Head chef and owner of Orphans Kitchen in Auckland, Tom Hishon started out as a dish hand at the Phat Cat Café in Invercargill when he was 14 years old. He is now organising a community dinner at the Kalmana farm, a fundraiser for underprivileged children.
“Hopefully we will raise enough money to help bring more of them to the farm to show them how nutritious, organic produce is grown and then teach them to prepare a simple but healthy meal with the produce they collect,” Hishon said.
Hishon and his partner were skiing in Hokkaido, Japan earlier in the year where they ate lunch at Tatsuru and Midori Rai’s 12-seat restaurant.
“He is said to be one of the greatest soba masters in the world. I’d agree; it was so good we went back the next day,” he said.
As a young chef, Hishon was inspired by a foie gras dessert the head chef created at Club Gascon in London, and considers Jamie Oliver to be one of his biggest influences. His favourite cooking technique is using fire and favourite dish is green lip mussels steamed in garlic, parsley and Sauvignon Blanc, with a thick loaf of bread and butter.
Hishon is passionate about sustainability, particularly when it comes to seafood New Zealand style. “We have one of the biggest fisheries in the world surrounding our shores and we need to protect this by supporting correct fishing methods. I want to make this happen,” he said.