Monique Fiso embraces the ingredients and techniques of her Māori heritage after rigorous training in traditional Western cuisines and a long stint working in NYC. In this, her first book, she reveals an inspired and thoughtful brilliance. It will reward anyone interested in expanding the possibilities of fine dining to include the widest range of ingredients while paying attention to local foods and traditions.
Compelling photography by Manja Wachsmuth and Amber-Jayne Bain offers vivid evidence of the sophistication of Fiso’s approach to the finished dishes. It also supports an extensive ingredient guide to foods of Aotearoa, the Māori name for New Zealand, including an extensive array of seafood, as well as game and plants.
Fiso’s cuisine does not use only indigenous ingredients, and it reflects a comfortable awareness of many world cuisines. But its distinctiveness is indisputable. Rēwnea, for instance, is a flatbread developed by Māori cooks only after Europeans brought wheat flour, and Fiso serves it along with butter enriched and flavored with the fat of a local seabird. She glazes skewers of thinly sliced local abalone with dark beer, and produces vichyssoise with local potatoes and serves it with a mussel ice cream.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.
You can read more about the chef and her book in this article on Atlas Obscura.