Introducing VOMO Guest Chef Michael Fosbender

We sit down with Michael Fosbender of VOMO Island Resort, Fiji, to discuss his passion for cooking. His dishes, tamarind and honey glazed chicken and grilled coconut prawns on the Foodie menu will feature on the WOOP Foodie menu being delivered on the 21st and 28th April. Sound delicious? Order here.

What are some of your favourite ingredients to cook with?

I enjoy cooking with local ingredients, and the highlight of Fiji is the tropical fruits. There is something special about adding the rich fruity flavours into savoury dishes.

Do you have a food philosophy?

I believe that it’s important to use local fresh ingredients as much as possible, but also to have the utmost respect for each ingredient.

Why do you believe so many people are choosing WOOP for their weekly cooking?

WOOP offers the opportunity to cut a lot of the hassle out of the cooking process, and provides a truly gourmet experience for only a fraction of the time spent.

What’s going on in your life at the moment – any projects, passions or focuses?

For me, my work is my passion. Vomo Island recently released a new set of exciting menus, which was a tough but extremely rewarding experience. The next project is teaching and developing the young chefs in the culinary team to fine tune their skills within these menus. A further focus I would like to start on will be working on getting our own garden set up.

Tamarind and honey glazed chicken with curry sauce, coconut rice and cucumber, red capsicum and red onion salsa.

Delivered on 21st / 22nd April

What provides creative inspiration for you in the kitchen?

I think the greatest thing for inspiration is a quest to excite the tastebuds at all times, which pushes me to look at all areas of the culinary field, including to team members, current trends, classic dishes and procedures etc. that can be twisted into something new.

Can you briefly describe how you derived the concepts for each of the VOMO Guest Chef recipes?

I wanted to showcase the tropical element of Fiji using the exotic ingredients we have available here like tamarind and coconut, along with integrating some of the Fiji heritage and cuisine. I also wanted the concept of having light and fresh flavours to keep within that tropical theme.

What’s your pet peeve in the kitchen?

Cutting corners and mistreating ingredients. All food deserves to be used to its best potential. If you put care and attention into your food in all processes, the final outcome will reflect it.

Grilled coconut prawns with vanilla, coconut and rum sauce on kumara mash with bok choy and kaffir lime macerated orange

Delivered on 28th / 29th April

What’s your go-to pro tip?

Keep your kitchen organized! Nothing makes your life easier in the kitchen than knowing where everything is and what you have available. This includes your ingredients, cleanliness and keeping your equipment in top condition. The Chef’s term for this is “mis en place”, and is one of the fundamentals of cooking taught to professional chefs.

What is the future of cooking?

The movement of the cuisine world is going toward sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. A larger amount of artisanal and bespoke business are offering really good quality goods. I have also noticed an increased demand for vegetarian and vegan offerings, which I think is going to keep growing.

Favourite international cuisine?

South East Asian without hesitation. The flavours that go into food in that area of the world really excite me because they are so well defined and well balanced. It’s a perfect balance of textures and flavours of sweet, salty, tangy and a vibrancy of fresh herbs.

Let us live vicariously through you. What’s your top local tip for when visiting FIJI?

Take your time to enjoy all that Fiji has to offer. There is something for everyone here whether you want to relax on the beach, be more adventurous on the water, go hiking, there is plenty to keep you occupied.

Interested in sampling Michael’s dishes? Order here.