A Diner Amical at the Xara Lodge on Saturday the 26th February 2022


The first Diner Amicale for 2022 of the Maltese Bailliage was held at the Xara Lodge on Saturday the 26th of February beneath the fortified city of Mdina.


A number of promotions and awards were given prior to the start of the dinner including:

Officier Commandeur Bernd Ritschel to Conseiller Gastronomique and Mr.John Attard to Chargde Missions.

Promotions to Commandeur (Silver):

Commandeur Contessa Louise Bailey Manduca

Commandeur John Attard

Commandeur Lisa Grech

Commandeur Dr. Mark Bailey

Commandeur Dr. Ramiro Cali-Corleo


The dinner menu was created by Executive Chef M. Kevin Bonello. The wines were supplied by Estate Wines. The selected wines were paired with the courses by our Conseilleur Culinaire Marc Besancon and Echanson Dr. Ramiro Cali-Corleo. The latter discussed the characteristics of all the wines to be served during a short address prior to the dinner.

The Xara Collection Executive Director Maitre Justin Zammit Tabona was on the premises during the dinner to make sure everything went smoothly in both the kitchen and dining room.


Vive La Chaine!



The full menu was as follows:




Canapes- Chefs selection


Dom Valentin Zusslin  Cremant d'Alsace Brut Zero N/V - Alsace


Traditionally made from Chardonnay and Riesling grapes. Fresh and baked pears aromas on the nose. The palate is dry and creamy and shows off rounded flavours of freshly baked pastry. The overall effect is one of harmonious balance





Beetroot Agnolotti Ricotta, Parmesan and Horseradish


Wine: Dom Valentin Zusslin  Riesling Bollernberg 2015 - Alsace



The grapes undergoes a long whole-cluster pressing and the wine is left for a lengthy maturation on its fine lees in oak barrels.  This results in a golden coloured wine already showing mature fruit flavours. It is ripe with a honeyed quality yet with great acidity and a long finish



Braised Veal Cheeks Celeriac, Cantabria Anchovy, Mustard



Wines: Dom Valentin Zusslin  Riesling Bollernberg 2015 - Alsace

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose 2022 - Rhone


The second course of Braised Veal cheeks was amazing, the taste and tenderness of the cheek, the side accompaniment of celeriac, all enhanced by the taste of Anchovy and a hint of mustard made this dish a very enjoyable experience.

Considered one of the top 5 bandols from a leading wine estate.  65% Mourvedre and the rest Chinsault.   This is a ripe and fully structured wine with very good acidity and red fruit, particularly raspberries, but also stone fruit and citrus.  The acidity is good and it has a strong finish.


Local Dentex – Jamon Iberico, Fennel, Lemon Verbena, Hay

Wines: Dom Valentin Zusslin  Riesling Bollernberg 2015 - Alsace

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose 2022 - Rhone


The main course of local Dentex was beautifully presented, with a very artistic combination of colours and textures. The combination of fish with the Jamon Iberico and the fennel worked very well.


Imported Farmhouse 4 French Cheeses including Brie de Meaux, Comte, Bleu D’auvergne, St. Nectaire, green Tomato Chutney and Ftira

Wine: Maynards Porto WhiteNV - Porto

The last course, a plate of 4 french cheeses, was well presented too and the cheeses were of the best quality, perfectly matured.


The comments on the food and wine were prepared by Conseiller Culinaire M. Marc Besancon and Echanson Dr. Ramiro Cali-Corleo.


Following dinner, the Bailli Délégué Dr. Joseph Xuereb, toasted the Executive Chef, M. Kevin Bonello, his brigade and the black brigade for making the evening another memorable occasion.