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Ibiza’s gastronomy shines at the overwhelmingly successful 6th edition of We Are FaceFood

Ibiza’s gastronomy shines at the overwhelmingly successful 6th edition of We Are FaceFood

We Are Facefood Ibiza 2024 © ffmag


The prestigious We Are FaceFood Ibiza gastronomic event has once again staged its unique culinary show in Ibiza, marking this sixth event with an extravaganza that surpassed all expectations. From 11.00 a.m. on Friday, the 15th of March, the gardens of the Agroturismo Atzaró Hotel & Spa were transformed, once again, into a vibrant hotbed of flavours, smells and culinary talent, drawing no less than 12 holders of Michelin Stars and 23 Repsol Sun holders in a celebration of the gastronomic arts at their finest. As every year, this event marked the start of the season in Ibiza, having become a not-to-be-missed gathering for around 800 guests from the catering sector. 

Founded and organised by FaceFood Mag, sponsored by Estrella Damm and co-sponsored by Moët Hennessy, Balfegó and El Encinar de Humienta, and with a great partner in S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, the event has retained its authenticity as the epicentre of the Pitiusa Islands’ catering industry, and as a driver of Ibiza and Formentera’s thriving culinary scene.

Rafa Zafra and Ricardo Acquista. We Are Facefood Ibiza 2024

Rafa Zafra and Ricardo Acquista © ffmag

 

A display of stellar talent

Visitors were rewarded with a highly varied programme. At 11.00 a.m., the participating chefs arrived at the site in a Mercedes car from the Ibiza Terrenauto Ibiza dealership, and then began the round of talks and workshops offered by figures such as Paco Roncero, Antonio Belotti and Ignacio Echapresto. Their presentations thrilled their audiences with stories of innovation, future developments and sustainability in haute cuisine. The Portuguese chefs Victor Jardim and Filipe Carvalho, distinguished representatives of Portuguese gastronomy, could also be seen on the stage (La Cocina [the Kitchen]). In addition, Rafa Zafra and Ricardo Acquista, along with Arnau Subías Baratau (gastrobiologist and marine scientist) presented their fascinating and innovative Gastrobio project, while Walter Sidoravicius, Óscar Molina, Álvaro Sanz, Paco Budía and David Grussautte shared their unique perspectives and their passion for cooking. The presence of all these chefs was a living testimony to the pioneering spirit that characterises Ibiza’s gastronomic scene.

 

A meeting for experts and culinary alliances

In brilliant sunshine (as we have come to expect), the event was more than just a spectacle for the senses: it was also a forum for sharing ideas and creating strategic alliances among the professionals working in Ibiza’s catering industry. With presentations and show-cooking sessions by chefs such as Jonatan Yelamos, Armand Vidal, Mauro Rivas and Antonio Belotti (organised by Balfegó and directed by Esteban Capdevila), and seminars on sustainability and the future of the restaurant sector, We Are FaceFood 2024 offered a climate conducive to truly enriching discussion.

Chef Paco Roncero 2 Michelin Stars and Jesús Trujillo, CEO of FacefoddMag

Paco Roncero and Jesús Trujillo © ffmag

 

A veritable fiesta of flavours

Over forty premium brands from across the modern culinary world had a presence at this We Are FaceFood event, transforming the Atzaró’s gardens into a mosaic of stands for tasting both innovative and traditional products of the finest quality. The event’s star attractions included industry leading lights, such as El Encinar de Humienta, Balfegó, Moët Hennessy and S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna water, not forgetting the small Ibiza Sabors exhibition of the island’s products which added an extra-special gloss to the event.

 

The best of the best...

Not unexpectedly, the participating brands put on an incredible display, including Josper, which introduced two imposing coal ovens and an impressive grill to show that whatever you cook, whether meat, fish or vegetables, their ovens and grills produce a fantastic result.

Something new this year: Iberconseil, a company specialising in European cheeses, attended with their unusual, unique and authentic cheeses from every region of Europe. They presented all kinds of flavours: mild, sweet, strong, piquant, spicy, etc. A most intense experience for the senses.

Marine products were eminently represented, with Marconil oysters, impressive Aquanaria sea bass, the amazing desalted El Barquero cod steaks and the delicate texture of wild red Alaska salmon from Alaska Seafood. Genuine sybarites could also savour the deep-sea flavour of king crab from Arctic Crab and the intensity of imperial caviar from Zar Imperial Caviar. Two great new introductions in fish this year were from Prodemar, a Galician company that both surprised and impressed us with their splendid sole and turbot, and Agur with their low-salt, juicy, intensely iodised anchovies, presented in ceramic pots.

Show cooking

Show Cooking © ffmag

The fish and seafood wholesalers Bamberry and Consuelo & Pardalet delighted those present with their magnificent display of still lifes which, given their quality, could not fail to impress. Nor must we forget Plancton Marino, the company which, along with the charismatic and highly acclaimed Ángel León, developed this potent seasoning to stimulate the tastebuds.

Meat producers could have had no better representative than El Encinar de Humienta, which brought along some of the finest meats to be found on the market, enjoying a unique space as one of this event’s great novelties.

If there’s one thing more typically Spanish than good meat, it’s a good starter, and the king of starters in Spain is, without a doubt, Iberico ham. And the people from Gourmet Ibérica are well aware of this fact, as they arrived at the event with a complete arsenal of Iberico hams from Spain’s four principal ham-producing regions (Extremadura, Huelva, Salamanca and Córdoba).

The dough experts, Triticum, with their hundreds of highly original recipes, have succeeded in transforming that most humble ingredient (flour) into the true centrepiece of the tables where it is served.

JcQUOI. We Are Facefood Ibiza 2024

JNcQUOI © ffmag

A meal cannot be deemed good unless it is served with a decent olive oil. Again, Castillo de Canena exhibited some of its finest products, including an endless variety of gastronomic and gourmet oils, blends of flavours, and such novel variations as smoked virgin olive oil and plankton oil. 

Koppert Cress, a company that never fails to surprise us with the diversity of its wares, made another appearance this year, showcasing bean sprouts, a product in high demand from modern chefs. Caviaroli, which have become a fixture at the event, did not let us down this year, surprising us with their impressive oil pearls. 

The Italian touch was contributed by no less than Mammafiore, which left those attending wide-eyed with delight at their exceptional range of Italian cheeses and cold meats. An array of bresaolas, hams, smoked meats, cured meats, sausages, sorpressas [salamis], mozzarellas and burratas, stracciatellas and Parmesans, oils and dried tomatoes, not forgetting their superb olives. 

Another classic Italian producer, and an essential at any gastronomic exhibition, is the supplier Hermanos Meneghello which, thanks to its partnership with the Ipizza company, offered a tasting of some of their vast range of pizzas and focaccias.

Ponencia de Paco Roncero frente a los asistentes al We Are Facefood Ibiza 2024

Ponencias © ffmag

The desserts also had an Italian flavour, as Sandro Desii capitvated those present with their spectacular Italian ice creams, as did Valhrona with their fantastic desserts and chocolates. 

Not always, but now and then, it is good to eat from a different plate. And no-one knows this better than the people from Klimer, who never fail to surprise us, year in and year out, with their original designs in tableware and kitchenware. Of course, this Madrid company has recently begun specialising in biodegradable and eco-friendly, single use and take-away formats.

Xpepper were also in attendance for another year, exhibiting the latest trends in uniforms. Showing how current fashions also influence the design of uniforms for the industry.

And we couldn’t possibly fail to mention the presence of Ibiza’s most important brands and suppliers of drinks. Along with Acqua Panna and S. Pellegrino, the producers of gourmet Italian mineral waters, the Barcelona company Agua KmZero offered on its stand a sustainable, eco-friendly solution to supplying quality water to the hotel trade, thanks to its advanced filtration system.

The wine sector was well represented by the supplier Bedrinks, which offered several tasting sessions of its flagship products. Vino & Co were also in attendance, with their wines and sakés.

Audience attending the sixth edition of We Are Facefood Ibiza held in the gardens of the Atzaró Ibiza hotel

Atzaró © ffmag

In addition, Gin Raw, Ron Don Papa and Vermuth Dos Déus offered tastings of their spirits.

Gimber demonstrated how its ginger concentrate can be used in cocktails. And as something new this year, Café Meke offered all participants and visitors the opportunity to try its splendid, sustainable, ethical and organic coffee, hand-roasted in Ibiza.

Zelenski & Rozen, meanwhile, displayed their range of soaps and cosmetics designed especially for the hotel and catering sector. Unique colours and textures.

The band Swingin Tonic and the Blue Kids brought the proceedings to a close, creating the perfect atmosphere for those attending to socialise and have fun. The closing address was given by Jesús Trujillo, the director of FaceFood Magazine, who reiterated his gratitude to the exhibitors, brands and partners for making this sixth We Are FaceFood event such an acclaimed success. With the promise of continuing as a key annual event, We Are FaceFood has consolidated its position as an unmissable date in the Balearic culinary calendar.

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