A simple menu of Kusksu bil-Ġbejniet (Broad bean soup with fresh cheeselets) and Ġelat tal-Bajtar tax-Xewk (Prickly Pear Ice Cream) was the winner of the 5th edition of the Maltese Cook Off, organized in Melbourne by community group nisġa! Carmen Portelli and her two children, Luke and Annie, impressed the judging panel taking out the award for overall winners as well as the best Maltese menu!
This annual event brought together 8 teams made up of 3 people, in some cases 3 generations from one family, cooking Maltese traditional food.
This year’s judging panel consisted of Maltese author and TV personality, Karmen Tedesco, Squisito Restaurant Head Chef Anton Camilleri and former MasterChef contestant, Chef Tregan Spiteri.
Emmanuel Cilia, his brother Anthony and nephew Matthew with team Taż-Żigilott came in 2nd place with their menu of Rabbit Gems and Baked Rice followed closely by Mill-Kċina ta’ Parkville, a team consisting of Edwina Mallia, Rosemary Attard and Antonia Camilleri, with their Bread with Bigilla (Broad Bean Paste) and Baked Swordfish, who also took out the People’s Choice Award!
The afternoon was a mixture of food and music; the 250 guests were entertained by renowned musician Nicky Bomba and his band, Bustamento, while veteran singer Nicol Caruana belted out a few Maltese favourites. An impromptu drumming session on pots & pans by Nicky Bomba had the crowd on their feet!
During the event, it was also officially announced that, the Maltese movie Simshar directed by Rebecca Cremona, will be screening in cinemas in Melbourne and Sydney.