We are thrilled to introduce Duncan Camilleri as our Head Chef at Bottegin Palazzo Xara.
We often joke that Duncan is one of two people within the company from the south of Malta and that is the reason for his loud and jolly character! From the St. Sebastian area in Qormi, Duncan’s interest and passion stemmed from childhood when he used to help his grandmother bake bread and savoury pastries in her bakery. Qormi is known for the smell of freshly baked bread early in the morning as there are numerous bakeries around this old city. Duncan’s Grandmother’s bakery is a special one though, as it was one of the few bakeries still open during World War II, where people from all walks of life used to take their Sunday, Christmas and other special meals such as Turkeys, Lambs and also bread to be baked in the bakery’s oven.
Following his passion for the culinary arts, Duncan studied at the Malta Institute for Tourism Studies and spent his one year work experience in a prominent chain hotel in Leicester in the UK.
Around a year and half ago back in Malta our executive chef Matthew, made contact with Duncan offering him the position of Head Chef at Bottegin Palazzo Xara. After some negotiating, Duncan accepted the position and one thing that impressed him about our small family, is that even though it is a family run company, the standard of organisation when it comes to operations is quite high. Well, as they say the rest is history and after six months within our unit, Duncan proved to be Matthew’s right hand man and you will definitely see him wherever there is need for a helping hand, be it MUŻA Restaurant, Grotto Tavern and now also Barracudas in St. Paul’s Bay. In the beginning of summer, Duncan was assisting our younger head chef in the kitchen in the opening days of Barracudas and the busy weeks that followed.
Enough about work! Duncan has been married to Rebecca since June 2016 and together they dedicate most of their love and attention to two adorable dogs, Winky the basset hound and Dobby (Harry Potter Fans through and through!) the French bull dog as well a ginger cat named Nacho! Duncan also spends most of his free time either training at the gym or watching movies. He loves cooking fresh pasta but enjoys eating Indian Curries, perhaps because they bring back memories of his and Becky’s honeymoon in India. And speaking of travels, his all time favourite had to be the time Duncan and his family travelled through Scotland in an RV and his next holiday destination is either Thailand or Morocco which had to be put off for the time being!
This past year, with Duncan as head chef has been a blast and here’s to many more laughs and delicious food!