The re­nais­sance of Matariki - on the plate

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

ran out of ice­cream. Then I went and bought an­other five-litre box and sat there un­til I could do it fast and neatly. Sweet, nailed it.’’

At work the next day, Fiso didn’t tell any­one what she’d done. ‘‘I was kinda em­bar­rassed.’’ The first thing she was asked to do was quenelle the day’s amuse bouche – duck liver parfait with can­died bread­crumbs.

‘‘Martin was like, ‘Are you go­ing to be OK with that?’ So I sat down and – bang, bang, bang! – they were ready. I still re­mem­ber it: Martin looked over and said, ‘Did you do those? Some­one’s been prac­tis­ing.’’’

Fiso cred­its her quenelle skills to mak­ing it past her first day in New York at Pub­lic. In the hot kitchen, the line chef – us­ing a slower two-spoon tech­nique, not one – couldn’t quenelle the sor­bet into the mar­cona al­mond and grape gaz­pa­cho fast enough to stop it melt­ing. In a ‘‘quite ballsy’’ move, Fiso stepped up, took over the sor­bet, and the job was done. ‘‘I re­mem­ber the sous chef say­ing, ‘Holy crap, I want to learn how to do that!’ And the other guy said ‘I do too’. Af­ter that they thought, ‘This chick knows what to do.’

MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Monique Fiso is about to open her own bricks-and-mor­tar restau­rant for her busi­ness, Hi­akai.

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