Monique Fiso competes for ‘First Table’ place

13 November, 2018 by
Hospitality Business

Star kiwi chef, Monique Fiso has just been announced in the contestant line up of Netflix new TV Series, The Final Table, airing November 20.

The Final Table is a global culinary competition show featuring the world’s most renown chefs fighting for the last spot at the elite ‘Final Table’ made up of the greatest chefs from around the world. The series features 12 teams of two chefs from around the world cooking the national dishes of Mexico, Spain, England, Brazil, France, Japan, the U.S., India and Italy. Each episode focuses on a different country and its cuisine, with celebrity ambassadors, food critics and the country’s greatest chef weighing in to eliminate teams until the finale. In that last episode, only one of the competing chefs will win a place at the Final Table amongst the world’s best.

The series will be presented by award-winning writer James Beard and editor at large of Bon Appétit, Andrew Knowlton.

Monique Fiso has been chosen to represent New Zealand from hundreds of chefs world wide.  The Māori-Samoan Chef is honoured to be levelled at such a great standard.


“To be hand picked from thousands of chefs on a worldwide scale is an honour and I am excited to see how it’s all been put together.”

Monique Fiso has studied in New York and is a Michelin Star chef who focuses on five star and Māori Cuisine.  After seven years working under several highly acclaimed Michelin star chefs, she is now based in Wellington New Zealand where she is working on her first restaurant Hiakai which is set to open 21 November. Hiakai, is a fusion of local produce prepared Michelin style with respect to New Zealand and Māori culture.

Chefs Michael Meredith and Monique Fiso. Photo credit Hiakai/Facebook.

Hiakai started as a pop-up style dining experience and became renowned for Monique’s Michelin style interpretation of Māori cuisine and her use of indigenous ingredients. Since the launch in 2016, Monique has established herself as a leading innovator in the New Zealand food scene. The sophisticated boundary-pushing menus created by Monique Fiso are challenging the status quo of Māori food in New Zealand while playing a leading role in keeping Māori culture alive.

Monique Fiso is a lover of cuisine, she is  fast becoming New Zealand’s favourite chef. From an after school job as a sandwich hand at the age of 14, to the kitchens of New York City where Monique trained at top Michelin star kitchens, The Musket Room, PUBLIC Restaurant, & Avoce. In 2016 she returned to New Zealand and began her creative space Hiakai. Using traditional Māori cooking techniques and ingredients in combination with her Michelin training, Fiso has taken Māori cuisine to a whole new level of sophistication and pushed it into the next chapter in its food story. Monique is now in the process of writing her first book and opening her own restaurant Hiakai in Wellington.