Spice Temple Melbourne Head Chef Maggie Chan

Spice Temple Chef Maggie Chan Prepares For Chinese New Year 2023

Special Chinese New Year 2023 Banquet Menus Available


Spice Temple Melbourne Head Chef Maggie Chan is preparing for Chinese New Year 2023.

As Maggie approaches her first year as Head Chef at Spice Temple Melbourne, she will oversee her first Chinese New Year festivities.

Chef Maggie has prepared a special Lunar New Year restaurant banquet menu of auspicious dishes. With this, the restaurant will welcome the Year of the Rabbit for Chinese New Year 2023.

Maggie has worked alongside Spice Temple Executive Chef Andy Evans to create a special Lunar New Year restaurant menu. The menu is loaded with lucky dishes.

Best Restaurants For Chinese Near Year 2023

Maggie says that Spice Temple is one of the best restaurants for Chinese New Year 2023.

“At Spice Temple, we are experts on regional Chinese cuisine. We always celebrate Chinese New Year with generous banquet menus that bestow good fortune on our guests.”

Chinese New Year is traditionally a time when families come together and celebrate the year ahead with a big feast. We give each other blessings for the Lunar New Year. Also, we say goodbye to the past year. Traditionally, we wish good luck on each other with dishes that are symbolic of positive life experiences. We bestow good health, wealth, happiness, and general prosperity on family and friends.”

Maggie was born in Hong Kong, where she grew up on traditional Cantonese food and cooking. She always loved food, which is unsurprising given the fabulous cuisine on offer in her home city. Maggie worked in an office, but her passion was cooking. She craved spicy food. Maggie followed her passion.

She arrived in Melbourne eight years ago and decided to pursue her passion professionally. Maggie undertook culinary studies at Royal Gurkas Institute of Technology. She graduated with a Certificate 3, Certificate 4 and Diploma of Cookery and Hospitality in 2018.

Next Maggie set about experiencing a variety of hospitality environments as she built a wealth of skills and knowledge of commercial kitchens. She worked in kitchens in hotels, catering companies, and European and Middle Eastern restaurants before finding her way to Spice Temple Melbourne in March 2019.

Maggie Chan Meets Spice Temple Melbourne

Maggie’s first role at Spice Temple was as a Chef de Partie. She worked alongside Spice Temple Melbourne’s former Head Chef Joshua Kerr. She explored all kitchen sections where she expanded her Chinese cooking skillset.

“I’ve learnt how to make noodles and dumplings from the masters here at Spice Temple Melbourne,” she says.

“I have also had the opportunity to explore far more diverse Chinese cuisines. As I was born in  Hong Kong I was brought up on Cantonese food. However, Spice Temple focuses on regional cuisines from Sichuan, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang. I have learnt so much about regional Chinese cooking. My palate has developed, and my love of spicy food continues to grow.”

Maggie’s special Lunar New Year restaurant menu is available at Spice Temple Melbourne from Tuesday, 17 January to Sunday, 29 January.

Spice Temple Sydney also has a special Lunar New Year restaurant menu available from Tuesday, 17 January to Saturday, 28 January.

Melbourne’s Lunar New Year Restaurant Menu

Maggie has created some unique dishes, including Golden Scallop Dumplings which represent wealth.

She explains that the dumplings are hand-made in-house, and shaped like the ancient Chinese gold currency, called an ingot. They are yellow in colour and have gold dust sprinkled on them for an extra wealth-seeking kick during Chinese New Year.

Maggie loves another dish created for the Lunar New Year restaurant feast: Stir-Fried Egg Noodles with Blue Swimmer Crab and XO Sauce.

“We make the noodles in-house. In traditional Chinese customs, noodles represent longevity. I love the deep flavours of this dish from our house-made XO sauce, which is full of premium ingredients like dried shrimp and dried scallops,” says Maggie.

“Another symbolic Chinese New Year 2023 dish is our Tang Yuan, or sweet rice dumplings, the pronunciation of which is very similar to the Chinese phrase meaning togetherness and the gathering of families.”

Sydney’s Lunar New Year Restaurant Menu

Chef Andy Evans has created a separate Lunar New Year restaurant menu for Spice Temple Sydney, which also features many auspicious dishes.

Andy says: “We have drawn on the most special dishes that we save for celebratory occasions and designed menus that promote prosperity, happiness, peace, love and other aspects of good fortune.”

“We have chosen red ingredients like Roma cherry tomatoes and Wuxi New Year pork ribs, as red is the colour of prosperity and happiness; purse-shaped pipis that represent fortune; as well as classic dishes eaten during Chinese New Year celebrations, such as raw fish Yu Sheng salad.”

Yu Sheng, otherwise known as ‘Prosperity Toss’, symbolises good luck for the new year.

He explains: “Diners are encouraged to toss the shredded ingredients of the salad in the air; the higher they toss the ingredients the greater their good fortune in the Lunar New Year ahead.

Spice Temple Melbourne Lunar New Year restaurant menu can be viewed here.

Sydney’s Lunar New Year restaurant menu can be viewed here.

If you would like to work alongside Chef Andy, Chef Maggie and Hunter St. Hospitality and Spice Temple teams, view our job opportunities here.

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