Meet the Chef – Breckenridge Lodge

Meet the Chef

Chef Malcolm Redmond

Malcolm was born and raised on a family farm in Methven, a town located about an hour outside of Christchurch. There he learned the value of hard work and what it takes to produce quality food from roots to table. He was inspired and encouraged by his mother, Anne, who herself was a good cook.

Malcolm’s first job outside of the farm was at a bakery.

The Bakery failed to keep his interest and he was quickly bored by the monotony of making the same ginger snap for 2 weeks straight. His second job, however, was at a restaurant.

This atmosphere intrigued him and opened his eyes to changing menus and the endless combinations of ingredients with which he would never lose his enthusiasm.

At the age of 17, Malcolm was accepted into the Royal New Zealand Air Force Culinary School. This was the top qualification a chef could obtain. Malcolm spent 20 years in the RNZAF where he excelled, cooking for the Queen on her visit, planning and preparing menus for dignitaries, and eventually ending with his appointment as the Governor-General’s personal chef.
After he left the Air Force, he continued his career working in or running kitchens around New Zealand such as The George Hotel, Te Awa Winery, and Church Road. Although, he enjoyed these kitchen experiences, what delighted him the most was holding smaller special events giving him the opportunity to interact directly with the diners throughout the meal.

From that started Malcolm’s plan for a boutique luxury lodge.  He approached what he believed to be the best lodge in the country at the time, Huka Lodge, and offered his services.  He was hired and as a chef, but while there he also volunteered to help in all positions of the lodge -including grounds and housekeeping so that he could learn all aspects of running a successful lodge. 

In 2000, Malcolm bought 5 bare acres of land overlooking Chardonnay vines in Hawke’s Bay.  4 years later, Breckenridge Lodge opened its doors. Malcolm had built and created a place relaxing and luxurious place where he could grow, source and present his own endless combination of ingredients to a small number of guests.

Since then, Malcolm’s reputation for excellence and that of the lodge has grown immensely both in New Zealand and abroad.  Years ago, in the slower winter seasons, Malcolm started to plan some of his overseas travels around particular restaurants or chefs whom he admired.  He then started to offer to work in these kitchens free of charge for days or even weeks.

Malcolm’s plan was to expose himself to new experiences and keep his skills current while also being inspired by some of the world’s best.  The unexpected bonus has been that Malcolm’s talent, strong work ethic, and easy-going nature in the kitchen earned the respect and thus the friendship of many of the Micheline-starred chefs with whom he has worked.  These on-going relationships and experiences motivate and encourage Malcolm’s creative process more every year. 

He is always learning, playing, and perfecting his dishes.  And in his presentation, his passion and enthusiasm are undeniable.