What you'll do
The first thing we need to do after you arrive is prepare the umu, our traditional Samoan “ground oven.” While the rocks are heating up, we’ll work on getting the staples ready, such as taro, green bananas, or breadfruit and coconut-cream dishes such as palusami or fai’ai eleni, along with traditional chicken and fish dishes. Most of the food is then placed on top of the hot rocks, covered with green leaves, and sealed in — creating a sort of a steam cooker my people have been using for many centuries. As the food begins to heat up and the smoke drifts through our village, don’t be surprised if your mouth begins to water. Our food may be simple, but it is also incredibly delicious. While that’s happening, I’ll teach each of you to weave your own ma’ilo, a simple-to-make coconut-leaf food plate. The real treat begins when we uncover the umu and dish the food you made into your own ma’ilo. Traditionally, we sit on the ground and eat with our fingers, but we’ll also have more modern chairs and utensils available if you’ll feel more comfortable.
- Passionate cooks
Learn traditional recipes and hear personal stories from local hosts.
- Intimate settings
Share a meal in unique spaces, from private farms to secret rooftops.
- Vetted by Airbnb
Every experience is reviewed for authentic culinary traditions.
Talofa! I grew up on my native island of Savaii, where from boyhood I gathered and prepared fresh, healthy food for our family; because in Samoa the men do most of the cooking. Since then I’ve taught my own boys how to cook Samoan-style; and I’m happy to teach you, too. If you really like the Samoan food you've prepared during your visit, I’ll even show you how to make it in your own kitchens. Feel free to ask about my extensive Samoan tatau, or tattoo, a proud part of my heritage. By the way, my first name’s not really Samoan: My mom sorta’ named me after her favorite movie, Grease, when I was born.
Traditional Samoan meal includes vegan and meat dish options
Ice cold water
All cooking utensils
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Where you'll be
My daytime job is as a Cultural Specialist in the Samoan Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I love sharing my culture and wanted to provide a more intimate experience for visitors to dig deeper into my Samoan culture through our traditions. I have arranged to hold this unique activity before the Center opens. This is not a part of the Center’s ticketed activities and will be a special behind the scenes look with me and a few of my friends
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Things to keep in mind
If requested, the host can accommodate the dietary needs listed. You must let the host know before the experience if you’d like an accommodation.
Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.
Always communicate through Airbnb. To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.
Up to 10 guests ages 18 and up can attend. It’s up to each guest to understand the ingredients being used and communicate any allergies or dietary restrictions to the host. Guests should also consider that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry,…
You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.
Wear comfortable outdoor clothes and covered shoes
Prepare Polynesian food in a fire pit