Catering for all tastes

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By PETER ESILA
DIFFERENT nations, different requirements, different taste buds – and Hilton Port Moresby executive chef Paul Brown is prepared to cater for all.
The recently opened five-star hotel in Hohola is hosting delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summits from Russia led by Prime Minister Dimtry Medvedev, Indonesia led by President Joko Widodo, Chile, Peru and Mexico.
“Some people can’t eat pork. Some countries can’t eat beef. So we have to choose a menu that we call generic – something across the board that everyone will like,” he said.
Some of the delegates have already arrived.
The Senior Officials’ Meeting and the Apec Business Advisory Council Meeting are on Monday and Tuesday.
The Chief Executive Officers’ Meeting is from Thursday evening to noon Saturday. The Leaders’ Meeting is on Sunday.
Brown said the various delegations had their own requirements. Some will bring their own chefs.
“Preparation in the kitchen is very busy at the moment,” he said.
“Each delegation staying here has its own requirement – their own breakfast requirement. All the delegations are in different areas of the hotel.
“Indonesia will be using Level 15. They will have their own breakfast up there, dinners. There will be an Indonesian menu. Luckily, I had lived in Indonesia for 15 years so I have a good understanding of Indonesian food.
“Russia will be here for the whole week and are bringing two chefs to mainly oversee things here in the kitchen.”
He said the Peru delegation would bring their own chefs too.
“It is just to make sure that the food that we are cooking for their presidents or prime ministers are okay to their standards.”
Brown said there would be local food involved.
“In each dish, there will be a component of PNG food,” he said.
“We will be using kumu (greens), local wild barramundi – as many things as we can PNG to give the world leaders a bit of taste as well of what cuisine to offer.”
Hilton Port Moresby is one of the 10 major hotels in the city where delegates will be accommodated, apart from the three cruise lines Pacific Explorer, Sea Princess and Pacific Jewel.
The others are the Stanley Hotel and Suites, Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, Grand Papua, Airways, Ela Beach, Laguna, Gateway and Lamana.
Brown said 95 per cent of his team members were locals.
“We have put a lot of faith into our national team. We have only three expats including myself.”
The Apec leaders’ gala dinner next Saturday will be held at the Hilton. It will include PNG cuisine.
“We are trying to showcase PNG cuisine. But our menu is not fully driven by PNG cuisine because we are covering so many different taste buds. People coming from countries that are used to eating rice, chilli etc.”

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