Carabott began cooking professionally in 2006 in his home nation of Malta at a four-star hotel, whilst studying at the Institute of Tourism Studies. From there, he graduated with a Diploma MQF level 4 in Culinary Arts and a City and Guilds level 3 IVQ, spending a year's placement at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland as part of his course.
On completion of the course he returned to Gleneagles for another 18 months. During that time, he completed brief stages at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and also represented the hotel at national competitions.
He moved to London in September 2011, working for Heinz Beck at the Michelin-starred Apsley’s restaurant in the Lanesborough Hotel which has now re-opened as Restaurant Celeste. He did a number of trials in restaurants in London before joining the team at the Royal Automobile Club under executive chef, Philip Corrick.
In the space of three years, he progressed from chef de partie to senior sous chef at the club's fine-dining restaurant, The Great Gallery. He says: "During my time here I was given creative freedom so that I could develop myself as a chef in a lot of ways, especially how to make a kitchen work as a team that’s made up of a lot of people from different backgrounds.
"It also exposed me to a range of cooking styles through promotions held at the club where renowned restaurants and chefs, both national and international, produce their menus for a limited time. Through the Club, I also spent a week staging at places like Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Staff development is highly encouraged where I work.
"I am also encouraged to take part in events such as last year’s National Chef of the Year where I managed to place third in the final and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Award of Excellence which I achieved in 2014. This year I reached the final of the Roux Scholarship, another one of the most important experiences I have been involved in."
Carabott says he entered NCOTY again this year to compare his standing with other chefs in the country and for the learning experience, exposing him to other cooking styles and techniques as well as receiving feedback from others.
"I am mostly influenced by what I would like to eat as a customer. Having worked with a number of chefs throughout my career, and being exposed to things I see in books or in media and experimenting, I have learned a number of techniques which help a lot. However, regardless of technique, it always starts with the ingredients for me," he says.