Popular British chef Ainsley Harriott headed to the Maltese islands for a culinary adventure like no other, where all his gastronomic endeavours were documented in a five-part television series called Ainsley’s Taste of Malta.
The daytime show, anchored by the presenter of popular BBC cooking game shows Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook and Ready Steady Cook, is airing daily on ITV1 at 2pm between 5th to 9th February.
The five-part series follows Harriott’s journey as he explores how Gozitan cheese is made, forages on the Xemxija Heritage Trail and tastes our traditional pastizzi, among many other culinary adventures the chef embarks on.
The chef took to his Instagram to give a sneak peak of what he got up to on our island, saying “I begin my culinary adventure in the stunning capital of Valletta, first joining historian Liam Gauci for a tour of the harbour before exploring the streets and the local cafe culture.
Next on Harriott’s itinerary was ”a trip to a foodie hotspot, a lesson in making Maltese sausage and a bit of bell ringing”, the chef revealed
The British personality also hinted at what delectable delights he tasted in the “picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk”.
“After stopping off at the busy fish market I rustle up some tasty seafood skewers with a zingy salsa. Then it’s off to a local vineyard for a tipple or two before a game of bocci in the rain. We’ve got a sweet treat too as I’m shown how to make the local pudina,” Harriott wrote in a social media post.
Talking about his Maltese adventures with British interviewer Madeleine Barber, the chef said that everywhere he visited was pretty frantic, “but Gozo was the calmest place and the people that cooked there just had a bit more time”.
Discussing some of his favourite dishes he tasted on our island, the chef mentioned casarecce with Maltese sausage and fennel, chicken scallopini with artichoke, lemon and capers, and stuffed aubergine. He also said that he was “very impressed” with the Malta’s “national dish of rabbit stew”.
Having visited the Maltese islands over 30 years ago, Harriott reflected upon the evolution of the food scene over the course of the years.
“When I went the food was good, but, my word, going back on this occasion and seeing the elevation… There’s so much choice,” he said, adding that he was “amazed” by the amount of Michelin-star restaurants on the island.
However, it’s not just the high-end culinary experiences that left an impression on Harriott, as the chef revealed that he was completely enamoured with Malta’s café culture.
“I think there’s something for everybody,” the chef stated, saying that “every corner you turn, there’s something interesting”.
Will you be watching the series?