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Hailing from a family of farmers and fishermen in the north of Malta, Keith has spent his whole life cultivating and utilising local produce. His culinary journey began at the age of 13 working in a local hotel kitchen, leading to roles in prestigious kitchens both locally and overseas, including The Grand in the UK, which was headed by the renowned Roux brothers (the first chefs to receive one, two and three Michelin stars). It was there that he recognized the importance and benefits of hyper-local, ingredient-driven dining, and realized the untapped potential for this in Malta. This prompted him to return to Malta to establish his own locally sourced ingredient-focused restaurant, often using ingredients grown in his garden.

Understanding the importance of sustainability in the food industry, Keith started working with local farmers and restaurants, helping them forge partnerships and promote sustainable practices. He also started giving lectures on food sciences and preservation at a local college, aiming to inspire a broader adoption of these principles.

At ION Harbour, under the stewardship of Simon Rogan, Keith’s expertise has been instrumental in connecting ION with local suppliers and growers like Joseph from Ta’Cikku farm. Since taking over the restaurant in 2023, Simon and the team have developed a menu which is composed of almost entirely local ingredients. Imported ingredients are substituted with local ones, such as ION’s Xemxun cheese – which is cultivated by Keith exclusively for the restaurant using local goat milk to replicate Tunworth cheese used in Simon’s flagship restaurant L’Enclume. This is done in his test kitchen and lab where he also cultivates fungi and naturally preserves and ferments any produce that is not used in the kitchen, as a continuation of Simon’s aim to reduce waste wherever possible. With these he makes kombuchas, garums, stocks, soups and sauces, while fruit peels become marmalades and syrups.

Simon and the team regularly join Keith on foraging trips to find unique local ingredients such as mulberries, myrtle, wild apricots, and invasive species such as pink peppercorns. With sustainability always at the forefront, Keith works with local NGOs and farmers to ensure indigenous ingredients and animal species continue to flourish, especially threatened species such as the Maltese olive tree and the endemic Maltese honeybee.


“Waste management and how we can use what we already have in so many exciting ways, give us great opportunities to come up with innovative solutions ourselves,” he explains.