Cameron Scott

Cameron Scott

Cameron Scott is the former editor of several community newspapers in New Zealand. He is now editor of the daily Cook Islands News, a position he has held previously. A former travel writer and features editor, he has operated an advertising and public relations company as well as a small publishing venture. Before moving back to the Cook Islands he worked as a freelance writer and relieving community newspapers editor for the Bay of Plenty Times in Tauranga, New Zealand. 

The Islander Hotel previewed its new menu for 15 guests at the hotel restaurant last Thursday.

Among those invited were prime minister Henry Puna and his wife Akaiti, Cook Islands Tourism chief executive Halatoa Fua and Air New Zealand Cook Islands manager Marisa Newman.

Hotel managing director Rohan Ellis also invited George Ellis – not just because George is his father, but because he’s also a home cook of some reputation and could be relied on to provide some constructive feedback on the proposed new menu.

There were six dishes on the list to be sampled – seven if you count the fact that pork dumplings were cooked in two ways.

And proving that there’s still no such thing as a free lunch, guests also had to award each dish a mark out of 10, as well as provide comments on what they thought of the food.

Rohan Ellis said the dishes were inspired by a recent trip to Auckland, New Zealand, where he was impressed by the food presented at several Asian restaurants he dined at.

He particularly enjoyed the fresh, subtly-spiced food at a Vietnamese restaurant he visited and took note of the fact that many of the ingredients – including the essential fresh herbs such as lemongrass, Thai basil and Vietnamese mint are easily grown here.

He said the new dishes aimed to continue the hotel’s reputation for well-sized and value for money meals that would satisfy the appetites of both locals and visitors.

The “samples,” which were closer to the size of full entrees and main meals served in some restaurants, were accompanied by well-chosen red and white wines.

Subtly flavoured and in many cases accompanied by light, refreshing Asian-style sauces, the dishes included beef tataki, tuna Nicoise, pork dumplings, both fried and steamed, Hoisin sticky chicken, grilled game fish presented with a potato salad and a poached egg and finally, pork belly.

The lunch also served as a workout for the all-local serving staff, who did a great job through numerous plate and cutlery changes.

Look out for the new menu, which also retains a number of well-established favourites, at The Islander soon.      - CS

Last Wednesday’s International Women’s Day celebration got off to a great start with a breakfast at The Islander Hotel, featuring internationally-known Swedish crime writer Liza Marklund as guest speaker.

Multi-country cable solution

Monday March 06, 2017

The Cook Islands government is working with New Zealand, French Polynesia and Niue on an undersea telecommunications cable solution for this side of the Pacific. 

A large number of guests attended a reception for New Zealand Foreign minister Murray McCully at Ngatipa, residence of New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Marshall and his wife Pamela, on Tuesday night.

Music legend makes brief visit

Tuesday February 28, 2017

Legendary Cook Islands musician Jon Lindsay made a brief visit to Rarotonga last weekend, performing a special one-off beach concert with band Kokojamaz at the Islander Hotel’s Hula Bar.

Vinyl club gives classics new life

Tuesday February 28, 2017

Rarotonga’s Vinyl Revival Club came into being as a happy accident says Ian Wheeldon, who co-founded the club with his partner Clare.

CI licences make front page in NZ

Tuesday February 21, 2017

A front page story in New Zealand’s Sunday News newspaper last weekend has drawn attention to this country’s efforts to improve road safety. 

Poor response to gun amnesty

Tuesday February 21, 2017

The Cook Islands Police Service is disappointed at the slow response to the three-month arms amnesty launched in January.

Pasifika court system gets noticed

Thursday February 16, 2017

A Northern Territory Royal Commission from Australia is investigating a New Zealand youth justice court based on traditional Pacific Island practices, which has been used in sentencing Cook Islands offenders.

Tourists ignore road closure sign

Monday February 13, 2017

It seems it takes much more than stories in CI News, warnings from landowners, road barriers and a large sign saying “Waterfall road closed, stop,” to dissuade tourists from venturing up the toll road to Papua (Wigmores) waterfall.

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