MacLean grew up in a small town in New Zealand and has always enjoyed being immersed in what nature has had to offer. In his youth he spent much of his time hiking and hunting. This direct connection with wild food and the knowledge of where meat comes from, has instilled in him an immense respect for fresh produce.
MacLean completed City and Guilds at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. He then began his culinary path in the kitchens of some of New Zealand’s best restaurants, Logan Brown and Bouquet Garni.
The call of travel led him to a chef de partie position at The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa in the Cook Islands. MacLean then returned to New Zealand, working his way up through the Wellington restaurant scene before securing a position as sous chef at Hippopotamus restaurant in the Museum Art Hotel. During his time there they were awarded a silver medal for Restaurant of the Year and he won the ‘Chef of the Capital’ competition and a gold medal in the NZ finals of the Global Chef’s Challenge.
Once again overseas beckoned. MacLean took the role of executive sous chef in the 5 star Pacific Regency Hotel Suites, located in Malaysia’s steamy capital Kuala Lumpur. KL is a modern city and melting pot of many different flavours and cultures. His knowledge of food expanded here before he returned to NZ for the birth of his daughter.
He then worked as head chef at Elements Cafe and cooking school. During this time he won the ‘Complete Chef’ competition before becoming executive chef of Rydges, Wellington’s largest hotel. Next was head chef at Dockside, one of Wellington’s busiest and most iconic restaurants. Situated on the Wellington Queen’s Wharf, Dockside is housed in a historic waterfront building and is one of the largest over water dining areas in the Southern Hemishpere. Here MacLean was awarded a beef and lamb gold plate for the third year running.
MacLean’s next appointment was as Executive chef on the opening team at Centara Resort and Spa, Ras Fushi in the Maldives. Centara Ras Fushi is a 140 villa, all inclusive resort set on it’s own private island with 4 restaurants and 2 bars. MacLean oversaw the kitchen operations including a main production kitchen with butchery, patisserie and bakery with 68 staff plus Italian and Thai kitchens. Centara Ras Fushi is rated number one on trip advisor for it’s location and has held the top spot since 6 weeks of opening.
MacLean has always been passionate about travelling and experiencing new foods and cultures. During his time overseas he was able to travel to several countries throughout Asia and Europe. It is these experiences which helped create his eclectic cooking style of modern international flavours based strongly in classical technique.
MacLean is Executive Chef at the Bolton Hotel and Artisan Dining House, Wellington, New Zealand.
During his time here he has achieved the following awards:
-Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards gold plates 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
-Finalist, NZ Vegetarian Dish Challenge 2014
-Finalist, Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards 2014
-Winner, NZ Vegetarian Dish Challenge 2015
-Finalist, MiNDFOOD Award – Visa Wellington on a Plate Best DINE Wellington Menu 2015
-Winner, Best dish over $25, Hospitality Association New Zealand Awards 2015
-Finalist, Best Dish NZ, Ora King Salmon Awards 2015
-Semi-Finalist, Best Dish NZ, Ora King Salmon Awards 2016