By Angela Green
Hotel News is sponsored by HotelPartner UK
Corinthia Palace in Malta has announced a partnership with renowned Italian Chef Francesco Mazzei, launching 5 June 2023.
Mazzei and his culinary team will serve Italian classics and signature favourites throughout their residency, bringing a taste of Southern Italy to Villa Corinthia in the hotel, until December 2023. The restaurant will be open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.
Mazzei was raised with a passion for food, often in the family kitchen, and had his first taste of a professional experience working in his uncle’s Gelateria where he mastered Italian cakes and gelato by the age of nine, and later taking his first chef role at the age of 14. Over the last four decades, Mazzei has been recognised as one of the great Italian chefs, having worked in five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Calabrian-born Francesco Mazzei shared his enthusiasm about the residency, stating: “Spending time in Malta has been a goal of mine for several years, given its rich history, and proximity to Italy. And partnering with the iconic Corinthia Palace is a very exciting project. My Executive Chef Simone Petulla and I have created menus that will reflect the creative and diverse nature of Italian cuisine, to appeal to locals, hotel guests and visitors. I look forward to continuing to explore the abundant produce generated on and around the island and weaving these ingredients into our daily specials.”
Mazzei is creating an enticing menu of Italian classics, as well as his signature dishes. The menu boasts a generous selection of colourful antipasti, a fritto misto featuring seafood and seasonal vegetables from the Maltese shores and soil, and a show-stopping ‘Orecchia di elefante’. While the dishes will be rooted in Italian tradition and flavours, Mazzei and his team will draw inspiration from local seasonal produce to create a memorable and modern dining experience.
Alexandra Pisani, General Manager of Corinthia Palace, commented: “It is an honour to have such talents as Francesco Mazzei and his team with us in Malta, which will further position Corinthia Palace as a top culinary destination. He is much more than a chef – Francesco is passionate about celebrating the culinary arts, and he is a philanthropic inspiration who is dedicated to bringing about positive changes in the world.”
The wine offering will be equally well considered, with the sommelier team devising an accompanying wine list that will showcase exceptional selections from Italian vineyards. Signature Italian aperitivi and cocktails will also be served.
Francesco Mazzei’s first professional restaurant role was at a local fish restaurant in Calabria, aged 18, in 1992. To gain more experience, he moved to Rome and joined The Grand Hotel, followed by the goal of learning English and a transfer to London, working at The Dorchester under chefs Willi Elsener and Henry Brosi. After a brief return to Italy and the Michelin-starred Eden Terrazza, Mazzei came back to the UK to Santini restaurants in London, Edinburgh and Milan. A culinary highlight followed with L’Anima in the City of London, with its concentration on southern Italian cuisine. Most recently, Mazzei collaborated with D&D on several of the group’s Italian restaurants, including Sartoria, Radici and Fiume. Mazzei published his first cookbook – Mezzogiorno Southern Italian Cooking – in 2015, and his TV experience spans BBC shows such as Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef in the UK, Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy on CNN, and the Italian Hell’s Kitchen. He was also awarded an Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the President of Italy in 2020.