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Meet The Team ian 3/3/2014

On the ground floor of Rydges Wellington, you’ll find the award-winning restaurant, Portlander and Tim McClay-Talivai, new Executive Chef.

Recently named by the Hospitality Association of New Zealand as the best new redeveloped restaurant in the country, Portlander is a unique take on the grill house concept – one which is local, seasonal, cultivated… and just a little bit wild.

Tim McLay-Talivai has had an epic international adventure on his road to Portlander’s doorstep. From his beginnins in Brussels, through to Switzerland and Spain, with time in Scotland, Canada and most recently Coffs Harbour – we are elated to have Tim here in our culinary Capital to take Prtlander to our next level of deliciousness and innovation.

Tim became a chef the day he left school in Taupo aged 16. Since then he has spent the majority of his 25-year career in top restaurants overseas.  Highlights include training in a Michelin starred restaurant in Brussels, cooking for President Moutu in Zaire and working aboard super yacht ‘Mana’ in the Mediterranean.

Tim’s New Zealand stints were spent running his own catering company in Auckland for ten years and working at the famous ‘Chateau Tongariro’ and ‘Zino’s’ in Island Bay.

Tim’s favourite thing about working as  a chef is the rush of service when everything is working like a well-oiled machine at the speed of light! Look out for Tim in the kitchen when next you’re in – he’s the man wearing black who looks, and we quote, “funky, fun and focused with finesse”… Oh, and he’s modest, too…

So if you’re staying in-house or are a local just passing by, be sure to stop into Portlander and try out Tim and Portlander’s food first hand. You won’t be disappointed!

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