Flavio’s, Nadi, Fiji

Italian chef Flavio in Fiji

If you’re ever in Nadi, Fiji, stopping by Flavio’s is a must. He’s just a short drive from the resort island of Denarau, and visiting is a treat. His store is divided into a shop and a kitchen/dining room.

He’s quite a character. In the 2 to 3 hours we spent with him, we learned that he grew up in a castle in Italy, where he started off the early mornings with his grandfather by drinking red wine mixed with raw eggs–this when he was just past toddler age–and they hit the sauce again in the afternoons.

Flavio eventually became a race car driver, and he moved to Fiji more than a decade ago.

I felt like I was in a friend’s home at Flavio’s, being served wonderful, elegant, luxurious food. The lady he works with is excellent with hospitality.

First came the antipasto: beautiful, rich servings of shaved, cured meats and slices of salty, creamy and tart cheeses. Nothing but yum.

antipasto Flavio Fiji

He gave us a choice between meat and pasta for the entree, and we chose pasta. He cooked us a simply perfect dish of pappardelle, using a base of browned garlic, fresh chili and basil from his garden, a can of whole tomatoes, cracked black pepper, and fresh mozzarella. We liked it so much, I recreated a variation at home.

pappardelle Flavio Fiji

He would’ve made us dessert from scratch, but we were too stuffed, so they served us blueberries and prossecco instead.

We left with warmth and fullness–plus cooking tips from chef.