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Chef Profile - Executive Chef Archie Maclean

Born and raised in Scotland, Chef Archie comes with a wealth of experience having worked at top luxury properties in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. His culinary journey began in Surrey, England, during a 3-year apprenticeship with Michelin star Chef David Evans. Over the past decade he has worked in leading South African establishments including the Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français alongside world renowned Chef Margot Janse, and Singita in the Kruger National Park. Before joining Catharina’s, he gained valuable wine experience at Asara and Neethlingshof that will stand him in good stead at Catharina’s set amidst the Steenberg vineyards.

Catharina’s new chef dishes up contemporary heritage on a plate

Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg has embarked on an adventurous journey with Executive Chef Archie Maclean breaking new ground on the culinary frontier, exciting palates with his ‘contemporary heritage’ cuisine. Creating a sensory experience that resonates the spirited life and times of the feisty Catharina Ras, Chef Archie pays homage to Steenberg’s 17th century founder.

The new menu at Catharina’s, the gourmet restaurant at Steenberg Farm in Constantia, is interwoven with fresh indigenous ingredients Catharina would have hunted, grown and prepared herself. By revealing hints of Catharina’s thrilling life in this sensory culinary narrative, Chef Archie brings the ‘contemporary heritage’ dictum to life. “Catharina is the adventurous one and I need to follow in her shoes,” is how Chef Archie describes his role as new Executive Chef. “As a farm, Steenberg has such a deep and colourful history and we want our restaurant experience to bring the adventure of Catharina Ras to life. This is the crux of our contemporary heritage food.”

Taking a leaf from Catharina’s adventurous book, he serves up contemporary comfort food, allowing guests to revel in the abundance of fresh produce, cooked simply and presented beautifully. Catharina’s embraces the past, but keeps evolving with the current to maintain a fresh and innovative attitude. The menu centres on simplicity, and lets the finest quality ingredients do the talking.

“When I started delving into the life of Catharina Ras, I just knew I had to include ingredients she would have served at her table,” says Chef Archie, whose menu is interwoven with unusual accents not readily found elsewhere.

As a seasoned huntswoman of hippo and lion, warthog, ostrich, crocodile and zebra served with indigenous veld food would have been regular fare at Steenberg in her day.

Experimenting with these ingredients took Chef Archie on his own journey of discovery creating some wonderful umami flavours by incorporating traditional staples such as chakalaka, maize meal and sour figs, making dining at Catharina’s a true culinary adventure.

“We want to take people outside their comfort zones, to try something new when they dine with us. Our guests need to leave in awe, having experienced something absolutely amazing,” adds Chef Archie.

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Steenberg Hotel, Steenberg Estate
Steenberg Road


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