The food guide provides discerning food lovers with a professional unbiased evaluation of the food and beverage scene in the Cook Islands so that people can make informed choices about where to eat to suit the mood and the moment.
The guide showcases the food on offer and describes “must try” dishes at the top restaurants. The food and beverage scene is also described in the guide, highlighting artisan producers and great places for a drink or a coffee. All the restaurants and cafes in Rarotonga were evaluated in 2016 and finalists judged for the Cook Islands Food Awards in three categories: Restaurants, Resort Dining and Cafés. Properties have been awarded either one pearl, two pearls, two-plus pearls and three pearls to indicate to discerning foodies the best of what is on offer. The pearls refer to the black pearls of Cook Islands as a mark of quality.
A spokesperson for the guide organisers said the New Zealand-based judges of the awards were hospitality experts with a wealth of experience in restaurant critique and evaluation.
The judging was anonymous and the judges dined as regular guests and paid for their own food. They evaluated each dining experience, exploring a range of criteria relating to food such as the ingredients, taste and quality and skill in food preparation. They also evaluated the service and ambience.
The guide will be distributed to 20,000 subscribers of New Zealand’s Cuisine magazine, in the March 2017 issue. A story in the magazine will highlight Rarotonga and the best eating places on the island.
Copies of the guide will be available for $4.00 from CITC Duty Free, CITC Avarua, CITC Supermarket, Foodland, CITC Liquor and Oasis Energy.
The awards and guide will be a biannual event.