The island of Ibiza has today hosted the 4th Mediterranean Gastronomy Forum at the Casa Maca rural hotel, with the participation of some of Spain’s most renowned chefs and a total of 10 Michelin stars: Arzak, Disfrutar, Les Cols, Annua and La Finca de Elche, along with Paco Torreblanca, one of the world’s leading pastry chefs.
In this Ibiza Sabors event the chefs have worked with the island’s raw materials and paid tribute to the traditional recipes of the Pityusic Islands. This is an event organised by the Consell d’Eivissa and the Small and Medium Enterprises of Ibiza and Formentera, PIMEEF, where the 4th Local Producers’ Market was also held.
The chefs included the daughter of Juan Mari Arzak, Elena Arzak, whose restaurant in San Sebastian has three Michelin Stars. During her lecture, the chef gave a detailed explanation of the island’s seafood and defended the sustainability of the Mediterranean.
Eduard Xatruch, one of the founders of Disfrutar, a Barcelona restaurant with two Michelin Stars, highlighted the potential of the Ibiza prawn, which he used in three dishes evoking the tradition, sustainability and emotion of the island and the Mediterranean.
Meanwhile, Fina Puigdevall from Les Cols, a restaurant in Olot with two Michelin Stars, presented landscape cuisine and defended local products. She chose to be accompanied by another veteran of Ibizan cuisine, Lina Prats, from Es Rebost in Can Prats, to explain the recipe of ‘greixonera’ (ensaimada pudding), one of the island’s most typical and delicious desserts.
Chef Óscar Calleja, from Annua, a restaurant in San Vicente de la Barquera with two Michelin Stars, showed in Ibiza how he has revolutionized the world of canning with haute cuisine creations focusing on sustainability. He also paid tribute to the island with his version of the famous Ibizan ‘bullit de peix’ (fish stew). For this purpose, he was accompanied by another pioneer of the island’s cuisine, Catalina Riera, from Can Alfredo, who explained this traditional recipe before the chef presented his own version of this dish with a Cantabrian touch.
Desserts played a key role in this event, with Paco Torreblanca, one of the world’s leading pastry chefs, presenting his personal version of ‘flaó’, the medieval cheesecake that has survived to the present day and is typical precisely of the Easter season.
Finally Susi Díaz, from Finca de Elche, a restaurant with a Michelin Star, concluded this first Mediterranean Gastronomy Forum with a talk in which she captivated the audience by telling them how much effort it had taken her to become a chef, be awarded the star and become one of the celebrities in Spanish cuisine.
In addition to promoting the island’s tradition, sustainability and local products, this Forum also served to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the declaration of Ibiza as a World Heritage Site. To this end, Rafael Zafra, executive chef of Heart Eivissa and also of Estimar in Barcelona, gave a talk entitled “Ibiza, Culture and Biodiversity”, in which he presented his particular version of haute cuisine.
Casa Maca has thus been the privileged venue for this top-class culinary event, with the historic centre of Dalt Vila, the walled city declared a World Heritage Site, having been the natural setting for all the talks. In addition, each of the World Heritage properties has played its role in dishes created by chefs such as Íñigo Rodríguez, from the restaurant Pachá Eivissa, Silvia Sánchez, creator of La Arquiteca, Bruno Hernández, from Can Berri Vell, Matthieu Sauvariad, from Es Terral and David Grussaute, from Unic. An intensive programme, in which it has also been possible to sample some of the island’s most traditional dishes such as ‘cuinat’ (vegetable stew) or ‘sofrit payés’ (fried meat and vegetable dish), along with the personal versions of chefs Gonzalo Aragüez, from Sa Brisa (Ibiza and Madrid) and José Miguel Bonet, from Es Ventall, accompanied by veteran chefs from the island, Antonia Torres and Antonia Cardona, who have transmitted the flavour and cultural heritage of these dishes and been the stars of the show.