Humor key ingredient in Samoan healthy cooking TV series

October 18, 2000

APIA, Samoa — "O le Kuka Samoa," Samoa's first television series dedicated to a healthy diet, was launched on 16 October 2000, World Food Day, at the residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner. Well-known Samoan comedian Sumeo, alias "O le King Kuka," will star as a master chef in the television cooking program, to be aired weekly on TV-Samoa starting 19 October.

The show is produced by the Samoan Baha'i Charitable Trust for Social and Economic Development in collaboration with the Samoan Nutrition Centre. Other partners include the New Zealand High Commission in Samoa, New Zealand Official Development Assistance (NZODA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the FAO Pacific Regional Office, UNICEF, the Samoan Government's Health Department, and Television Samoa Corporation.

"Promoting greater use of nutritious locally grown fruits and vegetables to improve the diet of children in Samoa is the essential aim," said a spokesman for the Baha'i Charitable Trust, "but the key ingredient to getting the message across is the humor masterfully ladled out by Sumeo. The show is also in the Samoan language and features interviews with local celebrities and sportspeople."

A companion cookbook produced with the assistance of FAO and NZODA and featuring the recipes used in the show was also released at the launching ceremony. "The special guest for the evening was none other than King Kuka himself who demonstrated how to make two new recipes with laughter," said the organizers.