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September 13, 2017

Trinie Thai-Parker

Taylor Shellfish Farms: Hiakai Pop-Up Dinner Featuring New Zealand Chef Sept 23 and 24

Join Taylor Shellfish Farms near Bellingham, WA for a special two-night only pop-up dinner series with New Zealand chef, Monique Fiso, on September 23 and 24, 2017. The dinner will be held at the picturesque Taylor Shellfish Farm Store in Bow overlooking Samish Bay. Hiakai is a pop-up series devoted to the exploration and development of Māori cooking techniques and ingredients. Māori were great innovators of food and land, developing their own style of earth cookery (hāngi) and successfully adapting plants and vegetables brought with them from Hawaiki to the much colder environment of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Over several centuries, these methods have been passed down, refined and still feed the Hiakai people of Aotearoa today. Chef Fiso is bringing Hiakai to the Pacific Northwest. Her 6-course menu will feature a selection of Taylor Shellfish farm fresh shellfish prepared using these traditional Māori cooking techniques. The dinner will be paired with a selection of wines from Master Sommelier and winemaker, Nate Ready, who farms biodynamically at Hiyu Wine Farm located in the Columbia Gorge AVA. Hiyu Wine Farm was founded by Nate Ready, China Tresemer and Geoff Burke. Together they purchased 21 acres in the Hood River Valley. They make wine under two labels: Hiyu Wine Farm and Smockshop Band. Hiyu Wine Farm is a reflection upon a single plot of land through the lens of natural farming. Guided by nature and inspired by ideas from biodynamics and permaculture, they tend vines, raise animals, garden, cook and make wine to reveal an experience of place. The vines are planted in silt loam over basalt on a southeast facing hillside above the Hood River. The site lies just 22 miles from the summit of Mt. Hood and the wines are shaped by the weather from the mountain. There are currently 14 acres in vine from which they make an average of 1100 cases annually. Smockshop Band, a more expansive exploration of the Columbia River Gorge by the team at Hiyu Wine Farm. The Gorge contains a diverse range of landscapes within a small area and the multitude of potential terroirs that drew them to the Gorge. They have been working on developing relationships with growers and landowners who share their vision of farming. They now lease and farm twenty acres of land outside of Hiyu and purchase fruit from an additional few more. All of the vineyards are farmed naturally, which allow access to the full spectrum of possible flavors from high altitude, cool climate sites on the western end of the Gorge to the more Mediterranean, dessert influenced sites to the east. Nate Ready is the principal winemaker, and also a Master Sommelier. Before starting Hiyu, Nate served as the first wine director of Frasca Wine and Food in Boulder, CO and helped to make wine with Maggie Harrison at Antica Terra From an after school job as a sandwich hand at the tender age of 14, to the Michelin starred kitchens of New York City, Monique Fiso always wanted to be a chef. Fiso completed her studies at the Wellington Institute of Technology and while still in school, she talked her way into her first fine dining job working for Chef Martin Bosley at the eponymous Martin Bosley at the Port Nicholson Yacht Club. Working full time while studying paid off and Fiso finished top of her class. With a hunger for adventure and a desire for a challenge, Fiso booked a ticket to New York City, home to some of the world's best restaurants. After dropping her bags at a hostel, Fiso headed for Michelin starred PUBLIC Restaurant and was immediately put to work. Over the next seven years, Fiso honed her skills as a sous chef in some of New York City's top kitchens, including The Musket Room, PUBLIC Restaurant, A Voce, Saxon+Parole, and Double Crown. In 2016 she returned to New Zealand full time and began the pop-up dining series, Hiakai. Monique is part Māori and, drawing on her personal knowledge of Māori cooking traditions in combination with her Michelin star training, she has taken Māori cuisine to a whole new level of sophistication, pushing it into the next chapter in its food story. Monique is a regular contributor to MiNDFOOD Magazine, Māori Television and Morena on TVNZ1. This dinner will be held at 2182 Chuckanut Drive, Bow, WA 98232, and their phone number is (360) 766-6002. Tickets are $150 per person (tax not included) and are available from http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3081807  

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