The Aquarium’s exclusive in-house caterer provides world-class food, all prepared in our kitchen by our executive chef.
For more catering options, pricing information and food minimums, please call the Events Department at 617-973-5205, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Inquiries may also be made through the private event inquiry form.
Craig McLaren, Executive Chef, Patina Restaurant Group at The New England Aquarium
Chef Craig McLaren began his food journey in a small town in Northwestern Rhode Island where he’d spend time with his mom in the kitchen and helping out at a local diner. At age 16, Craig started his first line cook position at Chester’s Restaurant in Harmony, RI, working every station and soaking up as much culinary knowledge as possible.
It was in coastal Rhode Island where Craig began to fine-tune his culinary skills within the hotel space – first as Sous Chef at The OceanCliff Hotel & Resort in Newport, then as a rising Executive Sous Chef at the Westin Providence Hotel where he oversaw food production for the 564 room, AAA Four Diamond Hotel.
In 2008, Craig made the move to the Midwest, where he continued his hospitality-focused career as Senior Sous Chef at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Chicago. There, he propelled his kitchen’s 50-member team to achieving the #1 ranking for Quality of Food and Guest Satisfaction out of all Renaissance Hotels in North America. After a move to St. Louis where Craig was Executive Sous Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, it was time for a return back to New England.
From 2010-2013, Craig was Banquet Chef for the largest Marriot in New England, The Boston Marriot Copley Place. He then joined the team at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel as Senior Banquet Chef, where he yet again pushed his team’s talent, becoming one of the highest ranked hotels in North America for Events & Catering. Craig’s first Executive Chef position was at the Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel in 2018, where he simultaneously ran two hotel kitchens.
In February 2019, Craig joined Patina Restaurant Group, and took on the role of Executive Chef at the New England Aquarium where he oversees the culinary programs for the museum’s extensive catering & events department, visitor dining at outlets like the year-round Harborview Café, and seasonal offerings from the Dog N’ Claw and Reef Bar restaurant.
Outside of the kitchen, Craig spends his time with his wife and two daughters. On the occasional day off, you can catch Craig working on his newest batch of award-winning homebrewed beer, or entertaining in his backyard for friends and family.