1. Tell us about your educational background and your work experience to date.
For me to choose a culinary career was an easy option as I am a third generation Chef who literally grew up in the kitchens. From a very young age I was working in my father’s restaurants and at the age of 17 I joined the Culinary School in Castellon, Spain. I started my professional career of more than 25 years in Spain, following that I moved to Switzerland, London, Belgium and now Malta. I would say that the highlights of my career were to work in the MICHELIN star restaurant Riff in Valencia, being part of the opening team of Aqua Shard in London, being in charge of 8 restaurants in Harrods and now I am fortunate to work side by side with a like-minded, passionate Chef and Malta’s Culinary Ambassador – Marvin Gauci.
2. Why are you so passionate about being a Chef?
For me there is nothing more important at work than to make people happy as I trust food is one of the biggest pleasures in life. By ‘people’ I mean both guests and colleagues. Guests come to our restaurants to celebrate special occasions in life and it is a rewarding feeling to be the person who can make it happen. In terms of colleagues I found pleasure in guiding and mentoring our new generations of Chefs and seeing my team members grow.
3. Mention five words to describe yourself and your work ethic.
Disciplined, Passionate, Nostalgic, Lively and Ambitious.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself doing the same I am doing for the last 25 years – enjoying life by cooking, aiming higher every day and continuing to build my network of passionate Chefs.
5. Can you mention Chefs who have inspired you? What do you admire most about them?
My dad, who helped me to build strong work ethics by making me clean all of the pots and pans after the long service. Bernd H. Knoller who was the first MICHELIN Chef who mentored me in the beginning of my career. Anthony Garlando who taught me how to stay focused while still having fun in the kitchen.
6. What is your favourite dish to cook and why?
Paella Valenciana. Being born in Valencia, it brings back memories from my childhood as we used to eat it with the whole family every Sunday and it is rewarding to cook for my family and friends here in Malta