Cooking and culture come together in Valletta

Mediterranean Culinary Academy’s latest workshop aims to make tourists and foreigners fall in love with Malta’s eclectic cuisine

A new workshop designed to introduce both tourists and foreigners living in Malta to traditional local food was recently announced by the Mediterranean Culinary Academy (MCA). Titled ‘Cooking and Culture in Valletta’, the workshop – held every Thursday – follows the organisation’s ethos of only using locally-sourced, sustainable and seasonal ingredients.

“The idea is to give participants a snapshot of local cuisine, which has been developed over the years and tells the story of our history and location, as well as all the wonderful ingredients that make our dishes so special,” explains Robert Pace, chief operations officer at MCA.

The MCA, which launched its first courses in December last year, is the first educational establishment of its kind in the region, and prides itself on being a product-driven food academy. Based in Valletta, its mission statement also extends to working with local suppliers who are respectful to the land and livestock, and to using and safeguarding indigenous varieties of produce wherever possible, among other things.

Those joining the workshop will be welcomed by the MCA’s chefs and offered homemade Maltese antipasti, as well as a glass of local sparkling wine made using the méthode champenoise (a process where the last state of fermentation is allowed to take place in the bottle). This will then be followed by a short presentation on the ingredients’ journey to the table, and then the cooking workshop itself, which includes the best way to cook and serve freshly-caught fish and seafood in the traditional Maltese way. Partakers will then be able to enjoy their labours of love along with more wine made using locally-grown grape varieties.

“Our food says so much about who we are,” Mr Pace continues. “It is directly connected with our history, our tastes, our beliefs, and, of course, our position in the Mediterranean and neighbouring countries.”

A wonderful addition to any trip to the islands, Cooking and Culture in Valletta is not simply an afternoon’s worth of fun but also a great way to explore Malta through the sense of taste.

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