Patronal Dinner at the Phoenicia Hotel Floriana on Saturday the 2nd December 2023


The Malta Bailliage hosted its eighth and final event of the year, the Patronal Dinner, at the Phoenicia Hotel in Floriana on Saturday the 2nd  December 2023.


This is the introductory speech made by Chancelier Charles Gatt:

‘Confreres, Consoeurs and guests, good evening and a warm welcome to this year's final event, the patronal Dinner in honour of our Patron Saint, St. Nicholas.


The Phoenicia has been one of our favourite venues for many years and the management has always been extremely helpful and accommodating. I thank them for that.


The response for this dinner was more than expected and as you can see the room is at full capacity and if the spacing is a little tighter than usual, it is better than turning members away.


This evening we have a number of presentations to make to new members and members receiving a promotion.


In the past twelve months, we have had no less than nine new members some of whom are present to receive their certificate, membership card and badge.


We also have nine members who have been promoted to the grade of Officier and they will receive their nomination certificate. They have been members of the Chaine for several years and are of good standing.


According to the rules, the official diploma and ribbon for admission and promotion will be presented to members at a Chapitre held either in Malta or elsewhere.

For your information, the Bailliage intends to hold a Grand Chapitre in Malta in the first quarter of 2025.


May I now call our Bailli to present badges, certificates, and membership cards as appropriate:


  1. New member - Chevalier Andrew James Galea -   sponsored by Chevalier Alain Rigodin. Andrew is now our youngest member and will considerably reduce the average age of our Bailliage. Andrew’s father Joseph has also joined the Chaine but could not be with us this evening.


  1. New member - chevalier Ruben Galea. Sponsored by Dame Caroline Fox.


  1. New professional member - Maitre Restaurateur John Mizzi. Sponsored by Commandeur Lisa Grech.


Promotions to Officier De Malte, In Alphabethical Order:


  1. Officier Gerald Borg
  2. Officier Dr. Ramiro Cali-Corelo
  3. Officier Nadya Felice
  4. Officier Claire Hollier
  5. Officier John Moore
  6. Officier Veronica Moore
  7. Officier Malcolm Ross
  8. Officier Ing-Marie Tobin
  9. Officier Michael Tobin


Two other new officers who are not here this evening are Officier Nick Captur and Officier Burcu Sahinkaya.


Now back to our dinner this evening.  I thought the Bernard Remy Blanc de Noirs and canapes were excellent.


We have a very interesting menu and some special wines – the Echanson will brief us on the wines.


Please do not forget to toast the Chaine when the wine is served.


Maureen and I wish you all a happy Xmas and a happy and healthy New Year.


Enjoy the dinner and Vive La Chaine!’





Blanc de Noirs NV - Bernard Remy (France) and blinis


The canapés , lamb samosas and tempura prawns were fresh and crispy and came with their respective tsatsiki and soy sauces which complemented them very well


‘Traditional style champagne producer 100% Pinot Noir. Tasting notes: it had a good perlage and acidity with notes of summer fruits’





Amouse Bouche


A quaint beef cheek and pecorino tart was served as amouse bouche - fresh and eye-catching, and certainly an appetite-whetting start





Boudin of Smoked Salmon, Dressed Crab, Asparagus, Dill, Keta Caviar

(Boudin de Saumon Fumé, Crabe assaisonné, Asperges, Aneth, Caviar Keta)

The starter was a very pretty presentation of lampuki sashimi, lightly seared on the flesh side and set in Leche-de-Tigre, a beautiful and scrumptious emulsion of lime juice, Lemon Drop chilies and olive oil. A hint of red chili made this irresistibly mopping-up stuff and this was the humble lampuki raised to dizzy heights. The slightly off-dry Donnaluce Poggio Le Volpe was an inspired choice@


Wine: Astarte 2022 - Meridiana (Malta)

‘Locally well-known quality wine producer with 19 hectares in ta Qali.  Made from 100% Vermentino, a grape which usually does very well in Malta in my opinion.  This vintage was a bit disappointing and somewhat unbalanced with a modest acidity but with lowish fruit notes’



Main Course


Veal Fillet, Sweetbread Beignet, Grilled Lettuce, Beetroot

(Bordelaise Filet de veau, beignet de ris de veau, laitue grillée, bordelaise de betterave)

Lamb served two ways was the basis of our main course – grilled rack, with chops cooked to pink perfection and shoulder braised in Ras-el-Hanout spice which paired exceptionally well with the wine


Wine: Grand Maitre 2013 - Marsovin (Malta)


‘From Marsovin – the second oldest winery in Malta in 1919.  Own 20 hectares but co-manage another 180.

This time a mini vertical of two Grand Maitre vintages 8 years apart were concurrently offered with the main course

In both wines, the grapes are exclusively from the Ghajn Rihana estate and are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  Both were unfiltered and aged in new oak for 12 months

The 2013 had reached its peak with ripe red fruit with integrated tannins and an oaky spiciness while the 2021 has sweeter fruit with notes of black cherries and raspberries.  Both wines were well-balanced for their respective age and the fruitiness contrasted well with the acidity and tannins.  The Vanilla from new oak was most noticeable in the younger wine’





Nyangbo 60% Single Origin chocolate with Hazelnut and Raspberry, 'Fior di Latte' Ice Cream

(Chocolat Nyangbo 60% Origine Unique avec Noisette et Framboise, Glace « Fior di Latte)


There is apple tarte tatin, and then there is apple tarte tatin, and this was the latter! Soft and tasty and unctuous, and rounded off with homemade cinnamon ice cream – a marriage made in heaven! The Three Bridges botrytis semillion served here may not have been as sweet as a Tokay but held its own with the sweetness of the tarte


Wine: Guze Passito NV - Marsovin (Malta)


‘This is a naturally sweet red wine from partially raisined 100% local Syrah grapes.  Tasting notes: Intense black fruit, chocolate, spice and jammy prunes’





'Fourme D'Ambert', Pear and Ginger Chutney, Walnut toast


Wine: Kabir 2022 - Donnafugata (Italy)

‘Made from 100% Muscat D’Alexandria also known as Zibibbo in Pantelleria where this wine originates.  This is a highly acclaimed wine with well-integrated sweetness and notes of honey, fruit blossoms as well as peach and apricot and exotic fruit.’



Coffee and Petite Fours

Peanut crumble and chocolate truffle petit fours served with coffee rounded off this delightful dejuner amical


The comments on the food and wine accompanying the menu were prepared by Bailli Délégué Dr, Joseph Xuereb, and Echanson Dr Ramiro Cali-Corleo respectively.

                                        Wine Supplier: Meridiana Ltd. and Marsovin Ltd.

                                               Chef de Cuisine: M. Daniel Debattista



Mark Bailey

Charge de Presse

Vive La Chaine!


Below please find a link to the photo album of the occasion: