Today three years ago, Malta lost a mother of three, known to many for her sincere love of food, keen eye for styling and famously unexpected passion for gardening.
Daphne Caruana Galizia was the editor and publisher of Taste & Flair magazine, a magazine distributed with the Malta Independent on Sunday, dedicated to the visualisation of the epitome of home life and living in Malta.
Daphne’s knack for descriptive writing found itself deeply at home within a family context. Her love for her sons and her delight as they grew into men were chronicled in titbits and anecdotes scattered throughout her publications, showing a side to the investigative journalist that many may have forgotten since 2017.
Daphne had a passion for food that revelled in the elegance of eating.
“When your subject matter is food, you’re not going to have an uninspiring work-day or a photoshoot that’s anything less than compelling. #50, April 2012
“If only we could all be the sort who can make perfect pink macaroons with one hand while glazing a cake with the other” #65, November 2013
Taste & Flair was originally called ‘Taste’ when it launched in 2004, which should give you a sense of just how important food was to Daphne.
Her editorials were written in her trademark way, with bold, strong imagery and statements to accompany the magazine.
I mean, who else would say: “the tomato sandwich, not as ordinary as it sounds by any means, is a particular hit, even visually” about a tomato sandwich?
She was able to elevate even the most mundane food into the ethereal, through nothing more than some choice words and sense of respect for food, and the talented cooks who make it.
The December issues of T&F were always something to look forward to – her ability to visually lay out scrumptious meals using nothing more than words was beyond impressive:
“We raid the shops for spices and scented oils, truffle past, and piles of salami, luscious chocolates and rich biscuits. And somehow it all just disappears. Pies, cakes, and tarts, pastry and foie gras, Stilton and brie, port and brandy, pheasant and turkey or a big leg of pork – it certainly is a time of largesse and not a time to measure things out, except on your ingredients list,” she wrote in issue #66 in December 2013.
Photo: Jamie Vella
Cooking allowed her to create modern Maltese dishes that would resonate with readers.
“Writing about food and cookery in the thick of an election campaign is a curious sensation, but a welcome distraction” – #58, March 2013
Being a great chef often comes with the love of food, and for Daphne, being able to cook well, no matter the occasion, was a badge of honour.
Friends and family of Daphne would often speak about bountiful spreads in her garden, with perfectly made-up tables covered in all your favourite foods. People would be able to taste a bit of this, and taste a bit of that, surrounded by her beautiful Bidnija garden.
Image: Seb Tanti Burlo’
But it was her style that had people coming back for more.
“Despite all the calorie warning and the carbohydrate scare stories, people are still eating pasta, and so they should” #80, July 2015
Just look at her aesthetic and stylistic approach – informal, intelligent and sublime.
“The December issue of Taste&Flair was our mother’s favourite, always filled with what she loved to share: good food, beautiful art, design and interiors, and a miscellany of objects which would make wonderful gifts” – Matthew, Andrew and Paul Caruana Galizia #108, December 2017