FRAMINGHAM – Alastair McLean, the director of food and beverage at The VERVE Crowne Plaza in Natick will appear on Food Network, Wednesday night, Dec. 28.
The Australian-born chef will make his second appearance on Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton Brown at 8 p.m.
McLean flew out to Los Angles for his second appearance, following a taping in early 2016 where he was eliminated early-on.
Wednesday night’s episode is titled “The Chefshank Redemption.”
In this episode, all four competitors have to face the same sabotage they were eliminated with in previous episodes.
Born and raised in Perth, Australia, McLean’s love of cooking began in high school, when he participated in a co-op educational program that allowed him to gain valuable industry knowledge and culinary experience.
On the cusp of realizing his dream of becoming a chef, McLean enrolled at the South East Metropolitan College of TAFE, Australia’s leading provider of vocational education, where he completed a 4-year hospitality degree program.
During an apprenticeship opportunity acquired through TAFE, McLean began working at Coco’s, a high-end, Perth-based restaurant still known as one of the city’s most-coveted fine dining locations. It was at Coco’s that McLean first became intrigued with pleasing the palates of international clientele, including former President Bill Clinton.
After honing his skills in the kitchen it 2007, McLean finally gave into the temptation to travel.
At just 22 years old, he packed his bags and bought a one-way ticket to Europe.
After a brief stay-over in London which brought him into the kitchens of several well-regarded establishments, McLean landed an Executive Chef roll in St. Anton, Austria with the highly regarded and award-winning luxury holiday and tour planning group, Scott Dunn.
Here, he created custom menus intended to suit the refined tastes and preferences of families staying at two of Dunn’s private, amenity-filled chalets.
Over the course of two winters, McLean learned new cooking techniques and was introduced to a multitude of ingredients by his European trained colleagues, all the while influencing them with his attention to detail and the tastes of his native homeland.
Outside of culinary, McLean also has been known to instruct white water rafting experiences. It was completely by chance that this led to an unexpected twist of a lifetime, where he met his future wife.
Before long, McLean was once again packing his bags for an adventure of a different kind; moving to Boston, Massachusetts to start life as a newlywed.
Once settled, he landed a highly-coveted position with the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Boston’s bustling Back Bay neighborhood. It was here he expanded his knowledge of molecular gastronomy when the technique first popped up in restaurant kitchens across America.
McLean started working in Natick at the VERVE Crowne Plaza on Route 9 in January 2011.
At the VERVE Crowne Plaza Natick, he crafts the plates with classic flavors and locally-sourced ingredients that are influenced by his global experiences, while still keeping a New England focus at the core of the hotel’s culinary program.
McLean lives in Framingham with his wife and two young children.
Photo courtesy of VERVE Crowne Plaza – Natick.