Self-made success story.
Once upon a time
When Marvin Gauci was 13 he helped out at a popular beachside hotel after school and during the summer months. He immediately took an interest in kitchen activities and started participating in breakfast preparations.
Marvin wasn’t particularly fond of academia and decided to ask the hotel owner for a full-time job once he finished secondary school, however the hotelier dissuaded him from doing so, and offered to support him through his studies should he decide to enrol at the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS).
Marvin joined ITS as agreed and began his formal training, however he always felt that he learned much better when working directly in the kitchen, rather than by attending classes. Marvin took the plunge and decided to terminate his studies and go back to where it all started and learn as much as he could; directly from the kitchen.
Marvin enjoyed several roles in various leading hotels in Malta, always striving to improve his skills, vary his experience, and fine-tune his culinary skills. He helped out in the kitchen, covered bar shifts, and worked the floor. He wanted to know everything there was to know about the way a restaurant lives and breathes.
The Emerald Isle
Marvin travelled to Ireland in 1997 to pursue his career. He spent the first six months working in catering, and then, as it sometimes happens, married his childhood sweetheart and had his first child – but perhaps that story is one for another time.
During his stay in Ireland, Marvin worked at the Buswells Hotel in Dublin, a historic Georgian hotel that dates back to 1882 and is located next to the Dáil (Irish Parliament). Marvin worked his way up in the kitchen, regularly cooking for a number of politicians and VIP guests.
Always intrigued by new experiences and passionate about taking things a step further, Marvin decided to run his first catering business by entering a joint operation to run a restaurant within a renowned golf club in Ireland.
Home is where the heart is
After a while Marvin and his family made the decision to move back to Malta. With enough experience, skill and techniques in his expansive recipe book, Marvin took a calculated risk and opened his first restaurant, Wild Thyme in Xemxija which he successfully ran for four years.
This marked the beginning of Marvin’s local success; as they say – the rest is history.
Five’s a charm
Today, Marvin operates three of Malta’s most successful and sought-after eateries:
Tarragon (2007) – The unprecedented award winning boutique eatery in St Paul’s Bay that specialises in meticulously constructed Modern Continental dishes.
Caviar and Bull (2014) – Madly trendy and seductively elegant, this St Julian’s restaurant offers haute cuisine, seafront cocktails, and molecular gastronomy.
Buddhamann (2015) – Asian flavours, international expertise and unique food presentation come together in this upmarket fusion restaurant perched right on the water’s edge.
Dinner in the Sky (2016) – The ultimate dining experience. Expect all the perks of dining under Chef Marvin’s capable hands, while being suspended 40m in the sky overlooking one of Europe’s most historical and majestic harbours.
Caviar and Bull Budapest (XXXX) – Located within the stunning Corinthia Hotel Budapest, this restaurant is set to impress and raise new standards in the bustling Bohemian capital.
The pursuit of knowledge
A firm believer in ongoing progressive education, Marvin travels regularly to work in various kitchens around the world which allows him to improve and consistently reinvent himself. From the Barcelona kitchens run by world-famous chef Ferran Adrià, to the iconic Hakkasan, Skylon, Santini and Novikov up-market restaurants in central London, Marvin has undertaken training, cooked alongside some of the world’s most renowned chefs and catered for a multitude of famous DJs, film stars, political figures, and international delegations amongst others.
To date, Marvin has worked in top restaurants in Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Austria and the UK.
In the media
Apart from representing Malta during several international conventions, Marvin has also been featured in several local and international magazines and newspapers. He has also been featured on national Italian station Rai Uno, as well as on Japanese TV amongst other media appearances.
With regards to the future, there are talks of launching a boutique hotel with two restaurants – “The minute you stand still, you automatically move back,” he charmingly concludes.