Hiakai - Wellington, New Zealand
Monique Fiso (Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Ruanui) was born and bred in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and is of Māori and Samoan descent. A chef and author, her restaurant, Hiakai—which she runs with her partner Katie—has won countless awards both nationally and internationally for its exploration of Māori and Pasifika cuisine. TIME Magazine even named it as one the ‘greatest places’ in the world.
Fiso’s book on kai Māori / Māori food traditions, ingredients and tikanga (also called ‘Hiakai’) has rightly won awards and widespread praise. To add to this, Monique Fiso recently made history as the first female chef to be awarded 3-Hats and Cuisine Magazine Chef of the Year (2021/2022). She is most proud of her innovative and groundbreaking use of indigenous ingredients and her contribution to the revitalization of kai Māori.