Archie Maclean is Executive Chef of Catharina’s Restaurant. Archie comes with a wealth of experience, having worked at top luxury properties in South Africa and abroad,” says John Loubser, General Manager at Steenberg.
Archie, who grew up in Scotland, moved to South Africa nine years ago, and when asked why he became a chef, says, “I don’t have a cooking-with-granny-in-the-kitchen story; the truth is, I only discovered the pleasure of good food much later on in life. I was 19, working as a barman, and I was called into the kitchen one night to help. It was a big deal and the chefs were cool. After that night I never looked back. I quit my college course and moved to Surrey in England to do a 3-year apprenticeship under Michelin starred chef David Evans. My passion grew and grew and I began my culinary journey.”
Archie has a great deal of experience cooking an array of cuisines in various countries, from Scotland, to Australia and New Zealand, and during the last decade, all over South Africa. “In South Africa I spent three and a half years at Le Quartier Francais, in The Tasting Room. The Tasting Room has been consistently voted among the top 50 restaurants in the world, so that was phenomenal for me. I worked alongside executive chef Margot Janse, helping her to develop her award-winning menu. From there it was to Asara for 12 months and then to the Kruger Park, where I worked at Singita Lebombo and Sweni. After three years at Singita, where I was responsible for both lodge kitchens and the Singita School of cooking, I moved back to the Cape and started working at Neethlingshof, where I was head chef for the last 11 months,” Archie explains.
Archie, who says he has no favouritism when it comes to ingredients “as long as they are absolutely fresh”, joined the Steenberg Family on Monday, 18 April 2016, and will be responsible for both the kitchen (back of house) and Front of House.
“I don’t like to stick to one type of cuisine or a set of ingredients continuously – I get bored. One day, mushroom may be the hero of the dish, the next day, beautiful fresh fish. I like to mix things up and offer diners the unexpected.” He concludes.