Kevin Bonello’s culinary journey began as an apprentice chef at Ristorante Cosmana Navarra in Rabat, Malta. Fuelled by his passion for culinary arts, he pursued further studies in food preparation and production at the prestigious Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS). This was followed by training in London at the Berkeley Hotel and various Michelin-starred restaurants.

Tell us a little about your new role at The Grand, York

I'm very excited about this new chapter in my career as the Executive Head Chef at The Grand, leading a group of 30 very talented chefs. I am now running the casual dining Restaurant ‘The Rise’, the fine-dining restaurant ‘Legacy’, the ‘The 1906 Bar’ as well as the Conference & Events banqueting. It’s an exciting role in a great city with the opportunity to make a positive impact at The Grand, with the years of experience I bring with me.

First dish you learned to cook?

I would say the first dish I ever learnt to cook was a proper French omelette. Made by tempering the pan with salt and folding in the centre to create the perfect soft omelette – delicious!

Most vivid childhood food memory?

From a very young age I remember helping my mother to prepare Sunday lunches for all of the family. Back home, in Malta, we love to welcome friends and family into our home for dinners. It is a very happy memory for me.

Most memorable meal out?

Tricky question! I have had lots of memorable meals, but one that particularly stands out is a long lunch with a group of friends at the famous El Celler de Can Roca in Girona.

Favourite ingredient?

Definitely fresh Mediterranean fish. The salty Mediterranean sea makes the fish so full of flavour, meaning it brings a lot to any dish.

Your go-to snack?

It would have to be pickles! They are my ultimate comfort food. In the summer I also love watermelon to cool down in the heat.

Your dream dinner guest, and why?

Roger Federer, since a young age I have been inspired by him and his drive in his professional life. I would love to dine with him and talk to him about the success in his career!

Great British Life: Kevin's guilty food pleasure: a grilled steak with creamy bearnaise sauce and crispy french fries. Kevin's guilty food pleasure: a grilled steak with creamy bearnaise sauce and crispy french fries.

What's your guilty food pleasure? 

It’s difficult to pick just one… if I had to choose then I would say a grilled steak with creamy bearnaise sauce and crispy french fries. Delicious!

A food industry person who inspires?

Rasmus Kofoed, who is Chef Patron of a 3-star restaurant in Copenhagen named Geranium. Kofoed creates dishes based on strictly vegetarian principles and has often inspired me.

A place you love to eat?

In the main restaurant of Hotel San Pietro Positano, just off the Amalfi Coast. I have had some truly wonderful meals here and it is a beautiful location too.

Tell us about your favourite dish

It has to be suckling pig paired with fermented vegetables, pickled date and mustard seed-tomato jus and salt baked celeriac. The idea is to use the whole pig from head to toe and accompanying it with fermented vegetables to cut through the fattiness of the suckling pig. The mustard jus elevates the whole dish and gives more complexity to the plate

What has been a career highlight?

Gaining a Michelin Star in 2020, when the first Guide came to Malta, whilst I was working at the de Mondion Restaurant in Mdina. It was a very proud moment for me both on a professional and personal level.

Great British Life: Kevin's team at The Grand, YorkKevin's team at The Grand, York