Cam chases kai traditions with show
It’s a journey of discovery for Putaruru celebrity chef Cameron Petley during the second season of his hit Maori Television show Cam’s Kai.
The 20 part show sees Petley, who rose to fame as a fan favourite on season two of Masterchef New Zealand, teaching guests secret family recipes as well as exploring his favourite markets throughout New Zealand.
But this time he has also travelled to Rarotonga where he said he learnt not only about local cuisine but also about the origins of traditional Maori cuisine and the culture itself.
‘‘In Tokoroa I’ve spent a lot of time with Cook Islanders and I wanted to learn more about their culture but what I didn’t realise until I went to Rarotonga was how closely related Maori and Cook Island people are. It was a bit of a shock to the system,’’ he said.
‘‘We were there for hundreds of generations and that’s where our dishes like ika mata, which is raw fish with coconut cream, came from.’’
He is now working on the final two episode voice overs for the second series which was made after the success of the first which was one of Maori Television’s highest rating shows in 2015.
Five episodes of the second season, which airs at 7.30pm every Monday, are based in Rarotonga which Petley said was a rewarding experience.
He has learned traditional dishes like making his own coconut cream. He now understands the health benefits of these recipes and wants to encourage other Maori and Pacific Island people to embrace their own cuisines.
‘‘Over there they are struggling with Western food which is making them overweight. They want to get back to eating sustainably and eating what their tupuna (ancestors) used to eat,’’ he said.
‘‘I am also trying to get away from Westernised food and go back to a traditional style of food which is always going to be a slow change for people no matter what but it is up to people like me to plant the seed in people’s minds.’’
‘‘Our Maori and Pacific Island cultures are not really seen as food cultures, especially our Maori culture because we were voyaging people, but we do have a cuisine we just have to research it,’’ he said.
Petley said he’s enjoyed making the second season.
Putaruru celebrity chef Cameron Petley is into the second season of his hit Maori Television show Cam’s Kai.