1. Tell us about your educational background and your work experience to date.
My passion for ‘culinaria’ goes back to when, as a ten year old, I much enjoyed watching and helping my mother – an exceptionally gifted lady by way of her cookery skills which were passed on to her by her mother and grandmother. I started my career at the age of 15, as an Apprentice Chef at Ristorante Cosmana Navarra in Rabat, Malta. After one and a half years in this restaurant I took the full-time course of Food Preparation and Production at ITS. I then went for 18 months training in London at the Berkeley Hotel (Savoy Group) and Michelin-starred restaurants which then led me to work in Michelin Star and well established restaurants worldwide which were Charlie Trotters in the US, Le Bristol and Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris, Pied a Terre and Raymond Blanc in the UK plus also St Hubertus in Italy to mention a few.
2. Why are you so passionate about being a chef?
When you work in this industry, you’ve got to be passionate about the job – otherwise you will be wasting your time. What gives me most satisfaction are the daily positive comments that I receive from diners at our restaurants. Another thing that really motivates me is seeing young students and Chefs that have started their career in one of my kitchens who later develop into bigger roles by running their own kitchens – that gives me so much pride.
3. Mention five words to describe yourself and your work ethic.
Leader, Hard Working, Innovative, Inclusive, Focused, Eager.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In five years I see myself consolidating the restaurants and hotel I am currently running, with improved products and hopefully a few more Michelin Stars under my belt. This does not come easy but does require constant hard work, research and innovation which sometimes can be difficult to find.
5. Can you mention Chefs who have inspired you? What do you admire most about them?
Eric Frechon the Executive Chef of Le Bristol Hotel in Paris and the late Charlie Trotters, Chef Patron of Restaurant Charlie Trotters in Chicago were a true inspiration and I still see them as role models in my career.
6. What is your favourite dish to cook and why?
Being that I do live on an Island in the Mediterranean Sea it comes very easy that my typical dish to cook is a nice fresh fish, cooked with good local olive oil and fresh herbs – with a chunk of warm Maltese Ftira sourdough served with fresh local tomatoes and sea salt.