Debbie Schembri

Always having had a keen interest in cooking and the rituals associated with it, Debbie took a different route into the culinary world. After graduating with a BA in English she decided to take her love of food further by turning a hobby into a career by taking up the position as chef on board charter sailing yacht.

Working as a private chef on board yachts for three years, travelling between the Caribbean and New Zealand allowed her to engage in the local culinary culture whilst experimenting with regional produce. This was both a learning experience but also an insight into the similarities and differences between a variety food systems.

Debbie decided to leave a life of travel on the sea in favour of learning from some of the most experienced chefs in the industry. Interning at Noma, Copenhagen and Coi, San Francisco, she learnt the extreme discipline required to work in kitchens of Michelin level as well as a variety of new techniques pertaining to fermentation, working with wild produce and outdoor cooking.

Her travels opened up her knowledge of world produce but they also gave her a renewed appreciation for our local food scene. It was for this reason that she returned to Malta to work as a private chef catering personalised dining events using quality ingredients from smaller producers, in client’s homes.

Debbie has a particular interest in the human connections, customs and stories associated with the act of eating. Her interest in the anthropological aspect led her to make various voluntary trips, most recently to Greece and Lebanon, where, not only was she able to engage with people and help through her cooking but was able to learn first-hand from locals about regional dishes of those areas in the Mediterranean.

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