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6 & 7 July 2024

Mat Mclean

Chef Palate Restaurant

Mat McLean has established a reputation as one of New Zealand's leading chefs and Palate is regarded as one of New Zealand's best restaurants.

After gaining professional qualifications from Waikato Polytechnic Mat was awarded a scholarship to work in the UK, where he gained invaluable work experience at two of London’s most prestigious restaurants; Leith (1 Michelin star) and The Capital Hotel (2 Michelin stars). Following a stint in Melbourne he returned to New Zealand to establish Palate in 2005.

He is a chef with highly developed technical skills, who's committed to cooking with seasonal, local product and is not afraid to experiment with flavours and textures. He strives to keep the restaurant’s carbon footprint down with thought and action going into sustainable fishing in particular, recycling and awareness of what we need to do ethically to keep our planet green and clean.

Get to know Mat:

Favourite restaurant/or café in the Waikato to go out to:

Alpino or Saigon for a casual lunch

Most underrated vegetable, cut of meat or seafood?

NZ Mussels … the mussel farms in coromandel make them sustainable to obtain and they are healthy, cheap and delicious! 

The kitchen utensil you can't live without?

A good knife 

If you didn’t become a chef what would you have been?

A Criminal 

What is your one ingredient that is your staple?

Depends on the season but a must have is a good olive oil. 

Saturday night in with a movie, what is your comfort meal?

At the moment I’m big on Guacamole.

Where to see Mat...

Heathcotes Kitchen Theatre

Truffled Spaghetti with parmesan and truffle oil drizzle.