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Malta Inter-Bailliage Dinner

Floriana, March 22, 2014

Inter-Bailliage appreciation of haute cuisine with a group from Bavaria

The Bailliage National of Malta welcomed confrères and consœurs from Bavaria, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Hessen as well as other members of the party coming from elsewhere in Germany, as well as from Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The event was hosted at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Great Siege Road, Floriana.
                                                                                                                                photo (c) Grand Hotel Excelsior

It was an evening of haute cuisine where it was a challenge to identify ingredients and techniques which gave such an awesome result on the plate and palate.

Chancelier Charles Gatt gave a special welcome to Klaus-Wilhelm Gérard and his partner Federica. They had been responsible for bringing the group to Malta to enjoy such a night of highly creative food and the best of Maltese wines.

Klaus is Bailli Honoraire of the Bailliage of Haute-Bavière (centred on Munich), having served 25 years as Bailli. He is also a Member of the Conseil Magistral.

It is a testament to his charm, which is complemented by his partner Frederica, that he grew the local Bailliage to be one of the biggest in Germany.

Charles explained that 32 years ago the development of a Bailliage in Malta was sponsored by the Bavarian Bailliage.

Malta, of course, has an affinity with Bavaria from the past as many Knights of Malta were from that part of the world. In fact an Auberge de Bavière still exists in Valletta although it now houses a government department.

Jim Hennessy, His Excellency the Ambassador for Ireland to Malta, and his wife Monica were also warmly welcomed as was Maître Hôtelier David Woodward, a new professional member. David is General Manager of the Corinthia Palace Hotel having previously been a Chaîne member in Strasbourg. Another new member to the Bailliage is Dame de la Chaîne Dr Marlyse Cremers.

Now to the culinary side which was deliberately biased to introduce our German guests to local fare.

A flurry of introductions was excellently assisted by Cassar de Malte Brut and canapés, prepared under the innovative direction of Executive Chef Roderick Vella.

To start with, there was a Chef’s choice of amuse bouche, followed by an extraordinary combination of seafood sensations from octopus, red mullet, sea urchins and squid textured in tomatoes accompanied by a calamansi emulsion. Neptunus 2010 DOC Superior Vermentino from San Niklaw Estate in Malta partnered this.

A lemon sorbet refreshed the palate for a full tasting of local pork in different variations – stuffed fillet, ale braised cheek, butt and shank terrine with dauphinoise potatoes.

Accompanying this innovative course was a Contrada Ta’ Fangu 2009 DOC, barrel-matured Syrah, again from San Niklaw Estate.

The culinary feast was concluded with caramelised white chocolate and cassis mousse, apple and rhubarb crumble and kumquat ice-cream served with a Maltese Guze’ Passito, Syrah Vendage Tardive from Marsovin.

By the end everyone was dizzy with unaccustomed tastes and textures. Chef Joseph Vella and his brigade were toasted and applauded magnificently when they were presented with an appraisal by Bailli Délégué Joseph Xuereb.

Charles Gatt, Chancelier