one80 was founded thanks to a mutual love of food!
For Rouvin Zammit Apap and Jesmond Vella food and service has been a constant source of passion and imagination. In fact, the duo – who met through their careers in five-star hotels – had always wanted a restaurant of their own, and one80 is the result.
The one80 brand started with one80 Kitchen & Lounge, Mellieha in May 2016 – a landmark on the pretty hill up to Mellieha centre. A restaurant famed for its welcoming atmosphere, fabulous indoor and outdoor dining options, extensive menus with dishes to suit vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements, an unmatched international wine list, and dedicated service.
one80 Kitchen at Mgarr Yacht Marina, Gozo opened it’s doors 3 years later, in May 2019. A new restaurant in the heart of the Yacht Marina which introduced an all new dining concept to the area – Choose from a selection of tapas, chicchetti & small plates to share so that you get to taste a little bit of everything that appeals to you on our menu!
With long careers in the hospitality industry already behind them, Rouvin Zammit Apap and Jesmond Vella set out to create their own culinary concept on the Maltese Islands – one that lived up to their high standards, creative foodie imaginations, and enthusiasm for quality.
Rouvin Zammit Apap
Rouvin always had a passion for hospitality and service, in particular for the food and drink industry which saw him follow in his father’s footsteps when, at 14, he was already actively involved in the management of a family-run bar in Bugibba. Rouvin enrolled at ITS, reading for a fulltime Higher Diploma in Hospitality Management that included an instrumental one-year internship at Gleneagles, a five-star luxury hotel in Scotland. He returned to Malta and started working with Island Hotels Group while furthering his studies at the University of Malta, completing a BA in Tourism. He started off as a bartender and, over a period of 15 years, climbed the ranks, reaching a career high as Food & Beverage Manager at the Radisson Blu in St Julian’s, a position that was seminal in his career and an ideal precursor for the subsequent development of one80. Rouvin’s other notable milestone after the Radisson was occupying the position of Operations Manager for a renowned local five-star hotels brand.
Rouvin treasures quality time with his wife Graziella and their little daughter Ella and baby Kai. He loves dining out with friends, exploring new wines, travelling, and fashion. When it comes to the latest trends, be it in music, or the food and drink industry, he is right there, following with a watchful eye and brainstorming about how any of it can be applied to the one80 brand!
Jesmond’s career started back to 1990, when he enrolled at ITS for a two-year course focusing on service. He split his time between Malta and a work placement at the upscale five-star London Hilton on Park Lane, which really cemented his passion for the industry. After three years at the Hilton in Malta, he decided to scratch the ever-growing itch and go back to London, working at the Langham Hilton, a place he equates with the start of his relationship with wine. After a while, he heard that the Radisson SAS was opening in Malta and he flew in for an interview. Working as Bistrot Manager, he was part of the very first team when the Radisson SAS St Julian’s opened its doors on the island. In 2000 he went to Orlando and Dallas for training on a brand that was due to open an outlet in Malta. After four years working on that, he reached a career high as Food & Beverage Manager at the Radisson Blu in St Julian’s, cementing his standing in the industry, and more particularly in the local five-star hotel scene.
When not at the restaurant, Jesmond loves spending quality time with his family, travelling and reading – mostly about wines. He is also a passionate Liverpool FC supporter.
Chef Thomas Borg
It all started around nine years ago when Chef Thomas discovered his passion for cooking. This was when he stepped into a professional fast paced kitchen service environment. Since then, Thomas had several opportunities working in kitchens head by some of the best chefs in Malta as well as in award winning fine dining kitchens in the UK, cooking for esteemed and very high ranked guests. The time spent in the UK was a melting point of many different foods and cultures. Chef Thomas has always challenged himself and aimed for the top, and he’s constantly on the lookout for new creative techniques and cuisines through travel.. His ambition saw him competing in a number of important culinary competitions. Having joined the one80 brand back in June 2020, he immediately clicked with the concept and the stunning location at Mgarr Yacht Marina Gozo, and we couldn’t be happier.
The menu Chef Thomas has put together is all about creating an ‘easy’ menu anyone will enjoy . Inspired by local, Mediterranean and Sicilian cuisine, simple good food with a touch of class and finesse. “I love creating menus for such a fantastic restaurant and using the finest of ingredients to produce great quality food. The head chef position for me is an incredible opportunity for growth and to showcase my development throughout the past years. I get inspired by meeting so many hard working colleagues, sourcing the best seasonal commodities and the passion put into the execution of a high-end product. We aim for perfection and nothing less. The buzz and the adrenaline that kicks in during a busy service, watching my team face down, focused on what we all love doing is what keeps me going day by day”.
Thomas off duty – usually at the family–run farm, eating out with family and friends and spending time with his girlfriend. He loves swimming, fishing and on top of the list, travel.
Our ingredients form the very core of our concept here at one80, and they take pride of place in everything that we do.
With that in mind, we are honoured to work with some of the best local producers – from fishermen and farmers, to bakers and wine merchants – to guarantee we serve the very best, all year round.
We aim to provide customers with supreme taste, impressive quality service and pleasant dining experiences.