An internet sensation is infusing food with positivity to help empower whānau right across the globe. Father of three, Patrick Salmon gained notoriety last year following claims that he wore a women's traditional tattoo. Tonight he shares with Te Kāea how he is moving past the incident.
Patrick Salmon says, "I started doing videos on my own Facebook page and then there were consistent comments saying, 'You need to do these videos on Kai Māori'. So I went on and did a trifle, a real fast easy-made trifle and it took off from there."
He takes what is simple and garnishes it with his own Māori flair.
"There's a huge, vastly different diversity out there in terms of what Māori are cooking in their kitchen. I think the thing connects everyone together is our humor, the way we cook, the innovative things we come up with like can openers that don't work but we know how to MacGyver it to make it go. Everyone can connect with it.”
The Kai Māori page has attracted over 100,000 people. The creator of the blog, Hemi Bennett, admits that Salmon's videos have been influential.
Hemi Bennett says, "I think he's hilarious, he's fresh and he's young. He's got a great thing with his family as well, they come and cook. I like the little chocolate drinks that he made with his kids and everybody had a go, so yeah, it just brings family together kai, and kai Māori."
Daily interaction with online users has been a salvation for Salmon since last year's controversy over his moko in which people claimed it was a women's traditional moko.
"So, I suppose my saving grace from all the controversy that happened a year ago was having the opportunity to join this private wānanga that is under the guise of the beautiful Hinewirangikohu Morgan. And I think with all the teachings that I’ve got from all these wānanga, I’ve been able to implement and pioneer in my own life. There's been a huge change since then," Salmon said.
On average he's been attracting a minimum of 15,000 people on each post.
"We got viewers from here in Aotearoa, a lot of viewers tuning in from over the ditch in Australia and then we're going as far as India, Finland, the US, England and they are tuning in every single time so it's great."