From today the 15th March 2023, ION Harbour in Valletta will welcome the internationally-renowned and multi award-winning chef Simon Rogan as Chef Patron, becoming ION Harbour by Simon Rogan. Rogan has a total of eight other restaurants to his name across the UK and Hong Kong, including L’Enclume in the Lake District which currently holds three Michelin stars, five AA Rosettes and is the number one listed restaurant in the Good Food Guide. In 2021, his efforts towards sustainability were also recognised with the newly introduced Michelin Green Star, awarded to both L’Enclume and Roganic Hong Kong.
Simon Rogan comments “When presented with the opportunity to take on ION Harbour, there was no question that this was the perfect spot for our next restaurant opening. My love for Malta, its history and climate, people and not least its ingredients and producers were all part of our decision to open ION Harbour by Simon Rogan, where we look forward to creating dishes that are inspired by our signature style whilst using the best of the Maltese larder.”
As one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement, British chef Simon Rogan’s menus are strongly guided by hyperlocal ingredients that are harvested, fished and foraged by the best and most sustainable local producers. Simon and his team have already begun exploring what the island has to offer and the menus at ION Harbour will utilise ingredients in their prime, so that each dish can champion the abundant produce found in the Maltese countryside and in the island’s Mediterranean waters.
To complement the menu, the sommelier team at ION Harbour has created both alcoholic and non-alcoholic pairings. Like the menus, the unique drinks list highlights sustainable producers and lesser-known ingredients sourced from the island. In a bid to minimise waste, the bar team work with the chefs to utilise surplus ingredients from the kitchens that would usually go to waste, such as peels, stalks and stems.
ION Harbour, which was previously helmed by Chef Alex Dilling, is situated on the rooftop of 5 star luxury Hotel Iniala Harbour House and offers unrivalled views of the UNESCO Grand Harbour. The restaurant’s Front of House team will be led by restaurant manager, James Christie as well as assistant food & beverage director, Melissa Sambugaro. In the kitchen, executive chef Oli Marlow, who has amassed over six years working alongside Simon, will be joined by head chef Eoin Smith.
ION Harbour owner Mark Weingard quoted: “I am really looking forward to working with Simon Rogan and his team and undertaking this exciting journey together. I know that Simon, Oli and our chefs have created an amazing seasonal menu which celebrates our wealth of local farmers, fishermen, growers and producers.”Heritage Malta Taste History
This week we headed down to Vittoriosa to learn about Heritage Malta’s Taste History initiative. Clive Cortis explains to us this fairly new concept that is being introduced to Museums on the islands.
After thorough research extracted from a vastly documented evidence found in Malta from the days of the corsairs, Taste History managed to reproduce the recipes and food stuffs used in the past and bring them to life.
This activity is lead by a professional team of curators and chefs that have come together to recreate the paupers’ frugal snacks, the corsair’s celebratory dinner, the Grand Master’s wine list, the Inquistor’s lent dinner and the Merchant’s decadent dessert, bringing about results that are as surprising as the flavours which have been brought back to life. An opportunity for guests to taste Maltese and Mediterranean history. This journey can be enjoyed at the Maritime Museum or the Inquisitor’s Palace, both found in the Three Cities, the original location of the corsairs or in any other Heritage Malta site. The Taste History team are urging the general public to join expert historians and fellow learners and immerse in the changing tastes of history in 18th century Malta.
This experience is exciting and interesting as a traditional dinner or lunch event and is being extremely well received by all that have experienced the journey.
Malta is renowned for its history and we are very proud to share it with all our guests as we greet them on our islands and passionately recount the myriad of stories the island holds so dearly.