top of page

What it means to be an African woman and a passionate chef in Malta

“I love my food and I must be satisfied with everything that I serve to my customers. Like my children, they deserve only the best”, says Chef Lucy, owner of "His Grace Restaurant”. Bugibba is a vibrant tourist hotspot of Malta, where among many others, you will come across a culinary gem named " His Grace Restaurant '' .

“A tribute to God who helped me beyond belief, and in honour of my daughter Grace who was borned the year I decided to take up the challenge to open my own Restaurant”, says Lucy Chidimma, owner of this Nigerian restaurant where she threw all her passion for food.

Chef Lucy is an accomplished African restaurateur who runs  her business and her family with love, dedication and at the same time with an the iron fist needed to be successful.

For our video series Empowering Communities, she delved into leadership, passion for cooking, and to why her restaurant is  a must-visit destination for African food lovers but also for novices.  

Her passion into the culinary world began at the tender age of 10, under the watchful eyes of her mother and sisters in Nigeria, where she first learned to perfect the traditional dishes that now grace her menu.

Chef Lucy makes it with the considerable support of her partner, which helps to  maintain the standard of her restaurant and keeps  the ambition of one day being able to return to her studies.

Above all, know the man you want to build your life with. It has to be someone who supports you in all ways.

To women like her who are passionate about something, Chef Lucy advice is never to give up. “ Above all, know the man you want to build your life with”, she says. “It has to be someone who supports you in all ways”.

She tells women to give priority to their economic independence, which will enable them to be fully respected by their partners and be role models for their children and younger generations of African girls.

 Raised in an environment where hard work and determination were part of everyday life, Lucy has always had a strong will to succeed. Initially arriving in Malta to pursue her nursing studies, she soon faced numerous challenges that steered her towards a different path.

Lucy Chidimma is the Chef at "His Grace Restaurant". Credit photo: African Media Association Malta

Those obstacles, compounded by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately led her to revisit her first love: cooking. But passion is not enough to set up a business, especially for a mother of two young children, for an African woman on a single work permit document: you need money!

We don’t have an extended family here that can help you with the children. It's more complicated. You have to do everything. As to opening a business, for us on a single work permit, we were requested half a million euro to be given a license.

The Covid pandemic was an unexpected opportunity, as it allowed for a change in policies that opened the doors even for third country nationals, leading to the possibility for many foreigners on a single permit to open their own business without the need to demonstrate the half million financial capacity.  "His Grace Restaurant” was created.  

Chef Lucy’s  previous experience running a restaurant in Nigeria provided her with the foundational skills needed to establish her business independently, despite the challenging circumstances.

I love my food and I must be satisfied with everything that I serve to my customers. They are like my children.

Lucy is known for her perfectionism, a trait that ensures every dish served is a masterpiece. This quest for perfection makes it difficult for her to delegate cooking responsibilities, often preferring to handle the preparations herself to maintain the high standards she sets. "I cannot find a chef that I trust enough with my food”, she said laughing. “I love my food and I must be satisfied with everything that I serve to my customers. They are like my children, I will give them only what I can give to my children, only the best”, she says.

His Grace Restaurant specialises in Nigerian dishes. You can taste meals such as Jollof Rice, Egusi sauce, and other many traditional Nigerian dishes: “for newcomers to Nigerian food, I recommend to start with Jollof Rice, soups might be too strong at the start” she said laughing.

 Lucy has succeeded in her challenge to bring the flavours of her homeland to the Mediterranean, where people are increasingly interested in diverse culinary experiences. She caters for special occasions and is available on delivery applications such as Wolt and Bolt Food. 


bottom of page