• Aaron McLean


    Aaron's culinary journey started as an 11 year old dishwasher. Tired of institutional life, it was hospitality rather than university that he ran to from school, the arrival of children inspiring a shuffle sideways to start pointing his camera at what he'd previously served. He dreams eventually of a final evolution, into some land where he can grow the food as well as photograph and write about it. He's contributed to many books and magazines. Instagram - @aamcphoto_

  • Articles by Aaron McLean:

    • Glorious Moments

      Aaron McLean in conversation with Raj Patel; a writer, activist and academic whose work is centred around the global food system.

    • Digital meets local at Hoko Loko

      Hoko Loko’s origin story has its founders quite literally running down a new trail with a basketful of skills gleaned from the corporate world and insights from their travels.

    • Frontiers of flavour

      The food movement has a tendency to deify heirloom seeds, and for good reason — they store incalculable genetic value and maintain diversity in a food system which has been engineered towards monoculture farmed with industrial chemicals.

    • The Good Oil

      Matt Lamason didn’t realise when he started Peoples Coffee in Wellington 14 years ago that one day it would provide a platform from which he could do some utopian walking. But lessons from his adventures in pursuit of the perfect bean reinforced the principles he had been inspired by in his studies, and inspired him […]

    • Home, land and sea.

      I recently interviewed an inspiring group of food thinkers – chefs, critics, farmers and eaters* – and asked them whether we could define New Zealand’s food culture, whether we had a distinct cuisine and whether it mattered.

    • Flat whites and white flats.

      Avondale, originally called Te Whau, is famous among food lovers for its Sunday market, and in fact was the site of early Auckland’s market gardens. I recently visited Avondale old boy Tom Scott of Homebrew, @Peace and Average Rap Band fame. Tom’s music is full of cultural and social observation,

    • WAKE & BAKE

      When we first caught up with baker Jerome Ozich a year ago he had a seriously DIY enterprise, baking eight loaves of slow fermented sourdough a day in his home oven which he personally delivered to those who bought it from him via Instagram.

    • Samoa Umu

      I love visiting the islands and I especially love visiting Samoa – beaming smiles, ‘island time’, beautiful palm-fringed tropical beaches, impromptu laughter-filled rugby games to watch from a sandy perch, rum in hand, book cast aside. Being skinny(ish) and white, I’ve never been game to pretend to be capable of joining in.

    • Saving Seed

      “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” — Mexican Proverb

    • Shanghai Street ft. @830amshanghai

      Aaron McLean recently spent a day at street level in Shanghai with Jun Gong from The Instagram account @830amshanghai, eating at her favourite spots across the city.

    • Jerome Cares

      “living within my means – and trying not to consume too much, that’s where I’m at.”

    • Make it funky!

      As humans we seek sensual stimulation and experience, the new is a delight to unfold, especially when it celebrates and respects the fragile landscape in which we live. – Lance Redgwell

    • The origin of guerrilla gardening?

      “The law locks up the man or woman Who steals the goose from off the common, But lets the greater felon loose Who steals the common from off the goose.” — anonymous protest poem from the 17th century.

    • Kamp.studio

      Daniel Kamp makes beautifully designed everyday objects, designed with the explicit intent that they will last and be so beautiful that you’ll never want to let them go. Photography by Fraser Chatham

    • Organic Women Out West

      Viv from Breakbread recently put a call out on social media for volunteers to help Julie Heffernan break ground on an inspiring new organic garden in West Auckland. With a gift of land she is able to continue the work she did with and for women at Kelmarna Gardens. She explains in her own words […]

    • The Naturalist

      “I grow delicious fruit and then I try to preserve it as simply as possible with fermentation – it’s an age-old ritual.” Interview and Photography by Aaron McLean

    • Public Share

      Public Share is a collective of six New Zealand artists working together to engage in ideas of production, sharing and exchange. Public Share make objects with site specific clay which they then share in events designed to punctuate the day with pause, reflection and conversation.

    • Lottie Hedley

      Lottie showed up on my radar before I realised she was a New Zealander. I had bookmarked a story on one of my favourite blogs, Roads and Kingdoms, about a photographer documenting the Amish and their farming traditions – that’s the sort of story I’d like to shoot and love to read.

    • Guerrilla Gardening

      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

    • Community Unity

      “Shouldn’t every community be fed as much as possible, locally, by the people that live in that community?” Interview and photography: Aaron McLean

    • Askew One

      “..the penny dropped for me that food is seen as this really benign and irrelevant thing, but it’s actually everything. And it pertains to every aspect of life on this planet. The environment, politics, trade and economics, health and wellbeing, preservation of culture; food is pretty much the single most important issue.”

    • Carne Deshebrada en Salsa Roja

      I’ve sadly not been to Mexico yet but I try to travel there regularly with my taste buds.  I love both the informality and the vibrancy of it’s cuisine and any excuse to justify tequila with dinner.

    • Urban Garden Hacks

      I’m still learning in the garden. I guess even the most experienced gardener will always be learning but I wouldn’t call myself an experienced gardener, rather a slightly obsessive advanced amateur.


      “I don’t want to waste the waste”