Finalist 2016; Best Lamb Dish, 2015 (joint winner); Winner and premier master of fine cuisine, 2013

Mat McLean is regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading chefs and Palate is one of New Zealand’s most awarded restaurants. He is a chef with highly developed technical skills and is committed to cooking with seasonal, local produce. He is not afraid to experiment with flavours and textures.

The EQ grading system for the Reserve range of beef is excellent. It takes the guess work out of making sure that you consistently have the best quality product.

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; Pure Leith (1 Michelin star) and Capital Hotel (2 Michelin stars). Following a stint in Melbourne as Head Chef at the Middle Bite (a 1 hat restaurant) he returned to New Zealand to establish Palate in 2005.

Palate Restaurant holds a one hat from Cuisine, awarded in 2015 and again in 2016. They won best regional restaurant in New Zealand in 2012 and 2013 in the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards.