I started experimenting with food at the age of two, were I wanted to peel, chop and cook all day long. Dolls never interested me! So it was at an early stage that everyone realised my inclination towards food.
I absorbed everything that concerned the subject and, when it was time for me to hit the stove, each experience enriched my know how. I mostly picked ideas from members of my family (my Aunt Mary in special), then TV, books, travelling and restaurant experiences. I attended catering school, then went to Switzerland to work in a hotel in Bern at the age of 18. I moved to bartending for a short spell, then shot off to America for some working experience, but I soon returned to my roots, my beloved ‘rock’ Gozo and my love for food. Intrigued and curious, and lack of experience in the Pastry section, pushed me ashore and i flew to London to learn about the subject.
I had no true teacher, i just followed an in-born instinct and learned as I went along. I am still learning… Travel and curiosity play a major role in my personal growth in cooking. What do i love to cook? I really cannot answer. It depends on the season, the trends, the weather, the places i have visited, the tastes i come across. I love baking, bread in particular, foraging and creating unusual dishes using wild spontaneous plants and flowers. I love markets and spices, and experimenting with different foods from different cultures or just taking an abundant crop further by extending and experimenting with the use of it and creating new recipes.
I have written for two magazines in Malta and was also worked as a TV Chef on Net TV, a local Maltese channel. I am also a passionate food photographer. I create the recipes, cook the food, style and photograph it. After editing the pictures and finishing off my articles I feel like a proud mother presenting my creation to my editors. Am truly blessed to be doing the things i love most. It’s a personal achievement to be able to work with my editors and have my work published. Having people believing in me plays a big role. It’s having a backup team pushing you forward. You have to be a step ahead all the time…new cutlery and crockery hunting for my photo shoots, new ingredients to promote, themed articles, food travelling. Never a dull moment.
More recently, I have been doing Gourmet trips to Italy. Small (6-12 people) groups of like minded people that travel together to discover new flavours. The 3 destinations close at heart (or stomach) are Sicily, South Tuscany – Maremma, and the Veneto region, Conegliano area (capital for Prosecco wine production). We have visited markets, slow food restaurants, cheese bars, wineries, artisanal food stalls and outlets, herb plantations, fish restaurants….well it all depends on which place we are, the events and seasonal foods. These trips are custom made depending on the people who get together, making each trip unique.
Presently I work for D5 Ltd who operate Mojo’s Bar and through them we organise outside catering and personal chef services. We have catered for small weddings, for groups wanting to discover more about my Island’s foods and also cooked for a couple wanting to celebrate a special occasions and treat themselves.
Yes, i am quite busy, but i love my work and it makes a big difference. The love for food keeps me going. I still dream big and set goals for myself. It’s the way to go if i want to keep growing in my knowledge and know how. What’s coming up next? Not even I know!