Revamping Maltese cuisine and making culinary experiences an adventure
Maltese cuisine is a melting pot of flavours, at once steeped in tradition but unafraid to try something new. Samuel Farrugia, restaurant owner and chef, left Malta to cut his teeth in restaurants around the world only to bring back what he learned and apply it to local cuisine. His is a story of new ideas, local produce and a daring new approach to food. Which dish will you try first?
After an around-the-world tour to learn his trade as a chef, Samuel returned to Malta for a singular reason: he thinks that the Maltese culture is perfect for a budding chef because it is both steeped in tradition while remaining open to new ideas.
“At 25 I left home. I wanted to learn different techniques, different cuisines. Now I’m back in Gozo, creating new dishes with our incredible local produce.”
This concept of old and new is how one of Samuel’s most beloved dishes came to life.
Fusion cuisine is increasingly popular around the globe, a form of combination cooking the combines conrasting culinary traditions or techniques into a single dish, sometimes known as ‘mash-ups.’
‘We have an absolutely staple traditional product, ftira, which is the local sourdough bread,’ Samuel says. ‘It’s crusty on the outside, nice and soft on the inside. So, while trying to think outside of the box, I should try and find a way to really make it even more comforting with other influences that we have on the island.’
Sam points out the Italian influence, most notably pizza.
‘So, I started using as much local produce as possible, fresh cheeses or cured meats and the amazing Maltese sausage we have here in Gozo, finishing it off with really nice fresh local herbs as well. You can just have them freshly baked straight out of the oven. This led to my incredible soughdough pizza bread.’
We love Maltese cuisine and culture
Sam is finding increasing success in Malta and is quickly becoming something of a celebrity.
‘At the Maltese Cook, we do a variety of things,’ Samuel says. ‘We do private dining, events, different concepts, but we always try to keep things interesting. Our goal is to keep on improving the traditional food items that we cherish here in Gozo. We put passion into everything we do – and that’s what Malta is is all about.’