facefoodmag ENibiza

IT IBIZA: Italian hospitality and cooking

IT IBIZA: Italian hospitality and cooking 

Francesco Sodano © ffmag

IT for Italy, IT that sounds like ‘eat’: this play on words with just two letters is a clear declaration of intent by a culinary group that is serious about becoming the ambassador for Italy’s impressive cooking and proverbial hospitality around the world. With a presence in Tulum (Mexico), Mikonos, London and Miami, the group’s managers always play it safe, using the finest ingredients and leaving the cooking side in the hands of renowned sector professionals.

Double Michelin-starred chef Nino de Constanzo has been Director of Food at the group for the past few years, and the recent choice of Francesco Sodano, also a Michelin star holder, as chief executive of IT Ibiza means that the bar is being set ever higher.


A little slice of Italy at Marina Botafoch

Your first impression on arriving at IT Ibiza is that you aren’t just another customer: staff go out of their way to attend and indulge you, making you feel unique. This is true to the extent that IT Ibiza believes hospitality and service are as important as a good meal, making them a benchmark in Ibiza and a stand-out brand within the group around the world.

IT Ibiza serves Spanish-style Italian food. What does that mean? The answer is that while the menu is clearly Italian, and a large part of its produce is imported directly from Italy, the menu has something of a Spanish accent, as seen in the selection of sharing dishes – sharing isn’t particularly common in ‘the Boot’ where diners normally order their own dish. What’s more, the menu features typically Spanish foods, such as Iberian produce, excellent local fish and Ibiza-grown vegetables.

IT Ibiza


New executive chef: one shared objective

At IT, Italian chef Francesco Sodano, who describes himself as “a very calm person but strict at work” serves vera Italian food that is direct and flavoursome, using “passion” as the driving force behind his cooking. “You don’t need a recipe. You need passion to cook because otherwise you’re a robot. A base, a chicken stock, [...] you never have the same product. You need passion and respect for the product,” he declares with the same passion he is describing.

A man of simple tastes, Sodano explains that his cooking always includes lemon, basil, garlic – “we’re Neapolitan,” he says with pride – and olive oil. “I don’t like using butter,” he says, adding: “Lemon symbolises me because I come from Amalfi. Lemons from Amalfi are incredible. My home is full of citrus trees.”

A cooking enthusiast, he recounts how his parents, who were both cookery teachers in a Neapolitan school, attempted to make him hate it because they knew how hard the job is. But their efforts failed to dissuade him, as did his first months working in a kitchen, cleaning squid day after day.

Sodano animatedly explains that he’s happy with “this new adventure” that he’s begun with Grupo IT, the first to open in Ibiza, also revealing that new openings are planned around the world.

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