This Vanuatu cooking class starts off with the friendliest of welcomes at a local seafood restaurant, where you’ll meet your playful guides. From there, we’ll set out to a local garden, a quaint little house in the rainforest that sits inside a much larger surrounding community. We’ll meet the local chief and his family, and they’ll guide us through the different crops in their own personal garden, where we’ll start our culinary adventure!
Vanuatu still holds onto traditional hunter/gatherer customs for men and women, and we’re going to learn about this tradition — but with a bit of playful fun! We’ll gather our delicious, fresh, organic vegetables from the garden, while also getting an education on local produce and tips for making your own garden back home more bountiful. We’ll even give you a few funny challenges to see if you could succeed as a local villager: the hunters will get to see if they can capture a live chicken to present to their women, while the gatherers can test their balancing skills as they cradle the fruits of their labour on their heads. (Don’t worry, we may take food seriously here, but everything will be in good fun!)
Before departing the area, we’ll visit the chief's house to try a varied selection of local cuisine, or kaekae as they call it, created straight from the land and cooked just for us. Taking our basket of fresh produce, we’ll then take a short ride back to where the real cooking will begin.
Before we start, we’ll have time for a quick dip in the ocean and we’ll take a break to sample some locally made beer and the famous Tanna coffee – but then it’s back to hunting and gathering as we’ll be separated to carry out our traditional roles to create a scrumptious lunch. The hunters will be shown the art of filleting a fish, while gatherers will follow the local women and start preparing the food, using traditional cooking techniques, from campfires to underground ovens that use hot stones for fresh bread.
You’ll indulge all your senses in this authentic island-meets-modern-day feast! Smell the aromas and taste the earthy flavours as we spoil you with an array of tropical delights, including fresh sashimi, char-grilled beef, lemon & herb fish pocket, bamboo-smoked prawns, marinated roasted chicken, island favorite simboro accompanied with green pawpaw and grapefruit salad, to name just a few.
But of course, the biggest secret to good food is love! And since we’re on island time, you should let your hair down (as long as it doesn't go in the food) as you eat, drink, laugh, and just take it all in. The food is simple but unique to the island, with entirely fresh, locally grown produce and protein straight from the land and ocean, all infused with spices and herbs.
We’ll finish our meal by preparing delicious desserts and tasting kava – the gatherers will scratch coconuts using only traditional tools while hunters will learn the process of making kava, the local drink derived from the root of a kava plant. After indulging on a variety of locally inspired desserts and Vanuatu's very own beer and coffee, you’ll have the opportunity the taste that famous kava and relax for the remainder of the day.
Throughout it all, you will be able to see firsthand the traditional lifestyle of the local Ni-Vanuatu people, hear amazing forbidden tales of local culture, and be a part of something so special and unforgettable that you’ll be begging to return and do it all again!
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, food and drinks as indicated in the itinerary, bus transfers to the restaurant.
Exclusions: Additional drinks (can be purchased from the bar), souvenirs and items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable, relaxed clothing.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child Policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.