New Zealand - Maclean Fraser
Officier Maître Rôtisseur
Passionate about the hospitality industry
" Put in the hard work and the rewards will come "

Officier Maître Rôtisseur Maclean Fraser is Executive Chef at the 5-star Bolton Hotel with its Artisan Dining House fine dining restaurant, a position he has held since January 2014.

Having worked in a variety of hotels and restaurants in both New Zealand and overseas Maclean has a proven track record. He is passionate about the hospitality industry and has had recipes published as well as writing for magazines.

As New Zealand’s only WACS (World Association of Chefs’ Societies - “WorldChefs”) accredited Chef Judge he has judged culinary competitions in New Zealand and overseas - including the National Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition. A member of the NZ Chefs Association he is a member of its National Culinary Team. In 2018 he was named the NZ Chefs “Chef of the Year”.

His career commenced in 2004 as a humble Commis/Chef de partie in Wellington. Having risen rapidly through the kitchen grades with spells at several establishments, it took just four years for Maclean to reach Head Chef status (at the Pacific Regency Hotel Suites in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Executive Chef positions followed in New Zealand and the Maldives before his current appointment heading up the culinary offering at the Bolton Hotel.

To find out more about Maclean and his thoughts on the hospitality industry and gastronomy, the Chaîne News On-line posed these questions …

1. From where does your love of gastronomy come?
I have always been interested in food and art. I love the creative side of cooking but also the structure and energy of a kitchen.

2. What would you say have been the biggest developments in gastronomy that you have witnessed in your years as a chef?
I think the proliferation of social media has made the world a much smaller place opening up opportunities for a lot of people to be able to see what is going on in gastronomy throughout the world. When I was training to be a chef you would have to do work experience or find a job in a kitchen under a head chef you could learn from, dine in restaurants and read books in the library to see what other chefs were doing but these days you can just follows chefs on Instagram and other social media to see what they are producing.

3. What do you think are the most significant trends and perhaps challenges faced by gastronomy today?
In New Zealand I have seen a decline in what would have been traditionally considered “fine dining”, especially since the general financial crisis ten years ago. As a result you are getting more casual establishments run by very talented chefs producing casual food to a very high quality and you can see many of these types of establishments being awarded chef’s hats. We also have a shortage of chefs and especially locally produced chefs in this country so the hospitality industry needs to change with regards to conditions, hours and wages (and the general public will have to adjust their expectations accordingly) if it is going to be sustainable.

4. What do you think today’s chefs should be doing to keep moving gastronomy to a new level?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. We have seen a movement of produce driven food with an emphasis on food miles and sustainable, ethical ingredients which I think is great and where we need to be heading to ensure we look after the planet.

5. What advice would you give to young and aspiring chefs?
Don’t jump into a head chef role too soon. Be humble, work hard and learn as much as you can from the best chefs you can. Put in the hard work and the rewards will come.

Marie Jones
Managing Editor