Delve into Malta’s eclectic food scene and discover the personalities leading the way with this guide to the best Maltese chefs
Malta has an illustrious and eclectic food scene. After being invaded many times throughout history, the archipelago has developed a wonderfully multicultural mix of Greek, French, Italian, Arabic and British influences, which comes out best in the kitchen. As such, the island is becoming an internationally renowned foodie haven, thanks to a handful of incredible Maltese chefs. Join us as we discover the people pioneering the food movement, and explore why chefs such as George Borg, Sean Gravina and Mario Schembri are so highly revered.
As Executive Chef of Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, Stefan Hogan has taken his passion for local produce and unusual ingredients into the kitchens of our hotel’s restaurants. He has created menus bursting with flavour for the sophisticated Villa Corinthia, Far Eastern eatery Ricksaw, brasserie Orange Grove and seasonal venture, The Summer Kitchen. Mediterranean is Hogan’s speciality and if it’s fresh innovative cuisine you’re after, his renowned restaurants are among the best on the archipelago.
High up on the list of Malta’s top chefs is Sean Gravina. The young chef began his career on the island, where his got his first big break running local restaurant Chez Philippe. He went on to study at the world’s number one cookery school at Cordon Bleu in Paris, before joining Gordon Ramsay’s prestigious Michelin star restaurant Maze. Gravina has since returned to Malta where he hosts TV cooking shows on Gourmet Today TV and caters events and private dinners on request. He became a celebrity in his own right after appearing on MasterChef: The Professionals in 2014, where he left as a respectable quarter finalist.
Gozo-born George Borg inherited his passion for cooking from his father, a professional chef. After working in restaurants on the Maltese islands and building relationships with local farmers, cheese producers and artisans, Borg became a local celebrity and a respected chef renowned for his use of Maltese produce. Nowadays he wears many hats: guest chef, TV host, cookbook author and Head of Food & Beverage at catering company Catermax.
Executive Chef Mario Schembri is among the most highly respected Maltese chefs. A fundamental part of Gozo’s culinary scene, he’s been preparing award-winning food at T’ Frenc Restaurant for more than 30 years. Schembri takes pride in creating discerning dishes – of which rabbit ravioli is one of his most famous – using local produce and Maltese culinary traditions. The fine dining restaurant is a must-visit and, with much of the original team still present, it’s not unusual to be greeted at the door by a member of the founding Attard family, or have your meal cooked by Schembri himself.
One of the hottest culinary spots in Malta is The Medina Restaurant. At the helm is Executive Chef James Attard, who has devised a menu where produce is fresh, seasonal and local, presentation is sublime, and attention to details is king. The chef’s work has won the restaurant a number of awards, such as the prestigious Best Overall Restaurant in Malta and Gozo at The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants Awards 2015.