"Gia's Grab&Go offers not just Healthy & Tasty Convenient meals but they offer a whole lot of positive impacts on the Community and Inspire alot of our People to eat Healthier"
Sonia owner & founder of Koloa Jewellery
'Ana Seini Seona Taligalu Ma'ilei Savio the owner/founder and chef consultant for Gia's Grab&Go Limited. Finished studying at AUT gaining a certificate in Advanced Professional Cookery is Tongan-born Part Samoan from the Villages of Ha'ateiho and Lokopa. "I've been a professional chef for over 15 years. Gianna in Italian means God's Grace. Gianna in Tongan is Seini. I believe there is so much meaning and purpose behind a Name. Both 'Ana and Italian Husband who is a chef at Pasta e Cuore are professional chefs and have worked Iconic restaurants in London like The Ivy, The Delaunay, J Sheekeys and in Italy Ca'Sette in Veneto and Albergo Parigi where 'Ana was a Head Chef. 'Ana also opened and lauched first restaurant for Bob's Lobster Wine Bar and Kitchen in London Bridge which belong to Bedales Wine Bar in Borough Market.
Gia's was inspired by their daughter Gianna who since was 6 months Suffers from Food Allergies. Gia's Parents feel responsible as chefs to not only create a safe space for her and those that suffer from food allergies. But also ensuring that the meals produced tell a story of their culinary Journeys being Pasifika and European. Also incorporating alot of Vegan takes on Pasifika Food. 'I really do believe that our ancestors did not eat so much Meat but alot of Vegetables, Fruit, Crops and Kai Moana.
So every Meal created and developed are selecetive especially the ingredients. This reflects their story with Gia's Food allergies and also investing in a Healthy Lifestyle which includes Healthy Wholesome, Balanced Meals using Pure, Allergen-friendly ingredients also being mindful of waste which adds to our landfills and trying our best to be eco-conscious not only at work but in our everyday lives.
'Ana is a Board Member of Allergy NZ and is the founder of 'The Pasifika and Maori Chefs Health&Allergy awareness 6 Course Tasting Kai held every 3 months, There is one happening on the 16th of December where you can book here - order now. -Again bringing Modernity,Culture and Traditions over Kai and Talanoa by a team of Collaborative chefs to raise Awareness on Healthy and Allergies.
Gia's Grab&Go Offers Corporate Catering as well as a range of Pasifika Inspired healthy & wholesome pre-packaged meals that are gourmet,dairyfree, allergen friendly and vegan friendly often with a Pasifika or Italian fusion. They are mainly made fresh on delivery day.
Our Lu Moa, Palusami and Dairy Free Nonna's Lasagne are on hold at the moment from Supermarket shelves.
Listen here for the podcast interview by Jesse Mulligan with Chef Ana Mailei Savio
After working as a chef in Italy for three years, Ana was impressed by how proud Italians were of their culture and food. Returning to New Zealand after a long stint overseas, she was surprised Pasifika food still had not entered mainstream New Zealand.
Maori and Pasifika food is often found either in fine dining restaurants or as takeaway street food in South Auckland but there was really nothing in between, Ana says.
Gia's sits somewhere in the middle, with pasta, salads, burgers, a vegan palusami made with local red cabbage (rather than imported taro leaves) and stuffed with capers and cauliflower and vegan desserts. All meals are allergy-friendly and dairy-free.
Ana developed Gia's Grab&Go so she and Adriano could have more work-life balance and time at home together with their daughter Gianna (the restaurant's namesake).
People are still getting used to Pasifika food presented in their way, she says, and business has been up and down this year.
Discovering during Auckland's first lockdown last year that Gia's could operate safely under level 4 restrictions was a help.
"We're going alright, our rent is pretty high. We're still chipping away and trying to get the word out there."
During Level 4, on Wednesdays and Fridays, Gia's Grab&Go offers free contactless delivery within 15 km of their location - 123 A Captain Springs Road, Onehunga. (There is a minimum of $60 per delivery order.)
Sonia owner & founder of Koloa Jewellery