Foodstarz Chef Series
Welcome to our Inaugural Chef Showcase
Over the next months, we will be getting close and personal with a few of our chefs. Our intent is for our members to learn more about our chefs… with personal stories and insights.
We hope you enjoy the series.
From Malta to Sweden… a Journey of family and food.
David Vidal grew up in Malta, where his uncle owned a confectionary. His father worked alongside his uncle everyday. It was David’s favourite hang out and also where he began to nurture his passion… cooking. David was lucky, he know at 13 he wanted to be a chef. So many of us, search and search and may never find our life’s work. Not David. He knew at a young age and always kept his eyes on the prize.
He studied in Malta at the Institute of Tourism Studies and later was taught by some great teachers. He then set out to be a master chef. His first love was Mediterranean and Sicilian and cuisine. Cooking up amazing meals with fine olive oil and fresh basil was his tour de force. His education and job searches led to London, etc., where he honed his skills cooking in Hotels and Restaurants throughout Europe. It was at one of these gigs he met his future wife a fellow chef from the very cold but beautiful Sweden. As it happens, in her home town is a famous hotel with a superb kitchen and it was there that they settled with David as the sous chef.
The Laholmen Hotel in Strömstad
Stromstad is a quaint Swedish fishing town with a lively yachting harbor on the sea. It is only 10 miles from the border with Norway. It is a popular destination spot for tourists as well as business leaders from around the globe.The hotel is a historic landmark, modernized for luxury lodging, conferences and gourmet dining. Being so close to other fishing towns and islands, the restaurant is never short of local, fresh and healthy delicacies.
The Laholmen Hotel in Strömstad
A Day in The Life
So from Malta where olive oil is king to Sweden where cream is a queen, David has been working in Stromstad for the last 4 years. As the sous chef, he has been on every station and has a deep rapport with his fellow chefs and kitchen staff. He understands how to run a kitchen from top to bottom.
“My first task every morning is to take my kids to school… not always an easy task. Then I walk just 10 blocks to the hotel, where by 8.00am our kitchen is in full gear. With my brother here, as well as others on the staff who I have worked together for quite some time.. we are a well oiled machine. We truly all share in the responsibility of running a kitchen. At 8.00am we are prepping for lunch, plus menu planning for dinner and any other special events. This can take all morning and then it is lunch time and I take a station and start cooking. I have been on every station here at the hotel, from the cold preps to hot main dishes. I like the diversity. Case in point- I am the sous chef in title but right now I on the pastry station… creating deserts and having some fun with it. It seems like just yesterday when I was at my uncle’s bakery.. watching him delight his customers.
After lunch is over, there is a few more hours of menu planning and meal prep. By 4.00pm, I am on my walk back home.. back to my son’s football practise and daughter’s after school interests.
With my wife being a fantastic chef, she is in charge of many of our dinners.. I play with the kids and then when dinner is done.. I sit back and get back to what I love… thinking about new recipes and reading about the latest trends. Right now my inspirations are coming from- Rene Redzepi, Alain Ducasse, Massimo Bottura, Enrique Olvera and Bjorn Frantzen to just name a few. I enjoy this life… being creative, doing what I love and still able to be at home with my family.”
David is a Lucky Man
David and his brother Michael
So food and family are the stories behind David’s life… It does not matter what location.. What type of food is most popular.. from fish in cream sauce in Sweden to fresh pasta with a bit of pure virgin olive oil and basil in Malta, David adapts to where he is, always looking to create something new and innovative that he can share with the world. One day he will own his own restaurant, we would not be surprised to see his whole family by his side in the kitchen.
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