Ryan Vella

Ryan Vella

Chef Patron

Q: Tell us about your educational background and your work experience to date.

I’m now navigating the final year of my Environmental Sciences degree, a journey that’s been as enriching as it is enlightening. My professional journey kicked off with the prestigious Xara Collection Group, a stepping stone into the vibrant world of hospitality. The adventure continued at Root 81, where it was hands-on, intense, and insanely rewarding. Fuelled by these exhilarating ventures, I decided to take the plunge and open my own spot, La Mer, right on the scenic steps of Saqqajja.


Q: What drives your passion for cooking?

My passion for cooking is fueled by creativity, a strong belief in sustainability, and the pleasure of bringing people together over good food. With a background in Environmental Sciences, I’m all about using fresh, local ingredients. On a more profound note in the heart of the kitchen, I discovered where my true talent lies.


Q: Mention five words to describe yourself and your work ethic.

Perseverant |  Passionate | Curious | Adaptable | Ambitious


Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years, I envision expanding my operations across the island, diving deeper into the hospitality scene while leveraging my educational background in Environmental Sciences. My goal is to broaden my enterprise, integrating sustainable practices more thoroughly into every aspect of my business.


Q: Who are some chefs who inspire you and what do you admire about them?

Chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Marco Pierre White deeply inspire me. From Bourdain, I’ve learned the value of storytelling through food, his approach to exploring cultures and cuisines with respect and curiosity. Marco Pierre White’s unparalleled dedication and intensity in the kitchen taught me about the art of perfection and innovation in cooking.


Q: What is your favourite dish to cook and why?

My favourite dish to cook is pasta. The reason is simple: the combinations and flavours you can create with pasta are endless. Whether it’s fusing traditional ingredients in new ways or experimenting with bold, unexpected flavours, pasta provides the perfect canvas for culinary creativity.

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La Mer Restaurant