Chef Monique Fiso's passion for food has led to international success

By Ripeka Timutimu

From Wellington all the way to New York, Monique Fiso is helping to bring a taste of New Zealand to the plates of American.

The 27-year-old is sous chef at the New Zealand-owned restaurant “The Musket Room” in the heart of the city, which earned itself a Michelin star in the first four months of opening.

The culinary business is a cut-throat industry.

But Fiso's passion is food, a seed sown by her grandmother as a child.

She left her family six years ago to work in some of the most famous kitchens in the world and even from day one, she's learnt many lessons.

She's currently working at 'The Musket Room', which earned a Michelin star four months after opening the doors, something that's never been heard of before.

She says, “We try and get New Zealand influences and take them to the next level, we get something like a steak and cheese pie and deconstruct it a little bit and it will be a pie but with a twist.”

Fiso has one goal ahead, “I definitely want a Michelin star in 5 years’ time and I will keep pushing till I get that, got to keep my knives sharp.”

But for today, she's pleased the most important person in the kitchen, her grandmother.