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ION Harbour by Simon Rogan awarded second Michelin star

09/04/2024

ION Harbour by Simon Rogan has been awarded its second Michelin star, a year after chef Simon Rogan took the helm at the restaurant located within the Iniala Hotel in Valletta. Following today’s announcement, the award makes ION Harbour by Simon Rogan Malta’s first ever two Michelin star restaurant. There are currently six one Michelin star restaurants located on the island. ION Harbour is situated on the rooftop of 5 star luxury Iniala Harbour House Hotel, part of Iniala Group, and offers unrivalled views of the UNESCO Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta’s historic capital. 

Today’s announcement now makes the Simon Rogan restaurant group, also known as UMBEL, the purveyor of eight Michelin stars worldwide alongside, L’Enclume*** and Rogan & Co* in the Lake District, Aulis* in Soho and Roganic Hong Kong*, in addition to two Michelin Green stars awarded to L’Enclume and one to Roganic Hong Kong, both in 2021. 

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After receiving the news today in Malta, Simon commented: “Receiving news that ION Harbour has two Michelin Stars today is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my career so far. My team and I arrived here just over a year ago, knowing that we wanted to bring something different to the island’s restaurant scene, continuing to share the farm-to-table ethos we are known for globally. Most importantly, we wanted to ensure we worked as closely as possible with the suppliers and the produce on this beautiful island, whilst keeping sustainable practices front of mind. I am so proud of what we have achieved here so far, and alongside my Exec Chef Oli Marlow and the Iniala and ION Harbour team. It’s been a real joy to be part of the community and to have been so warmly welcomed by the locals and our guests who come to dine with us from all over the world. Knowing that we are the first ever two Michelin Star restaurant in Malta makes this all the more special – there will be celebrations in Valletta tonight that’s for sure.”

Mark Weingard, Founder and visionary of Iniala Group, said: “We’re delighted with the news that ION Harbour by Simon Rogan has won this prestigious accolade and proud that Iniala Harbour House now houses Malta’s first ever two Michelin star restaurant. It has been a joy to watch the restaurant evolve under Simon’s management and expert team, who have brought their passion for sustainability and utilising local produce to create exquisite menus to Malta’s restaurant scene. Simon and his team have been an invaluable part of the Iniala team as a whole since joining just over a year ago.”

For Simon and ION Harbour Executive Chef Oli Marlow, Malta’s landscape provides contrasting opportunities and challenges; high summer temperatures and low rainfall are countered by warmer winters, including a ‘second spring’ around October time. The team works to identify the very best and most aligned suppliers, working with experts and insiders to discover small-scale, sustainable producers including spear fishermen, and a third generation salt farmer in Gozo. They also work with a specialist forager and ION Harbour’s Head of Sustainability, Keith Abela, who assists with the identification of specialty and native breeds. As in Simon’s other restaurants, the commitment to sustainability extends well beyond the ION Harbour kitchen, with the bar team working with the chefs to utilise surplus ingredients that would otherwise go to waste, such as peels, stalks and stems. The restaurant was awarded one Michelin Star in 2021, under the helm of Andrew Borg, before Alex Dilling oversaw ION Harbour until early 2023. 

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