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Our food is fresh, not polluted and mostly organic: chef Nordt

Friday 27 January 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Features, Food

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Our food is fresh, not polluted and mostly organic: chef Nordt
On The Beach Restaurant owner/operator Phillip Nordt says our people don’t understand the principles of eating well, and believes we have all the ingredients for healthy living right here. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS/ 23012703

Rarotonga chef Phillip Nordt cuts straight to the point as he sharpens his knife in preparation for a third season of his TV show Chef’s Table.

“People are lazy, they don’t look after their health and don’t understand basic principles of eating well.

“Our (Cook Islands) food is fresh, not polluted, and most of it is organic.

“It’s about local, fresh and healthy ingredients.”

Nordt is about to start filming the third season, 41st episode of TV show Chef’s Table, a project he launched in 2020, as Covid-19 set in and presented challenges. 

“The problem with passionate chefs is they are a bit unruly and sometimes perceived as being arrogant.

“I’m not, I’m just a fan of great food,” he said.

“It’s everything or nothing.”

At his table yesterday was a generous portion of marlin.

“The marlin are running at the moment, we had two big marlin come in today.”

Marlin soup was on the menu.

“It’s made with nu juice, lime and heaps of fresh vegetables, the marlin steak is poached, and it’s finished with fresh herbs.

“It poaches better than it grills.” 

Launching the TV show gave him more options across multiple platforms during a challenging time in business, Nordt said.

“I’m promoting well-being, if people eat the dishes from the 40 plus recipes I’ve shared already, they will live pretty well.”  

Nordt, who has been on Rarotonga for nine years, grew up in the southern part of Germany and trained in hospitality for several years in Munich during the 1970s and 80s.

In November last year, a branch of his Rarotonga family operation expanded into retail after family commitments delayed its opening.

Botanical Bakehouse and Eatery opened its doors much to the relief of manager/operator Teva Hosking-Tinirau.

Hosking-Tinirau jumped on board with his partner Hanny Oberg-Nordt, and her father, Nordt.

The couple planned to open sooner, but complications during the pregnancy of their son halted proceedings.

While engaged in wholesale bakery supplies, they looked for new business opportunities and branched out into a café.

Nordt, again said, Covid-19 inspired them to look for new business opportunities, and Hosking-Tinirau tagged along, and got involved.