Monday, May 13, 2024

Cooking with passion

Interview with Luke Camilleri

Passion is the word which connects Chef Luke Camilleri to the gastronomic world. Indeed, he is passionate about food – not just preparing it, but enjoying the warm social atmosphere it brings to any dining table. 

Passion is also the spark which triggers him to continue developing his culinary and to reach new heights in the industry. Chef Luke Camilleri shares with Delicious his passion for food and what makes the culinary industry such a challenging yet exciting place to work in.

What is food?

The British entertainer, Delia Smith, once noted, “Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.” Indeed, food is the sensation of well-being that derives from the fulfilment of a natural instinct whilst being enjoyed alone or in the company of others.

James Beard once noted, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” To what extent do you agree?

Food can be found anywhere and everywhere. It is powerful enough to influence friendships, loving and supportive relationships, and great family relationships between siblings, or between a mother and a child, or a father and a child. Food is strong enough to build different kinds of relationships as well as to improve different kinds of people. Food can help us all to grow in many ways.

What is your favourite ingredient to use?

I have many, but my favourites are local pork and anything our sea can offer. Our local prawns rossi have such an amazing flavour. 

What does the future hold in terms of restaurant trends in Malta?

The future looks quite promising, yet there are key challenges which will determine how much the industry will thrive, mainly the long term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of human resources available. Having said so, I am confident that restaurants will continue to evolve, and more quality restaurants will open in Malta.

How has the Malta food industry changed over the last few years?

I think the local food industry has developed substantially thanks to the talent available in various leading restaurants on the island. The country is indeed blessed with a number of great chefs especially a young generation who is willing to dare, to experiment and to take the local industry to the next level. Malta’s inclusion in the Michelin Guide with five restaurants being awarded a star and three restaurants being awarded a Bib Gourmand for “good quality, good value cooking” is clear proof of Malta’s progress. 

The food industry has also developed thanks to people. Distance is no longer a limitation and technology has brought food closer to our home. People travel, experiment and expose themselves to different tastes and food experiences. Moreover, the TV, the internet and social media has transformed food into an accessible tool. Thus guests are more critical, and more demanding.

Some words of wisdom for a keen home cook?

Enjoy cooking, never force it and show love to the food.

Aqra Wkoll