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Luna Restaurant presents a Summer Pop-up by Palazzo Parisio – Introducing Chef Andrew Borg

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Andrew Borg is one of Malta’s most revered chefs, and one of the few on the island to have elevated a restaurant to Michelin Star standard. Offering Andrew’s signature cuisine, Luna Restaurant situated within the stunning gardens of Palazzo Parisio is hosting a summer evening pop-up for guests to savour his exceptional cuisine inspired by local seasonal produce and ingredients from the Palace’s kitchen garden.

“I have been so inspired by The Palace Gardens”- Chef Andrew Borg

On why he decided to become a chef…

Essentially, I don’t know why I started; I know I have always loved food. I have been in kitchens since I was 12 years old, my father used to work in an old-school restaurant in Mdina, and I have memories of being there and getting to taste a lot of dishes and experience the kitchen atmosphere. I always loved eating, my love for food started from a very young age, me becoming a chef was almost inevitable!

On his background in the industry…

In 1998, I went to study at ITS. As Malta was not yet in the European Union, getting qualifications from the school was my ticket to explore beyond the island. I graduated and got a job in London at the Lanesborough Hotel. During my time in the UK, I wanted to learn as much as I could so I would turn up at restaurants, knock on their door and ask for an internship position to get experience in their kitchen. This was a time before the internet where you could email in your CV. I managed to score a great opportunity when 3-Michelin Star Chef, Alain Passard opened a restaurant in the UK, and hired me as his sous chef, which was a real honor for me as I had been following his career for years. When I returned to Malta, I worked in numerous 5-star hotels, top restaurants and eventually opened my own restaurant called ‘Black Pig’ which became a bit of a foodie’s destination on the island. Most recently, I was working at Iniala Harbour House, where we received our first Michelin Star.

On his style of cooking…

Vegetable driven and natural.

I give the vegetable centre-stage, unlike traditional approaches of centering the dish around protein. My main focus is vegetables, I shine a light on natural cooking, fresh ingredients and following the seasons. Vegetables all have very specific seasons, for example, a carrot in the beginning of spring and carrot in mid-autumn are two totally different things, I like to use ingredients that are in their prime. My focus is the quality of the ingredient, 50% of my work is getting the right produce.

On his favourite ingredient currently…

Something I have always loved is citrus, but I didn’t know the extent of my love until I arrived at The Palace, I discovered all of the different species of incredible citrus fruit growing here in the gardens and was in awe. This is not the ideal season for citrus, what I am now doing in the kitchen is a lot of fermenting and pickling with the fruits which I then introduce in the menu.

On his inspiration for this pop-up concept…

Definitely the Palace Gardens - what initially attracted me to work here was the beautiful gardens, I discovered more and more of the surroundings of the Palazzo as time went on. When you walk in through those doors from the bustling Naxxar square, you enter a totally different world. I wanted to create an out of this world experience from the moment you enter, to the very last bite.

On the development of the menu…

The menu is not static at all, the idea is to constantly change the menus according to the produce, not for the sake of changing, but for the requirements of the ingredients. Come August, we will reduce red meat and introduce a lighter fish-based menu

On his favourite dish on the menu…

The Aquarelle risotto with tomatoes and 36-month-old parmesan is one of my favourites. Within the dish, there are so many different preparations of tomatoes. The number of tomatoes per dish is quite astonishing. The flavours are intense yet refined, we managed to create a light and delicate version of risotto and I am very happy with how it turned out and hope our diners will love it too.

On using produce from the Palazzo’s Kitchen Garden…

Since I started here, I have not stopped asking the gardeners all sorts of questions relating to the produce! There is such an abundance of amazing ingredients growing within the Palace walls, its heaven for a chef. Over the course of the summer, I will be introducing ingredients that are grown on the grounds. The first pop-up menus feature lots of herbs, tomatoes, courgettes, celery, and borage all grown here.

We are delighted to be able to invite our Friends of Palazzo Parisio to enjoy a gastronomical experience under the night sky. Available Wednesday to Saturday from 7.30pm onwards, all throughout the summer season.

To make a reservation, kindly email or call +356 9971 3779


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