Welcome to my Mediterranean food blog. I’m Liz, a.k.a head family chef in an old stone house on the Mediterranean island of Malta. Red Bistro is our kitchen and the scene of our varied menu – a cultural and culinary blend of Anglo-Maltese family life. Its nickname comes from my life-long passion for red which has translated into kitchenalia in shades reminiscent of a Parisien cafe and a 1950s’ American diner.
Since it’s where I spend a lot of time, churning out often up to three meals a day kicking off from 0630 to midnight and beyond, I decided to call it a ‘bistro’. It helps me see cooking as fun, not a daily chore. Being a bistro means I have to think of every meal as something special, worth taking time over prepping and cooking, and time to savour it ‘slow-food style’ in company. Not something to fill a hole. A good bistro changes its menu daily of course. So, the challenge is on…
I try to cook from fresh ingredients using the best of local and what’s in season. This can mean thinking of 100 ways to use tomatoes in the summer when the islands have a glut. My son won’t eat tomatoes unless they’re merely a hint on a pizza! I console myself that they’re red.
This is my food photo diary; my way of remembering what I loved making and what the two men in my life loved most. It’s also a glimpse into Malta’s cuisine; surprisingly rich for a small archipelago, and a place where southern Mediterranean and northern African cuisines meet. Every so often, my menu recalls long-past holidays with a dish here or there drawn from favourite regions like Tuscany, Sicily, Provence and my old home ground of southern England. So, there’s a good dose of Anglophile influence too of course!
If you’ve ever said to your family in exasperation, “I don’t run a restaurant!” but know deep down that you do, Red Bistro is dedicated to you. I hope you find something useful and/or beautiful in my food servings to inspire yours.