Getting to Know Local Forager, Food Scientist and Chef Keith Abela

Getting to Know Local Forager, Food Scientist and Chef Keith Abela

Emily francis and Keith able

Keith Abela is one of those rare finds that every food lover wishes they could meet in the world. He is a food scientist and goes foraging for all of the local ingredients that he uses to make his products. Founder of Natural Preserves, a local company that creates and sells masterfully crafted blends of jarred products, he also studies healthy bacteria and spores in his laboratory.

Starting out at the age of 14 learning to become a chef, Keith has had a wonderful and successful career as a chef and even owned his own restaurant. Now he devotes his time to the science of food, studying the spores and fungi. He creates his own cheeses and vinegars as well as jams and whatever else is in season at any given time. He knows the forests better than most people ever will. He knows what grows in what areas, as well as when they are in season and then picks them himself to prepare his fine recipes.

In his spare time, he often can be found spearfishing and bringing in ‘bullet tuna’ to make his wild bullet tuna pate. Bullet tuna is a type of tuna that many people don’t use since it is not the type you find at the grocery store in the can. He has a background in commercial fishing; he learned a lot about the bullet tuna more commonly known as Timbre is a fully sustainable fish and many times gets thrown away or used as bait for other fish. Keith tells us this is not the best way to use this fish as part of the food chain and so he uses it in his homemade jars of pate.

Keith feels quite a close connection to the land and wants to do what he can to utilise the lands. He has an intense level of reverence and respect for Malta, its lands and the food grown here.

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