Ibiza’s beaches, its history, its culture, its famous music scene, and its varied nightlife: these are just some of the factors that have made it one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. However, in the last few years, Ibiza’s gastronomy has become an important reason to visit this island. Explanations for this include the arrival of some of the world’s great chefs, the well-deserved prizes and accolades awarded to restaurants, and the ever more varied culinary offers. And the flagship of this new scene is Ibiza Town and its firm commitment to showcasing its cuisine to the world.
It is no exaggeration to say that the gastronomy of Ibiza is on everyone’s lips. There are more and more reasons to visit the capital of the White Island. Decades ago, it was the music and nightlife that made this destination famous: today, Ibiza is attracting the most discerning foodies, who come here with a desire to sample both its traditions and modernity mouthful by mouthful.
The Town Council is largely responsible for this change in Ibiza’s gastronomic scene. The Council has taken a series of measures, including, for example, the Ciutat d’Evissa gastronomic awards, which aim to promote and reward the efforts and sacrifices made by Ibiza’s catering industry, following two years of pandemic, in addition to recognising the great upsurge in interest in its gastronomy.
At the awards gala, held in October 2021, prizes went to the following restaurants: Best traditional restaurant: Ca n’Alfredo; best concept restaurant: La Gaia by Óscar Molina; Best restaurant for dishes and small plates: Re.Art, and finally, best sustainable restaurant: Eat is Life.
The four prize winners were chosen to represent Ibiza Town at one of the country’s most important gastronomic events: San Sebastián Gastronomika. The chefs from the winning restaurants (Catalina Riera from Ca n'Alfredo, Paulina Mauvecín from Eat is Life, Óscar Molina from La Gaia, and David Reartes from Re-Art) were culinary ambassadors for Ibiza at this convention, and showcased their quality and variety to those attending.
In addition, Ibiza promoted its gastronomic enterprise at the country’s biggest culinary convention, Madrid Fusión. At the latest Madrid Fusión event, Ibiza proudly revealed a larger stand than on other occasions and, for the first time, had a dining space which, every day, served tasting menus prepared by some of the island’s well-known chefs. Breakfasts with typical pastries, demonstrations of oils and other local and zero-miles products, tastings of spirits... with this whole series of activities, the Ibiza stand became one of the stars of the show.
Moreover, in December 2021, Ibiza’s Town Hall participated in the Denia D*na Festival, with chefs Pau Barba and Óscar Molina representing Ibiza Town. Another significant initiative by the Ibiza Town Hall and the island’s Tourist Board, through the Product Club Eating un Ibiza, succeeded in presenting the gastronomy of Ibiza in Madrid, before an audience of food critics and specialist publications. This event took place at the Sa Brisa restaurant in the Spanish capital, and was led by the winning chefs of the Gastronomía de Eivissa awards. They prepared a tasting menu entitled ‘Ibiza tastes of the sea and the land’, bringing together avant-garde trends, fresh produce, and the influences of traditional cooking.
La Gaia, recipient of Ibiza Town’s first Michelin Star
In December at the Ibiza Gran Hotel, La Gaia received its first Michelin Star. Chef Óscar Molina, who has headed up the restaurant since it opened in 2008, has spent the years since then developing this gastronomic project, which is dominated by ‘Mediterranean Kaiseki’. This concept embodies the fusion of the most sophisticated techniques of Japanese cooking, using the island’s finest local products. This commitment to local ingredients has played a vital part in gaining this latest recognition, adding to the two Repsol Guide Sols [Suns] already held by the restaurant. Moreover, the Can Alfredo and Trattoria del Mar restaurants each have one Repsol Sol, and other restaurants in Ibiza Town (including Eat is Life, Mar a Vila, Croissant Show, Sa Calma, and Bar San Juan) have been awarded “Soletes” — an accolade recognising options affordable for all budgets.
100 years of the Cofradía de Pescadores de Ibiza
The island’s suppliers can claim much of the credit for Ibiza’s growing success in the gastronomic field. A case in point is the Cofradía de Pescadores de Ibiza [Fishermen’s cooperative], a non-profit organisation that represents the economic interests of fishermen. It was founded a hundred years ago, on 18 June 1922, with the aim of regulating fishing activity and the sale of fish in the Pityusic Islands, which is still operating today. It has been a pioneer in the Balearic Islands in areas such as the labelling of fish, having created its own brand, ‘Peix Nostrum’ in 2008, followed in 2015 by the introduction of individual labelling for Ibiza’s lobster and ‘peix fort’.
In recent years, the Ibiza Cofradía has been working to promote traditional Ibiza fish and seafood products, initially with the Feria del Gerret, which years later evolved into a tour of the island’s typical culinary species with different trade fairs, in which the Cofradía plays an active role. The Cofradía was awarded a Gold Medal by Ibiza Town in 2018.
Thanks to the hard work of institutions, chefs and restaurateurs, Ibiza’s gastronomy — both traditional and modern — is now on everyone’s lips. So Ibiza is now partying, music, sea, sun, fashion, history, culture and, most emphatically, gastronomy. Today, more than ever, there are any number of reasons to wander around the island’s capital, and to enjoy its endless contrasts.
A tribute to Felipe Peña: “A shining example inside and outside the kitchen”
The Town Hall paid tribute to the the chef Felipe de la Peña, in recognition of his professional career in Ibiza’s catering industry.
For over 39 years, Felipe de la Peña has been at the helm of the kitchen at the Torre del Mar Hotel, as well as being a teacher at the SOIB Catering School, where he trained a good many of the chefs currently running various establishments in Ibiza.
The councillor responsible for Tourism and Business, Dessiré Ruiz said, “In connection with the work the Town Hall has been undertaken to promote the city’s gastronomy, we wanted to grant Felipe Peña the recognition he richly deserves. He is a pioneering chef, a teacher of cooks and chefs in Ibiza, a source of inspiration for so many of them, and he is someone who has always responded positively when we have requested his help with any charity or social events. To sum up, he is a shining example inside and outside the kitchen”.