Ferrán Cañadas, aged 32 and born in Barcelona, arrived in Ibiza in 2014. That same year, he met the man who would become his mentor: Moisés Machado, owner and executive chef at the Cana Sofía restaurant. Since then, Ferrán and Moisés have worked in perfect harmony together in the kitchen at Cana Sofía. There, they have developed a brand of good, honest, Mediterranean cooking with a personal twist, which makes full use of local ingredients. Ferrán Cañadas describes himself as having “a passion for gastronomy, inside and outside the kitchen,” and in Cana Sofía he has found the ideal milieu in which to develop his potential.
When and why did you come to Ibiza?
I’ve been living in Ibiza since 2014. I came to the island to be with my partner, who is from Ibiza. We were working in Granada, and we got the chance to come to Ibiza. I started working at Cana Sofía as sous chef in 2014, and stayed until 2017. Then I went away for a year to get some fresh experience, and then I came back. Now Moisés Machado has taken on the role of executive chef, and I run the kitchen.
Why did you decide on a career in cooking?
I began 16 years ago, because I wasn’t interested in academic study, and I was offered a job as kitchen boy in a cold store. Then I worked in a hotel kitchen, in a team of 25 people. I started to watch the cooks at work, and I began to like it. At the hotel I made good progress, and I was lucky that they trained me, and on the basis of that I got to where I am now. The great thing about this job is that it enables you to travel and go on learning. That is why I went to Granada, and on to Ibiza. In Ibiza I met Moisés Machado, and I’m still here.
What are you like in and out of the kitchen?
I’m fortunate to have a job I like, and one which fulfils me. I don’t just work for the money: I see cooking as my great passion. I’m happy coming to work; I don’t mind the hours or the sacrifices involved in this work. I enjoy my job because it allows me to grow and learn.
What do you do after work?
I enjoy the island with my wife. We all know what this job is like: you have very little free time. My passion is cooking, and my life is completely bound up with cooking.
Do you cook at home too?
Yes, when I go home I cook. My wife doesn’t like cooking, and I like to cook for her.
How would you describe your cooking?
At Cana Sofía, our cooking is Mediterranean, but with a very personal touch. Simple cooking, but done with great care. The important thing is that we work with local products as far as we can. I feel that we are very lucky to look out onto the Mediterranean Sea, and to base virtually our entire menu on zero-kilometre products. We work with seasonal produce, and to be honest we’re thankful not to have to use deep-frozen ingredients and products from overseas.
Who has influenced your culinary style?
Until I came to Ibiza, I worked in kitchens; I really enjoyed reading and learning, and I did a bit of everything, but in Ibiza I was lucky enough to meet Moisés, who is my culinary patron. From him I have learnt 70% of what I know. He has helped me to understand cooking, and I am still developing his legacy.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
When I began my career in cooking, that was when Ferrán Adrià was taking the world by storm, with all his new techniques… Everything he created was a great source of inspiration. Ferrán Adrià has been my benchmark in life.
What is your most treasured kitchen gadget?
My set of knives. Without them, I can’t do anything.
An ingredient which you never leave out of your dishes?
Olive oil, Spanish olive oil.
Which dish on the menu of Cana Sofía are you most proud of?
I always recommend a great paella with fish and seafood from around the island. It’s our star dish.
Which are your favourite restaurants?
I’d love to go to DiverXO, in Madrid. I think Dabiz Muñoz is a very creative cook, and can be a great revelation. In Ibiza, I love Es Gerret. I’m a regular customer because it’s great fun. It has a very up-to-date tapas menu.