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Prestigious dinner held for pearls

Monday October 13, 2014 Written by Published in Local
Diners saluting a wonderful evening of food, drink, and entertainment – all in support of the local pearl industry. 14101204, Diners saluting a wonderful evening of food, drink, and entertainment – all in support of the local pearl industry. 14101204,

200 residents came out to the ‘Marina Long Table Dinner’ to make a toast to the Cook Islands pearl industry on Saturday evening.

As part of what is hoped to be a prestigious event held each year during an annual pearl festival, a 65-metre “very, very, very, long table” was set up at Avatiu Marine.
With the sun setting in the western horizon, attendees assembled on the wharf for an introductory cocktail before being ushered to the table – decorated with pearl shells, candles, and “touches of pink” in commemoration of breast cancer awareness month.
Dealing with complicated logistics, a busy, dedicated team led by internationally renowned chef Phillip Nordt were putting on their best kitchen moves in a nearby tent.
With the arrival of food and the opening of bottles of wine, the pace was set for the memorable evening.
Between courses, a performance by the Akirata entertainment troupe brought energy to the scene with drumming, dance, and a spectacular fire show – all part of a newly designed performance the team took to Japan recently.
Menu highlights delivered by Nordt and co-developed by an absent Sam Timoko - who was ploughing through the ocean aboard traditional vaka Marumaru Atua – included a korori ceviche, yellowfin carpaccio, and to finish; a rack of veal, kumara rosti, pomegranate salsa, and a warm green bean salad.
Dessert featured a blend of tropical flavours, and garnished with an authentic Cook Islands pearl – a souvenir for all to take home.
“It went extremely well,” said dinner organiser Alexis Wolfgramm with the Pearl Festival Cook Islands Society.
“Our expectations were high and they were certainly met ... it seemed to hit the spot with everybody.”
With the positive feedback, she said she was optimistic that the night could become part of an annual event for a yearly festival being developed to promote the nation’s famous pearls.
Topping off the evening was a silent auction, which raised over $1000 for breast cancer awareness.

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