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A long distance relationship proved to have more success than challenges for John Tuulama and his now wife Irlene Mokoraka, proud owners of Chef John Tours in Samoa – a business that mixes fine dining with Samoa tourism.
“Its started when I met my wife and when she would visit Samoa,” says John.
“We would do the whole tourist thing and I would cook for her. This lead to conversations about the potential opportunities to do this as a job and so it all began.”
Having only operated their business for just over a year, Chef John Tours Samoa has already received accolades like the 2018 National Tourism Excellence Award in Samoa for Best Tour Operator. His food tour experience has his customer’s strolling through local fruit and vegetable markets where they pick out their own produce and then have it cooked by Chef John at a scenic spot where they can soak in the beauty of what Samoa has to offer while eating his delicious cuisine.
The business’s rave reviews speak for themselves.
“I got to experience Savaii with Chef John, waterfalls and all and I ended up near Manase beach while he cooked snapper with fresh fruit salad,” says Cols Kama. “What I loved about John is he has a passion for food which is matched with a passion for Samoa. He actively works to improve the experience and sustainability for all involved including the locals”
“We had a fantastic day stopping at many great locations including local markets and the To Sua Ocean Trench,” said happy tourist Jocelyn Very.
“Chef John was great company and made us feel like family. He topped our day off by cooking an amazing meal with all local products. Snapper, breadfruit, avocado, coconuts. Delicious and refreshing!”
At only 25 years of age and a thriving business to his name, John is humbled by his ongoing tour bookings. The innovative chef from the villages of Saleaula, Manase and Vailele, says that he and his wife are privileged to be doing something they really enjoy. They both encourage others to follow their paths.
“Believe in your gifts and talents and don’t let negativity in. Always look at how awesome life is and how blessed you are once you achieve what you set out to do.”
CHEF JOHN TOURS - SAMOA
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