Gastronomic Dinner at Quadro Restaurant

A few days ago,  the bloggers of received an invite from Maria Gauci of  Quadro Restaurant, at the Westin Dragonara Resort, to attend a gastronomic dinner prepared by Chef  Jonathan Vella.

Bloggers Loraine Hussain, Jennifer Grillo and myself were treated to a fantastic dinner where we could sample some  of the best creations by Jonathan and his team.


The menu for the evening was as follows:

Prawn tartare, scallop on split pea salad and pomegranate & orange salad
Grilled asparagus, dried blueberry, macadamia nuts & egg salad
Beef fillet with mushroom and speck crust Or
Local Catch, artichoke and tomato comfit, black olives
Deconstructed apple crumble
Chocolate and fruits


The food was delicious and  presented very originally.  As you can see from the photos taken by our blogger Jennifer, the attention to detail was impressive. I loved the way the menu was presented written directly on the table cloth. The way the entrees were presented in small tins and the very original salad jar. I had Pesce San Pietro as a main and it was cooked to perfection.

 We had a very interesting discussion with our host Mr. Edward Bonello – Director of Sales & Marketing for Westin Dragonara Resort on how the hotel uses Social media to communicate with its customers, handle and special requests or complains that might arise. Every single email,  FB message, or comments on review sites are acknowledged and replied to personally.

Our love for food was obviously the main topic during the dinner, and we had the opportunity to get to know another two bloggers who are also very popular on Facebook. After the dinner, Chef Jonathan Vella joined us for a quick chat and was happy to hear our comments and answer questions on some of the very interesting items presented for tasting.

Jannifer Grillo was busy throughout the dinner snapping photos, I think she is super talented but you can judge the results yourself! Click here to see the whole gallery on FB.
(check out the full gallery by clicking here)


Getting to know Chef Jonathan Vella
Here are a few quick questions I asked Chef Vella.

T: how long have you been working at Westin / Quadro:
J: since 2005. So , nearing 9 years

T: Why is it important to experiment and create new and innovative dishes?
J: To explore new possibilities. To innovate, lead and make life at work more fun!

 T: Where do you get ideas for new dishes?
J: From everything that surrounds me. Markets, nature, the sea, ..everything

T: Do you agree that traditional Maltese food can be reinvented to create new dishes? –
J: Absolutely. Maltese food should make a bigger comeback and be more modern without forgetting the origins

T: Do you have a  favorite dish? 
J: Anything that I feel like at that moment in time

T: Name one kitchen utensil you could not live without
J: My personalized SABATIER knives

T: How can restaurant food be healthy?
J: Keeping it simple. Use fresh, local produce whenever possible. Learn to say “stop” adding more & more ingredients to a dish. Listen to what people want and cater accordingly.

T: Do you see an increased awareness for healthier good by patrons?
J:Not as much as I would like…

Tony (28, March 2014)

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Benefits of drinking Lemon Water


lemon-waterHealth Benefits Of Drinking Lemon Water

Packed with antioxidants and other health benefits, a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon revitalises the body and mind. Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies. Here are some more benefits of drinking Lemon Water.

  • Lemons contain pectin fiber which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial.
  • It balances maintain the pH levels in the body.
  • Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins.
  • It has a synergizing effect on the body as it helps soothe the digestive system.
  • It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile.
  • It conditions and clenches the liver.
  • It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases.
  • It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid.
  • It helps cure the common cold.
  • The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells.
  • It liquefies the bile and also helps regulate the excess flow of bile.
  • It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute.
  • It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver.
  • It can help relieve the problem of indigestion and excess gas.
  • In case of a heart burn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief.
  • In case of pregnant and lactating women, lemon juice will help build strong bones in a child, due to its calcium content.
  • It helps dissolve gall bladder stones and other calcium build ups that are dangerous to the body.
  • It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne.
  • It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems.
  • It aids in the reduction of phlegm (mucus) produced by the body.
  • It has an alkalizing effect on the body.
  • It helps control the speeding of unhealthy bacteria in the gut.
  • Aids in the production of digestive juices.
  • It helps purify the blood.
  • Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session.
  • It can treat a sore throat. Gargle with warm lemon water to help ease a sore throat.



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The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm … beautiful Malta! (Photo by: Alan Cuschieri)

photo showing Valletta and Tigne Point Sliema

photo showing Valletta and Tigne Point Sliema

A few days ago we had a big storm during the night with lots of thunderstorms and torrential rain, the next day Alan Cuschieri snapped this fantastic photo using his iPhone. The calm sea, rainbow and drenched limestone buildings of Valletta and Tigne point give  a sense of peacefulness and calm, hence the name for this photo “The Calm after the Storm”

If you have any  scenery or  lifestyle photos of Malta which  you would like to share with us please do not hesitate to send them to us on with a small caption describing your photo. Some of the photos may even make it to our newsletter -“il-Borma”

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Europe in My Region photo competition

We’re participating in the Europe in My Region photo competition to celebrate projects making a real difference to local communities.Help us out and by voting for our photo by visiting the following link:

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Il-Borma BBQ Edition – Coming out this week

Have you signed up for the “il-Borma” newsletter the next issue is due end of this week.

Ilovefood August newsletter issue will be dedicated to BBQ recipes, BBQ tips, summer traditions and much more…

To sign up click here:

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May Cooking Club

If you love Maltese food and would like to share your recipe ideas with our online community, we encourage you to participate in the upcoming edition of the Cooking Club! Following the success of the previous two events, we are re-launching this initiative confidente that we will receive even more delicious recipes from our readers. This month’s topic is based on two  basic ingredients: pasta (in any form or shape) and fish/sea food. You are all encouraged to send us your favorite recipe as long as it uses pasta and fish or sea food.

Submit your recipe along with at least one photo by the closing date – 16th May 2012. On the 17th May voting will begin and our readers will determine their favourite entries. The top 3 voted submissions will win a prize! So get cooking – we look forward to receiving your entries!

Click here to participate

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Launch of Info Kiosks in 9 Museums

The aim of these kiosks is to provide a holistic vision of Maltese culture from all angles to locals and tourists visiting the heritage sites.  They go hand-in-hand with the mini-sites that we are currently launching on for each location.

Every kiosk will includes information about the respective site where it is located, interesting gastronomic information like traditional restaurants and food establishments close by, as well as various popular Maltese food recipes.  There really is nothing better than ending your afternoon at an exquisite historic palace with a traditional Maltese dinner within walking distance, all the while booking your place at an interesting tour or event happening a few days later through the Info Kiosks.

The kiosks that have been installed are located at:

Gozo: Ta’ Kola Windmills,FolkloreMuseum
Malta:St. Paul’s Catacombs, Roman Villa, Natural History Museum, Maritime Museum, Inquisitor’s Palace, Ghar Dalam, Fine Arts Museum

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Today is a special day in the calendar of Easter events in Malta. The Friday before Good Friday is the most solemn feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This devotion started in Valletta in the 16th century.
The penitential pilgrimage of Our Lady of Sorrows is no longer tied to the Capital City, but has spread to all Malta in every parish. This feast is a truely national celebration in that it connects all the Maltese together.

Talbuni nġib fjura
għal Omm wisq magħdura.
Talbuni nġib warda
għall-Omm tal-imġarrba.
Taffulha id-dwejjaq
Bil-fjura u l-warda!Wishing you all the best on this special day.

— met John Anderson.

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Kif taraf li l-hut jkun frisk – How to make sure that the fish is fresh

How to you ensure that the fish is fresh?

1) eyes are clear and slightly embossed and not recessed

2) Gills must be bright red or red and not grey

3) the scales must be complete, must n ot have scales missing andthere must be no spots;

4) the skin should be shiny and lively color

5) the skin should be moist and usually slightly slippery

6) the tail is stiff

7) fish meat feels firm and elastic (and leaves no marks when pressed)

8) finally the fish must have a nice smell of seaweed or sea.


It is important that the consumer also notes

A. that the fish is covered with a substantial amount of ice;

B. The seller are observing basic practices of cleanliness, personal hygiene, and not smoking!

C. Those who give the rest should be different fromthose handling food or wash their hands before touching the fish

D there are no excessive ammounts of flies

E. that the knives used are clean

F. the table surface and the tray are clean and made from a material that can cleaned.


source Environmental Health Directorate, Malta


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Traditional Maltese Figolli

Under normal circumstances, Easter would conjure images of large, coloured, bunny-shaped Easter eggs and other sweets.  Malta presents its unique Easter delicacy: The Figolla.  Probably influenced by the Latin word ‘Figura’ – a form, shape or image, these pastries filled with almond paste are a well-loved tradition during Easter.

Figolli are typically shaped around figures of butterflies, rabbits or hearts, and covered with icing of different colours topped with a chocolate egg.  This tradition is loved by one and all, particularly Maltese children, who wake eagerly on Easter Sunday in anticipation of the day’s festivities as well as the excitement of finally being able to taste their Figolla after much restraint throughout Lent.

Where and when can Figolli be eaten?

 Tradition states that Figolli should not be eaten during Lent; people’s sugar cravings thus catered for by the delicious Kwarezimal.  The first bite into a Figolla should be taken on Easter Sunday itself.  Yet Figolli of all shapes and sizes set on beautiful displays are on sale at supermarkets, confectioners and cafes in Malta throughout the entire Easter period.

Figolli are undoubtedly found in almost every Maltese household, and should be enjoyed alongside a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Click here for Figolli recipe

Personalised Easter Figolli: Surprise your loved one by ordering your unique Figolla from Ilovefood today! Click here

A fun interesting video on how to make Maltese figolli
Try this with friends or with your kids!

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