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 5 time finalist in the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards, including the joint winner of Best Lamb Dish in 2015 and inaugural winner of the overall title in 2013.

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 as Head Chef at the Middle Brighton Baths (a 1 hat restaurant) he returned to New Zealand to establish Palate in 2005.

Mat is a chef with highly developed technical skills, who is committed to cooking with seasonal, local produce. He is not afraid to experiment with flavours and textures.