Australia | Food and Beverage

Indigenous food collaboration between renowned chefs

Wallaby and hāngi are not a combination that you hear about often but that was one of the many dishes on the menu at Tasting South Australia this week, an event that saw a collaboration between prominent Māori chef Monique Fiso and Indigenous Australian chef Mark Olive.

Tasting South Australia encouraged the exchange of cultures through their love and passion for kai.

“I have a lot of respect for Mark and the work he’s been doing since the 1980s,” Fiso says.

“And his work in helping revitalise First Nations cuisine in Australia.”

Fiso (Ngāti Ruanui) Monique Fiso is a multi-award-winning chef and writer, whose restaurant Hiakai has won countless awards both nationally and internationally for its innovative and groundbreaking use of indigenous ingredients and the revitalisation of akai Māori.

TIME magazine named her restaurant as one the ‘ “greatest places in the world”. As an award-winning chef and writer, she has made history as the first female chef to be awarded 3-Hats and Chef of the Year at the Cuisine Good Food Awards.

In attendance at the event, which was held at The Glasshouse in Morningside, Auckland, were retailers and distributors in the food, wine, and beer markets talking to the 16 producers trying to break into the New Zealand market.

With over 60 years of experience in the industry between them, both Fiso and Olive say indigenous food is in high demand, especially in the mainstream.

“People are starting to showcase Aboriginal food and the textures and the stories behind it. That’s one of the most important things and that’s what Monique is bringing to her cuisine,” Olive says.