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Your Chef: Claire Borg

Biography:

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Claire, our resident Chef

Here is some background  information about  me so you can better understand my approach to cooking and my respect for food.

I started experimenting with food at the age of two, were I wanted to peel, chop and cook all day long. Dolls never interested me! So it was at an early stage that everyone realised my inclination towards food.

I absorbed everything that concerned the subject and, when it was time for me to hit the stove, each experience enriched my know how. I mostly picked ideas from members of my family, then TV, books and restaurant experiences. I attended catering school, then went to Switzerland to work in a hotel in Bern at the age of 18. I moved to bartending for a short spell, but I soon returned to my roots and love for food, when i went to London to learn about pastry.

I worked under the supervision of Paul Gayler, world famous chef, popular for his vegetarian cooking and book writing, at the Lanesborough Hotel in Hyde Park corner.

I had no true teacher, i just followed an in-born instinct and learnt as I went along. I am still learning...  Travel and curiosity play a major role in my personal growth in cooking.

I have ventured into vegetarian cooking many times..and am a part time vegetarian :-). By following this way of eating, i have discovered many new ingredients like quinoa, kamut, millet, seaweed and other fantastic dishes to keep you smiling 365 days a year. Vegatables are NOT boring...but i cannot live without fish and game..sorry! and the odd steak tartare... and the odd Stracotto al Chianti...I'd better stop there!

I presently write for two magazines in Malta and also am a TV Chef on Net TV, a local channel.  I am also  a food photographer. It is a hobby that I enjoy and am good at. It's a personal achievement to be able to work with my editors and have my work published.

My personal attraction in this sector is the rediscovering of old local recipes and learning methods that are being lost. Also, the discovery of edible 'wild bad grass'. Wild spinach, borage, fennel, nettle and asparagus before were just grass in the countryside..now they are a part of my 'winter' diet. I follow the seasons, using seasonal ingredients, fresh from the local markets when i possily can. But in a year's time, my interests could be Japanese cooking in some remote place in Japan. Like the seasons, we change and so do our interests. It's part of growing.