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What’s the recipe behind Ibiza Town’s culinary success?

What’s the recipe behind Ibiza Town’s culinary success?

© ffmag

Idyllic beaches, a rich historical legacy, vibrant culture, famous music beats and lively nightlife... These are just a few of the attractions that have established Ibiza Town as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And that’s before you come to its food: in recent years, Ibiza Town’s culinary delights have become yet another reason to visit the city. The well-deserved awards and recognition given to its restaurants – with a list that doesn’t stop growing – and the increasing diversity of options available to diners, reveal the robust health of the city’s food scene. What’s happening in Ibiza Town, to make so many of the most renowned chefs in Spain want to open restaurants in the city?

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that food in Ibiza has won over the world’s most discerning diners and there is a growing number of reasons to visit the capital of the White Isle. Previously famous around the world for its music and nightlife, today Ibiza Town has also become a mecca for foodies who are keen to enjoy its fusion of tradition and modernity. And this new direction hasn’t happened by chance. The City Council (among others) has played an important role in changing the shape of the city’s culinary landscape.  Over the past few years, the City Council has been working on a wide range of activities to make people aware of the unique flavours of Ibiza. 

 

2nd Ibiza Town Food Awards

One of the most notable events is the prestigious Ibiza Town Food Awards, which was held for the second time in September 2022. The awards aim to highlight and reward the hard work performed by restaurants in Ibiza day after day, and to recognise the remarkable rise of their cooking. In other words, it’s a way of making the exceptional work of Ibiza’s restaurant sector more visible and showcasing its culinary evolution.

The following restaurants received awards at the ceremony: Sa Nansa Ibiza, as best traditional restaurant; BiBo by Dani García (pop-up of the 2022 season at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay), as best conceptual restaurant; Kaixo, as best restaurant for dishes and tapas; and El Corsario as best sustainable restaurant. What’s more, during the gala, Ibiza City Council gave a special award to the Ibiza Town and Formentera Fishermen’s Guild, which celebrated its centenary in 2022.

The four award-winners were chosen to represent the city’s food at one of Spain’s most important culinary events: San Sebastián Gastronomika. 

And, for a further year, the three chefs from the winning restaurants at the 2022 Ibiza Town Food Awards (Kaixo, Sa Nansa and El Corsario) were also asked to create a menu for a select group of specialised journalists and food critics at Spain’s most important annual food event: Madrid Fusión. As well as the menu, at the congress Ibiza Town Council also organised other activities to demonstrate the diversity and creativity of Ibiza’s cooking and food to prestigious food ambassadors.

The recipe behind Ibiza Town’s culinary success

The City Council also used its involvement in Madrid Fusión as an opportunity to present the 10th Patrimoni Gastronómic, which was held between 9 February and 31 March 2023. The 2023 event saw participation by eleven restaurants from the city, who created menus that symbolised places from around the world that are included on the list of World Heritage Site cities, like Ibiza Town.

In addition to Madrid Fusión, the City Council also attended another major food event in Spain: San Sebastián Gastronómika, held in October 2022. At the congress, the City Council ran a tasting session of local produce for a hundred speakers and food critics. The tasting session was created by chef Óscar Molina, chef at Ibiza Gran Hotel and La Gaia restaurant, who has a Michelin star and two Repsol suns.  Dishes served at the event included figs with goat cheese and honey foam, arroz de Matanzas, and barbecued lamb’s rib with rocoto pepper and coconut sauce. Desserts included almond biscuits, ‘mountain’ bonbon and coffee meringue. The three restaurants who were rewarded at the 2nd Ibiza Town Food Awards also took part in various activities during the congress, such as talks, tasting sessions and visits to exhibition spaces.

 

New awards and recognition for Ibiza Town’s food

Last year, La Gaia at Ibiza Gran Hotel surprised everyone by winning Ibiza Town’s first Michelin star. This year, yet more awards were presented to other restaurants in the city, a particular highlight being the Repsol sun awarded to David Reartes (Re.Art). It joins the numerous restaurants who have already received recognition from the guide, including La Gaia, which has two suns. Restaurants in the city with one Repsol sun include Can Alfredo and Trattoria del Mar. What’s more, the restaurants Mar a Vila, Sa Calma, Eat is Life, Bar San Juan and Croissant Show received the ‘Solete’ award from the Repsol Guide in recognition, in the words of the guide’s organisers, “of places that make you smile and entice you with food that is within the reach of all.” 

The work of institutions, producers, chefs and restaurant-owners is behind Ibiza Town’s recipe for culinary success in both traditional and ground-breaking cuisine, succeeding in positioning it as a hot talking point on the Spanish food scene. Ibiza is synonymous with celebrating, music, the sea, sun, fashion, history, culture and, of course, magnificent food. These are just some of the countless reasons to experience Ibiza Town with all your senses and enjoy this city of contrasts.

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