2018 Participants, Aberdeen on Broadway partnering with Palate



Plate of Origin Dish: Crispy skin duck breast with celeriac, beets, kawakawa, oyster mushroom, chorizo, confit duck tortellini, liquorice and duck jus

Hero Products: Celeriac from Levin and duck from Quack ‘a’ Duck, Cambridge


Centred in the hub of Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North, Aberdeen is located in one of Palmerston North’s historic buildings. Aberdeen is the perfect setting for fine dining or a relaxed social occasion. A combination of the finest contemporary cuisine, an extensive wine list, ambience, and exceptional service gives Aberdeen on Broadway the leading edge. Aberdeen serves award winning AngusPure beef, which is simply in a league of its own. AngusPure is the only beef to have won the prestigious Steak of Origin award five consecutive years (2004-2009). However, not only is the unbeatable taste of succulent mouth-watering AngusPure on offer but Aberdeen also specialise in a range of tantalising seasonal cuisine dishes cooked to perfection.

CHEF | Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson started as a kitchen hand at the Bathhouse (now Aberdeen) when he was 16 years old, working for more than four years. After becoming the sous chef, Craig worked at Dejeuner, before spending 10 years in Sydney restaurants. After gaining a wealth of experience, Craig moved back to Palmerston North’s Aberdeen as the Head Chef. Craig’s food is modern European, which has seen him win beef and lamb awards in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as being the runner up for chef of the year 2014. Craig has an obvious passion for food, and a love for creating new dishes.


Founded in 2005 by Mat McLean and Naomi Lee, Palate is now set beside the Waikato River in a purpose-built venue.

Its ethos is to provide consistently excellent food paired with stunning New Zealand wine.

Mat and the team strive to keep the restaurant’s carbon footprint down with thought and action going into sustainable fishing in particular, and awareness of what they need to do to keep our planet green and clean.

Mat says snob value has no place at Palate. “We want people to dine with us, to be relaxed, wipe their finger on the plate to get the last bit of sauce, laugh out loud, and enjoy what we work to create.”

CHEF | Mat McLean

After gaining professional qualifications from Waikato Polytechnic, Mat received a scholarship to work in England. He gained invaluable experience at Leith’s – known for its quintessentially British style of cooking, and five-star The Capital Hotel in London.

Following a stint in Melbourne as Head Chef at the Middle Brighton Baths, he returned to New Zealand to establish Palate in 2005.

Mat grew up in Hamilton and credits his mum for pushing him towards cheffing.

While his grandmother awakened his taste buds, he admits he couldn’t boil water before he went to polytech. Nowadays, Mat is a chef with highly developed technical skills, who’s committed to cooking with seasonal, local produce. He is not afraid to experiment with flavours and textures.

Palate received a hat in both the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2015 and 2016 and was a two hat winner in 2017.

It has twice been named Best Regional Restaurant in the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year awards.

Fertile soils and a long-standing farming heritage mean the Hamilton & Waikato region is renowned for its agricultural industry, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also home to a range of gourmet experiences. From Hamilton’s award-winning fine dining restaurants to the growing number of food-focused markets and events, combined with an array of top-quality artisan producers including cheese, ice cream, tea, craft beer and fresh produce, the region is a foodie’s heaven.



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