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Wellington eateries win big in the 2021/2022 Cuisine Good Food Awards

February 9, 2022

Monique Fiso of Hiakai


Asher Boote of Hillside and Daisy's



Wellington’s restaurants and chefs scooped top awards at the 2021/2022 Cuisine Good Food Awards announced last night, with 14 eateries awarded hats, and top awards going to restaurants Hiakai, Floriditas, alongside chefs Monique Fiso (HIAKAI) and Asher Boote (Hillside and Daisy's).

Visa Wellington On a Plate CEO, Sarah Meikle, says the Cuisine Good Food Awards are the gold standard for hospitality across the country, and have come at a time when the industry needs recognition and support more than ever before. 

“On behalf of the Visa Wellington On a Plate team, we are absolutely thrilled for all of our winners and those who picked up ‘hats’, the accolades are very well deserved and we encourage everyone to dine out at these incredible restaurants, cafes and bars.

“In particular, we recognise HIAKAI as an outstanding restaurant for our region, winning Best Specialty Restaurant and chef Monique Fiso named as Chef of the Year, along with category winners Floriditas for winning Best Casual Restaurant, and chef Asher Boote of Hillside and Daisy’s for taking out Champions for Change. 

“With a total of 24 local eateries listed as finalists, and 16 of those earning hats, this is a solid testament to the talent, passion and creativity of our restaurateurs; firmly cementing Wellington as the culinary capital of New Zealand,” she adds.

Monique Fiso from HIAKAI  says her entire team are thrilled with the win, acknowledging support from her partner and HIAKAI Co-Owner Katie Monteith for her creative direction and pushing the team to do the best they can.

“It was also great to see people who had been hustling for many years get recognised in the awards - like the team at Floriditas - we know the work that goes in behind the scenes and understand what it takes.”

“I started in the kitchen 14 years ago, it’s taken 20 years to get here and achieve three hats, it’s just surreal.”

To further support Wellington’s vibrant culinary scene, the Visa Wellington On a Plate team are continuing efforts to encourage dining out in the CBD and greater Wellington region.

Meikle adds, “we know that there are less people out and about in the city as many workplaces shift to working from home, among other flexible options, however hospitality is still open for business.  

“This move has a real impact on many operators who are still recovering from the last lockdown, so we’re calling on Wellingtonians to go out and support our incredible restaurateurs while it’s safe to do so,” she says.

The awards announcement comes after the open call for Visa Wellington On a Plate submissions, with the annual culinary festival planned to go ahead this August. Submissions for events close on February 23, 2022. 

The 2021/2022 Cuisine Good Food Award Wellington finalists and ‘hatted’ restaurants are listed below:

‘Hatted’ eateries:

Ones to watch:

For media enquiries please contact:

Jade Lucas - PR and Communications Manager


Ph: 021 090 66758

About Visa Wellington On a Plate

Visa Wellington On a Plate is Wellington’s annual food festival held each August, with a curated programme of festival events, pop-ups, chef collaborations, dishes, cocktails and burgers.  Now in its 14th year, Visa Wellington On a Plate is firmly established as a key event in the festival calendar for people across the Wellington region, and New Zealand.

For more information about the Cuisine Good Food Awards visit