Wakaya Club & Spa Offers Immersive Dive Into Fiji’s Food Culture

While Fiji is known for crystal-clear water and white sand beaches, it’s the delicious cuisine that sets this destination apart from the other typically visited tropical islands. Wakaya Club & Spa boasts two on-site organic farms. Farming is a way of life in Fiji and Wakaya is no exception. The resort proudly cooks what the island grows. Fijians believe that anything that is naturally grown is essential for a long and healthy life.

The property also has a stellar female chef at the helm of the resort’s culinary program leading a team comprised of 95% native Fijians intently focused on creating authentic food experiences for the culinary-minded travelers looking to fully immerse themselves in the abundance of the island’s culture.

The culinary program is led by Chef Marielle Hajj, a Lebanese-born chef with roots in Mexico City who has worked with award-winning chefs across the world including Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud. Wakaya’s culinary program features Hajj’s own take on South Pacific culinary traditions with fresh, farm-to-table cuisine that effortlessly blends her Mexican and Mediterranean background.

Chef Marielle Hajj has received numerous awards and accolades through the years and has worked along many of the world’s best chefs in NYC and Paris. Yet, what makes her cuisine so unique is the passion she puts into the whole process. Her Lebanese and Mexican background sprout strong and passionate feelings that mix with exciting flavors, Fijian customs and the freshest ingredients, to create one of the world´s best dining experiences. A team of up-and-coming Fijian chefs work side by side to create unique and beautiful dishes in order surprise the most discerning palates.

With two on-site farms producing micro-greens, herbs, several varieties of lettuce, eggplant, Chinese cabbage, avocados, kumquats, limes, lemons, pineapples, papayas, soursop, guava and Fijian ginger, guests can join Chef Hajj & her team to forage for the freshest island ingredients on a daily basis. All the ingredients will be used in a hands-on cooking class prepared in a traditional lovo fire, piled with volcanic stones, vegetables or crops, and cooked via a slow and long smoked cooking technique.

Guests can curate their own culinary journey while at Wakaya, through booking a private picnic, where guests are taken to a private beach with a curated picnic hamper and left to enjoy their oceanside meal, or a group picnic, where guests are transported to one of Wakaya’s southeastern beaches to enjoy a Fijian BBQ, with the option to catch their own fresh fish to enjoy for that evening’s dinner. Wakaya is also home to one of the regions’ most impressive Marine Protected Areas. These specially designated areas have been chosen by the government as areas where commercial fishing is forbidden, yet local sustainable fishing is encouraged.

The property also offers a variety of options for enjoying meals. Guests can choose from the flagship restaurant, The Palm Grove, the intimate beach house, Baravi Lai Lai, a beach cookout, or dining poolside. Guests can elect to do more exclusive and private options, such as a picnic on one of the resort’s private beaches, or in your own suite.

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