Omar Malpartida (Huanuco, Peru, 1988) arrived in Ibiza in 2019 to run the restaurant Maymanta, located in Aguas de Ibiza Hotel and recipient of a Repsol Sun in 2021. As he begins his fourth season on the island, Malpartida takes on a new challenge as the culinary director for Aguas de Ibiza and Nativo Hotel, giving him the chance to work with his team to create dishes that share a common denominator: full respect for local ingredients.
Describe Omar Malpartida. What would you highlight about your personality?
I would point out a willingness to learn and show. And feeling capable of doing many things, without setting limits.
What is your professional status currently?
After everything came to a halt due to the pandemic, I believe we are now feeling extremely creative. I’m better organised than before. I now have much more time to organise the kitchen and the logistics for all the points of sale, both here and with our external operations. This is a great moment for me.
What will we see at Maymanta this summer?
The upcoming season’s new concept will be a tribute to Peru and the sea. Specifically, the Piura region and the Pacific, which are my roots. The idea is to continue with the same philosophy of union (as opposed to fusion) using local ingredients and fresh products from Peru. We will also feature hand-made dinnerware and artisan products, reaching the source. We will use many products from Peru, such as lime, which we ship directly from there, and we will also use many citrus fruits from Ibiza for the ceviches. The Maymanta tasting menu will include products such as mackerel and fermented foods. The classic menu will continue to be inspired by a journey through Peru (mountains, beach and jungle), featuring chargrilled items, woks, creole tapas, ceviche creations, anticuchos, causas and more. Maymanta will continue to be a place for modern Peruvian tapas. We will also arrange events with guest chefs.
What other culinary concepts have you been preparing for this season at Aguas de Ibiza Hotel?
We have made many changes and improvements to breakfast, for example. We have also created a new standardised work methodology for our cocktails. Customers will discover that our cocktails are much more elaborate and they will be able to order an array of tapas by the pool area. We have also made a major investment in the décor.
What would you highlight about your food?
My culinary concept has a lot of flavour. It features local ingredients, and although everything is very organised, there is a lot of colour. It conveys joy. The cuisine is not linear, but rather goes up and down, showcasing different flavours: acidic, bitter, sweet, spicy, etc. This is all reflected in the Alabastro menu as well. The most fundamental part of my food is that I try to respect the roots of every destination.
Describe the culinary concept at Alabastro.
Alabastro is much more Mediterranean. Italy plays a big role because I’m an Italian chef, but there are also many local ingredients. The menu is based primarily on vegetables and products from the sea, but there are also contrasting flavours and a Latin touch.
Speaking of regional cuisine, Andes, Pacific, Amazonian, Nikkei, Chifa... Which is our favourite?
All of them, because that is what defines Peruvian cuisine. Food filled with history and that mixes cultures: Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Spanish. By keeping our roots intact, along with our ecosystems (mountains, coast and jungle), that combination of things is what Peruvian cuisine is based on.
What will diners find at Nativo y Humo this year?
The hotel has two restaurants: Nativo and Humo (on the rooftop). Since it is located inside a hotel, Nativo has a much calmer and healthier culinary concept. The food conveys tranquillity. Flavours that showcase our hallmark, but with a greater focus on local ingredients and made by a chef from Ibiza, Alberto Bermejo. There will be a much bigger dessert menu based on in-season fruit.
Nativo has a much calmer and healthier culinary concept
Humo serves primitive food centred on fire. We will work with a Basque grill, which we will use to cook many smoked items, local ingredients from Ibiza (such as fish and aged meat), sausage and many vegetables. A combination of Ibizan products paired with Latin American garnish, such as grilled atamalado rice, roasted aubergine with rocoto pepper sauce, chimichurri sauce, etc. We will also feature marinades, vinegars, Ibizan citrus fruits and pickled items. All cooked in front of diners.
What is your staple ingredient?
Lemon drop peppers.
And your favourite dish?
Ceviche, without a doubt. I just returned from my city, which is where this dish is from, and the ceviches from there are something else.
What do you value the most about your current position at Aguas de Ibiza and Nativo?
I greatly value that there are tremendous opportunities for growth and to be able to show everything we have learned all this time. This is not very common in certain companies.
Cooking for my family and friends.
Who is your role model for Peruvian cuisine?
How has the island’s cuisine evolved since you first arrived in Ibiza?
This is my fourth year on the island. I believe the shutdown caused by the pandemic has helped me stop and understand Ibiza. Many people, myself included, were able to take a break and redefine our priorities. This has made it possible to understand what could work here in the future so Ibiza is viewed as more than just a party destination. I believe that Ibiza’s culinary scene is gaining fame elsewhere. Top chefs are starting to talk about Ibiza as a potential market for their projects.