When you first look at him, he may appear like a common seafarer. However, a single heart-to-heart chatter with Ioane Manasa, the man who hailed from Drauniivi in Ra, will lead to an excitement-filled series of wander tales across his journey of seven seas.
The 66-year old is a head chef of Bel Mare, an Adrenalin Fiji luxury boat which is based in Denarau. This boat also presents private rentals to the peripheral islands for tourists.
Manasa, a father of four, said that he has already retired. However, his passion for cooking still thrives on. Being the youngest of a brood of six, he developed his culinary skills from his own family. Later on, he decided to pursue it as his career.
While he was building his career as a chef, his father decided to move to a greener pasture. It is by that time that they moved to Suva and his father became a builder. It all occurred in the 1950s when Manasa was very young.
An opportunity came across him after school hours when the luxury boat chef chanced on a job opening. The job was being offered by the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The air force conducted masses and meals in Fiji. Manasa grabbed the opportunity and joined in as an assistant cook. He took it from there until he went sailing abroad in the early 1970s.
Shortly after, he had the chance to show off his cooking skills at the Nauru Shipping Line. This paved his way in becoming a chef on a luxury boat. The vessel where he worked was where the geological survey study panel of University of Columbia conducted their research.
When his father passed away in 1980, he had to leave his job. Soon after, he kept the Young Men’s Christian Association’s Suva Youth Centre rugby squad company when they flew to Australia for a match.
Manasa believed that it was his love for tourism that made him choose to join the industry in 1991. He relocated to Denarau where he snagged jobs working with the most luxurious yachts. He had been working for Adrenalin since eight years ago and his passion for cooking and boat crew works never waiver up to this day.