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From Fiji Times Online (9 January 2009)

John Metusela aims high

by Francis Whippy

We waltze in and out of restaurants and cafes enjoying appetizing and tasteful meals that make people salivate and moan after that first bite. Delicious, mouth-watering dishes that make your pocket lighter and your tummy heavier. This is a trade that has accelerated in prominence because of the evolution of mankind's tastebuds. We all want something juicy, tasty and delicious.

One such example is the young, ambitious and witty John Kamoe Metusela who aims to become one of the top chefs in Fiji and the Pacific region.

Metusela is a student at the Fiji Institute of Technology's Hospitality and Catering school and has a trimester left before he is ready to embark on the world.

He will receive a Trade Certificate in Cookery and he can't wait to get down to the job.

"I am very eager to begin my career in cookery because it is what I love doing. Cooking is a very special trade for me because I love to eat and so I try to cook the best," said Metusela, who practises his many cooking skills in his aunties' kitchen in Tavua.

Metusela is from Itumuta and Hapmak in Rotuma and has three brothers.

He has his sights on the hotel industry because he says he will be able to gain more experience there.

He has a funny personality and is normally the life of the party and is never one to hesitate when an opportunity to cook presents itself.

Since it is the beginning of a new year, Metusela's New Year resolution is to become a better person.

"Times are hard these days, jobs are scarce and all we have is each other. But we should not give up, we should always stay happy and work hard and I plan to do so."

He has had working experience at the Great Wall of China in Flagstaff, well-known for its Sichuan dishes.

But our main guy doesn't fancy much Sichuan although he likes to have a taste once in a while.

"I prefer to have chicken pasta with raguletto sauce covering it for more taste. I also love to eat our Rotuman traditional delicacy called the 'fekei' made by my relatives on special occasions."

As Pacific Islanders, no matter where we go or what we eat, we will always come back to our traditional food. Reasons for these are unknown. John, however, has his dreams to follow and is eager to get on with it as soon as possible.

"Everybody's got dreams but it is easy to dream because they are free, but it is talent that we all need to dig deep and find. So to all those of you who have talent in whatever, please make use of it and stop hiding inside the closet," he said with a laugh.

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