Andrés Fernández comes from a small village in El Bierzo but grew up in Switzerland. He lived there until he was 16 and it’s where he studied cooking and more, and later began his career. An international chef (he has worked in France and Holland), Fernández is used to working under the exacting standards of Michelin-starred restaurants. He came to Ibiza five years ago and fell in love with the 7Pines Resort Ibiza project where he has had the opportunity to create seven food concepts from scratch at the hotel as executive chef. Truly passionate about food both at work and outside it, and about fine wine and sport (he does Thai boxing and cycling), Fernández
has found the greatest project of his life in Ibiza and at 7Pines Resort Ibiza.
Why did you decide to work as a chef?
My father worked as a restaurant waiter and I used to go to work with him from a very young age. I did my first shift on New Year’s Eve when I was 12. I learned to do what he did, which was work in a restaurant: the stress, working under pressure... But also the joy, the fun, the good atmosphere... And I liked it from the start.
I learned to do what he did, which was work in a restaurant: the stress, working under pressure... But also the joy, the fun, the good atmosphere...
As a chef, what is the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
I believe that it’s a job that requires lots of discipline. It’s also important to be motived so you don’t lapse, show respect to your colleagues and have an interest in the world of food in general.
What has 7Pines Resort Ibiza contributed to your career?
When I came to Ibiza I’d been head chef, I was used to working in gourmet restaurants, and here I progressed to executive chef, to being one in an impressive hotel like 7Pines. Also, being here from the beginning, from when the hotel hadn’t yet been built, meant I could manage everything from start to finish. It also made me realise that I’m capable of handling a pre-opening from zero to a hundred, with everything involved in launching a five-star hotel.
What is the food concept at 7Pines Resort Ibiza?
At 7Pines we have, on one hand, the room service menu, like all hotels. On the other, the two pools; each one has a different food concept (the adults-only infinity pool has an international food menu with sushi, and the other pool has a food truck with a Tex-Mex menu that kids love, which is perfect because the pool is mainly used by families). The Pershing bar has a cocktail menu and an izakaya-style Oriental menu, ideal for pairing with one of our cocktails (sashimi, tiraditos, oysters, caviar, lobster, wagyu tataki, etc.). Then we have the Cone Club, with Mediterranean dishes for sharing and big fish. It’s a fun, casual restaurant where the sunset is celebrated every day and there’s even a DJ: it’s our big selling point. And, finally, our most gourmet restaurant: The View, at the top of the cliff. It’s a restaurant where you can enjoy an unforgettable foodie experience with endless sea views. The View is at another level and, actually, our goal is to earn a Michelin star one day. There the concept is modern Mediterranean cooking with a contemporary touch. We place great importance on the product and the dishes are far more elaborate. We have two tasting menus and also an à la carte menu so that people can visit more than once.
At The View our goal is to earn a Michelin star one day
What was it like creating so many food concepts from scratch? What were your sources of inspiration?
We’ve evolved year on year. It isn’t easy but, over time, we’ve learned and changed the concepts a little. Obviously, to create the menus at each point of sale, I work side by side with my team and am supported by the head chefs at each place. The second executive chef (Lester Ceballos) has worked with me from the start and we have a very close relationship. We’re in constant communication and have created everything together. David Gómez oversees The View and, although I designed the concept, he is responsible for managing everything and that gives me great peace of mind.
Who can enjoy the food at 7Pines Resort Ibiza?
We’re open to external customers whenever COVID regulations permit. In fact, last year 70% of customers at the gourmet restaurant (The View) were external and many came back over the course of the season.
What are the ingredients behind 7Pines’ success?
I think that the team is very important. Most of the people on the team have worked on the project from the start and I think that’s crucial. I also think it’s a good place to work because the management lets you develop your own ideas and working here is very comfortable. And, obviously, as a hotel: its location is totally outstanding. Its sunset views and infrastructure are exceptional. Everything is well-cared for, a great deal of money is invested in keeping the hotel in perfect condition and that sets it apart.
If I wanted to enjoy the 7Pines gourmet experience one day, what would you recommend?
First, come for breakfast. Then you could spend the day at one of our two pools and have a cocktail at El Pershing. For dinner, I’d recommend finishing the day watching the sunset from The View restaurant with a tasting menu and a fine wine or paired drink.