECIPES FOR DEVELOPMENT (WATCH Robert's talk below)




Robert Oliver's experience on screen

Real Pasifik


A list of experience from around the world


OwnerChef/ Creator: Rumjungle (Las Vegas)
Executive Chef/ Owner: SUVA (Miami, with Marisa Tomei)
Executive Chef/ Creator NOA (Miami)
Executive Chef/ Creator: The Green Table (New York City)
Consultant Chef- Asia de Cuba (New York City)

Owner – Kai Pasifika (Auckland, New Zealand)

Catering Companies

Executive Chef: Taste Caterers (New York City)
Executive Chef: The Cleaver Company (New York City)
Executive Chef: Laura Belle (New York City)


Chef/ Instructor: The Institute of Culinary Education, New York City
Chef Instructor: The Fiji Hotel Association


Consultant (Development) Chef: Almond Resorts (Barbados, St Lucia)
Consultant: Musket Cove Resort, Fiji

Community Food Programmes

Creator Earth Action, New York City- a restaurant based programme supplying quality meals to New York Citys hungry and homeless

Volunteer Chef: God’s Love We Deliver, New York City- provides essential food and nutrition services to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other serious illnesses

Volunteer Chef/ Instructor: Safespace. Times Square, New York City- producing meals andcookery lessons for HIV+ teens in Times Square
Volunteer Chef/ Instructor: African Services Committee, New York City- cooking lessons for recently arrived HIV+ African immigrants


Me’a Kai : The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific (Random House, NZ). Winner: Best Cookbook in the World 2010, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Paris 2011

Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia, Random House NZ. Winner Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Beijing 2104

Food and Travel Writer “ The Huffington Post”

Features Contributor- Global Gourmet Magazine, Beijing, China // MACO Caribbean, Barbados // MAI LIFE, Fiji


REAL PASIFIK, Zoomslide Productions, New Zealan

My Kitchen Rules NZ, Imagination TV, NZ

Marae Kai Masters, Maori TV

Robert Olivier has recently presented at The Food Show with Cindy of Samoa. Click here to view clip.


Robert Oliver is the ambassador for the following organisations

The Well Foundation
“I’m proud to be an ambassador for the Well Foundation, the charity supporting Waitemata District Health Board to advance healthcare at North Shore Hospital, Waitakere Hospital and local community health services. Take a look at this short video to find out more about the foundation and the great work they do to support the people of North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere.”

Oxfam is a world-wide development organisation that mobilises the power of people against poverty.

With 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.




Facebook Feed

My acceptance speech at the KEA WORLD CLASS NEW ZEALAND AWARDS

I have had a long association with KEA during my years in New York and Shanghai- so this feels great...there are many dreamers like me out there but few get acknowledgment in the public arena- so thx KEA for valuing what I do …I am truly grateful

All of the work credited to me of course is the combined efforts of many and this recognition lifts us all. I have been fortunate to work with some brilliant collaborators. … firstly I’d like to acknowledge my co author and writing partner Dr Tracy Berno, and photographer- the magic man! Shiri Ram

You need vision to see vision, so I'd like to salute Mr Edouard Cointreau founder of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards who in seeing our vision gave us the thrilling break that put us on the path we walk today
I am seriously grateful to the tenacious Heather Lee and Anna Marbrook of Zoomslide Productions who painfully and patiently schooled me in the world of television with my first show REAL PASIFIK based on our books

I have also loved my roles on both My Kitchen Rules and Marae Kai Masters and wish to thank Imagination TV, Television New Zealand and Maori TV… and in particular Cindi Lucas ….and I have loved sharing screen time with 2 of Aotearoa’s biggest talents who are both dear friends…and they are Nadia Lim and Tekohe Tuhaka (I learned heaps from you TK..)
I wish to acknowledge my partners at Kai Pasifika restaurant…Auckland’s hot Pacific Island restaurant born thru the efforts of Richard Hall, Kenina Court, Repeka Lelaulu and our awesome chef Bertrand Jang
I speak for us all when I say it is our great honour and privilege to serve the Pacific community in Auckland, this Pacific city in this Pacific nation

I cherish my relationship with Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand and especially my friendship with its dynamic director Jenny Jenkins

I have amazing friends who have always thought the best of me…and man, that can get you anywhere in life…everyone knows the fabulousness of Beatrice Faumuina, and then there’s Gayle Anne Kelly of One Bowl Productions in Los Angeles, Maiki McKay, Shauna Flenady, Cindy of Samoa and the ever awesome Marisa Tomei….many of you know her as a Hollywood actress, but through our 30+ years of often outrageous friendship, I know her as a sterling soul. She was the first person I called when we won the Gourmand Award …I was in a state of shock at reaching such crazy heights and Marisa’s words to me were “But I’ve have always seen you that way”

I have been guided and mentored by a group of Pacific Island women. It’s not that they set out to teach me; it is that I learned EVERYTHING just by being around them.
They are Votausi McKenzie in Vanuatu, Papiloa Bloomfield Folikai in the Kingdom of Tonga, Adi Tafuna’i and Faumuina Tafuna’I in Samoa, and Suliana Siwatibau in Fiji. Through these women, I have been exposed to true leadership. It's a form of leadership that is based on the power of love, rather than the love of power….the kind that nurtures communities… … they saw the value of my work in the broadest sense- by looking back both to their own grandmothers and also forward to their grandchildren. The story of the food is the story of the people, and these women entrusted me with their stories, stories from the past that are also the blueprint for the future- in fact, I now view all of my work as the activation of indigenous knowledge, their knowledge.

And then there are the ones that have always been…my own whanau….my brothers Jeff and Richard, my awesome sister Shelley, beautiful Willa and handsome Sione, and my mother Jean who has loved and guided us all, she’s always believed in us, and with that in your life, you can fly.
3 months ago today, my beloved father left us…he was much more than a father to me, he was my mentor, my hero. Legacy is defined in many ways- often in buildings built, wars won, institutions founded, policies enacted.

But for me, the truly great leaders, the Martin Luther Kings, the Ghandis, legacy is something that is left in the people whom they affect, the social movements they inspire, the communities they enrich, the mindsets they ignite. This speaks to me of my father. He touched the lives of thousands of people and he gave me my mindset, the way that I think. He may not be here in person, but he is profoundly and absolutely here in spirit and I am my fathers son…so Tagaloafa’atautele Dennis John Oliver….although it is me standing here accepting this accolade, this pretty boy…this is really one for the whanau
Kia ora..vinaka vakalevu, malo lava..
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About Robert

Award winning Author, Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand/Pacific Islands, TV presenter of REAL PASIFIK and MKRNZ tasting panelist.

For event or booking enquiries please contact: Johnson & Laird Management
+64 9 376 0882
Current location: New Zealand

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