26 years ago, a collaboration between beloved chef Fergus Henderson, his wife Margot, and Jon Spiteri saw the birth of St. John, a Soho restaurant which quickly became one of London’s favourites.
Two and a half decades and a couple of Michelin stars later, the successful restaurant chain’s bread and wine branch in Spitalfields has another Maltese connection… and it’s a young islander with a couple of traditional tricks up his sleeve.
Ryan Vella, the chef de partie at St. John Bread & Wine, boasts a portfolio many chefs would kill to have. Back in Malta, he’s worked at The Arches, Hilton, The Fork & Cork and the Ramla Bay Resort. But 2019 was off to an even better start when Vella broke the news that he’d actually be heading to London to whip up some fine comfort food at St. John’s Bread & Wine, home of everything from doughnuts and coffee to beef tartare and wine.
But Ryan’s latest Instagram upload shows off something instantly recognisable to all the Maltese people following his culinary adventure
“A small Maltese treat here at St John’s,” Vella shared on Thursday night, showing off a delicious prep photo of imqaret (date fritters), a beloved local tradition that has stood the test of time… and space, it seems!
Vella’s photo was an instant hit with his friends and followers, with other expats urging him to send the tasty imqaret even further north to Scotland.
If you’re in London over summer, be sure to pop by and say hi to this young Maltese chef making us proud overseas… and maybe ask for a maqrut or two!