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Etxeko Ibiza: Berasategui’s seal and the energy of the next generation

Etxeko Ibiza: Berasategui’s seal and the energy of the next generation

Martín Berasategui © ffmag

Etxeko Ibiza is in impressive Bless Hotel Ibiza, in equally spectacular Cala Nova, and is one of several gourmet spaces in a hotel that stands out for its firm commitment to food. After four years of activity, the hard work and efforts of a young team headed up by 33-year-old resident chef Paco Budia and head waiter Héctor Suárez, under Martín Berasategui’s banner, have paid off as they continue to give the best of themselves each day.

In 2022, they were awarded a prestigious Repsol sun and the year only got better for the team when, in November 2022, they discovered that they would join the exclusive list of starred restaurants in the 2023 Michelin Guide.

Paco Budia, head chef Etxeko Ibiza

Paco Budia © ffmag

Martín Berasategui has always been renowned for having a great eye when it comes to choosing his team and is particularly proud of this skill. At Etxeko Ibiza, it seems as though he has struck gold again. Cordoba-born Budia joined Lasarte to stage for six months when he was 19 but his drive, perseverance and joyful nature won Berasategui over, earning him a permanent spot on the team. So much so that, despite his youth (Budia was 28 when Etxeko Ibiza opened) Berasategui chose him for the Ibiza project.


“Artisans of the countryside”: the stars of the menu

Berasategui has long been known for wholeheartedly defending small, local producers. Etxeko Ibiza upholds this philosophy and produce supplied by small, local farmers and fishermen dominates the menu. It features ingredients from Ibiza and also from Berasategui’s Basque homeland; Etxeko means ‘roots’ in Basque in reference to the roots of Berasategui’s cooking, the aromas and flavours of his home and childhood. But food at the restaurant is also a fusion of the Mediterranean and Cantabrian seas, of the traditional and new.

Each year, at the end of the season, Budia travels back to Lasarte to join Berasategui and his team to work on next year’s menu. This year, as in previous seasons, the menu reveals several new developments but Budia explains: “we only change things that can be improved.” So, the 2023 menu still features great classics, such as the red prawn and vegetable marrow salad – one of Berasategui’s greats – alongside new creations such as the veal in its own juice with agliata and a gently lactic acidity or a spectacular langoustine carpaccio on a bed of fennel risotto in different textures.

Etxeko Ibiza dishes

Dishes © Etxeko Ibiza

The desserts are equally enticing, which comes no surprise because Budia began his career as a chef in a patisserie section. This year, highlights include vegetable and fruit-based desserts because, given the long menus, the idea was to give diners a fresh and surprising end to their meal. But if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be more than happy with the impressive 70% chocolate soufflé with fennel and mint ice cream.


Wine is equally important

Gourmet restaurants are famous for not leaving anything to chance, especially when it comes to pairing wine with their creations. Etxeko Ibiza is no exception. Sommelier Eliel Varela has carefully worked with Berasategui’s team to pair wines with each dish, prioritising Spanish wines made by small wineries that produce a limited amount of high-quality wine. “We always prefer Spanish wine and work with less well-known varieties, turning to small wineries that work the terroir with great care and use wine-making techniques that produce small amounts of honest and exceptional wine,” explains Varela, who adds that this year they have opted for “open pairing that can be adapted to the preferences of the diner while respecting the harmony of the dish as a whole.”

Dinning room Etxeko Ibiza

Dinning room © Etxeko Ibiza

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