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Bernabé Caravotta and Sebastián Pérez. Rebellion and Excellence

Bernabé Caravotta and Sebastián Pérez. Rebellion and Excellence

Bernabé Caravotta and Sebastián Pérez © ffmag

The urge to bring to life a project of their own led the chef Bernabé Caravotta and the sommelier Sebastián Pérez to set up their first restaurant, Vandal, in Palma. Later on, their incessant passion for new projects led to more restaurants: another one in Palma (Santa) and one in Valencia (the Japanese restaurant Momiji Atelier). The surprising dichotomy between the rebelliousness that characterises them and their perpetual search for excellence are the central focus of all three concepts, which, despite being very different, share the same philosophy: “All three are very much us in some way. They are places where we want people to be moved”, explains Bernabé.

Bernabé and Sebastián are at the helm of two of the most talked-about gastronomic concepts in Palma: Vandal and Santa. Vandal was the first to open and soon after came Valencia’s Momiji Atelier. “Vandal didn’t begin with the aim of becoming a group. It began as an idea”, says Bernabé. “After working for many years for other people and gathering experiences around the world, there came a time when I started feeling the need to do my own thing, without any limits. Because, in the end, no matter how much freedom you have as a head chef or as a maître d’, if you don’t own the whole thing, you will always have a limit – the owner’s vision – which I of course think is right”, says the chef.

I started feeling the need to do my own thing, without any limits. Because no matter how much freedom you have, if you don’t own the whole thing, you will always have a limit


Vandal: a rebellious soul

The two partners (together with a third in Valencia) confess that, when they created Vandal, “everything flowed very simply”. And that’s how the restaurant became a means of expression, a space where they could put into practice everything they love, their experiences and what they have learnt along the way. “Vandal is an interpretation of how we like to spend our time in a restaurant: how we like to eat, how we like to be served… At Vandal you can find people in their 80s or their early 20s all having a great time. We don’t like an excessively formal and cold atmosphere and it shows”, they explain.

Vandal Restaurant, Mallorca

Vandal © Grupo Vandal

Vandal Palma offers a sophisticated gastronomic experience in an informal setting with a rebellious spirit, where graffiti sits alongside wavy metal walls, creating the transgressive style that has made their restaurant famous. In this unique space, gastronomy is understood as a fusion of cuisine, cocktails, wine and, of course, service. Through this unusual mixture, the Vandal team invites its customers to let themselves be carried away by the happiness that each of the places visited brought them, and to share each dish as a unique and unforgettable journey.


Vandal is an interpretation of how we like to spend our time in a restaurant


Santa: the irresistible pleasure of sin

Santa began four or five years after Vandal, because, once again, we felt we wanted to do something new”, says Bernabé. “We didn’t want to do something so big, but the opportunity came along. The premises are beautiful and we were given the opportunity to buy it, which for us was a big step”, he adds. The secret to achieving it all when you grow and find yourself with three restaurants? Bernabé and Sebastián are adamant: the team. “As you grow, you get stronger. Above all, if you invest in the team and start to have generals, lieutenants and sergeants who are involved in the project, who believe in what we do and who we are as people. That’s what gives you the chance to take on other projects”, they say. And that is how, in a totally spontaneous and organic fashion, Vandal became a group, “because of the passion we both share for doing new things”.

Fried oyster with oyster mayonnaise and pickles. Vandal Restaurant, Palma de Mallorca

Fried oyster © Grupo Vandal

Behind the sober façade of Santa Restaurant is an almost dreamlike world that transports diners to a mysterious film set where they are the star of the production. And in the middle of the scene, the dichotomous beauty between good and evil is celebrated by decorating the space spectacularly with a theme based on the world of light and shadow. The menu too is themed, featuring dishes and drinks inspired by the seven deadly sins. Santa Restaurant is the meeting point for those who want to enjoy a gastronomic experience to escape from the everyday and be transported to a seductive and sombre universe where the cuisine promises to brighten up even the darkest of nights.


“You in the kitchen, me front of house”: the perfect combination

Experience, professionalism and above all the mutual understanding of Bernabé and Sebastián are the key ingredients that have turned their gastronomic goals into great successes. Bernabé Caravotta is the chef behind #foodwithattitude, a way of understanding gastronomy – and life – that is committed to innovation, challenges and constant improvement. The chef has extensive training in some of the best restaurants in the world and a wealth of travel experiences in different countries, in search of originality, flavour, techniques and ingredients that would later come to form his unmistakable culinary identity. 

Bernabé’s talent is joined by the mastery of sommelier Sebastián Pérez, the person responsible for Vandal and Santa’s exquisite wine selections, in charge of pairing each dish with a glass of wine or a cocktail that enhances the flavour of the food to the maximum, thus offering a complete gastronomic experience. And when asked about the future the pair are optimistic. “We see a very promising future for the sector in general, but as for ourselves, we are not so much focused on the future but on the present. We want to bring together and consolidate everything we have achieved in all this time. And in the future, things will surely crop up, because we can’t keep still”.

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