Words: Rosie Wilson
Images: La Skimal & Tamara Sini
Ibiza is increasingly becoming a sought after foodie destination, attracting its fair share of talented chefs and innovative menus. But a meal cooked by a Michelin star chef will always be heralded as something just a little bit more special – after all, it’s the ultimate mark of approval for anyone working in the world of hospitality. The Chef Experience at the ME Hotel not only gives you the opportunity to eat Michelin accredited food, but to watch the talented chefs cook it right in front of you. Every Thursday, the hotel’s head chef Juan Hely is inviting prominent chefs from all over the world to join him on the stunning rooftop and showcase their skills in preparing an exclusive tasting menu for lucky guests.
We couldn’t resist paying a visit, and turned up to Carles Tejedor’s turn in the kitchen. Tejedor is the genius behind the El Nacional and Lomo Alto / Lomo Bajo restaurants in Barcelona (although the accomplished individual is also a Harvard professor), so we couldn’t wait to see what he had in store for us. Hosted in association with Ibiza Style, the exclusive experience has just 40 covers a week. Guests are asked to choose from a four-course menu or a six-course that also includes cocktail and wine pairing. Six lucky guests will sit at the open kitchen counter, allowing them to watch the chefs at work and maybe pick up on a trick or two.
Of course, The Chef’s Table on top of the ME Hotel not only offers views of the kitchen, but spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful Balearic surroundings and the S’Argamassa Bay. As we took our sears, we were promptly poured chilled, sparkling glasses of Cava Rosada, with which we toasted the special occasion. Not long after the introduction of the wine, our first course arrived – an impossibly fresh oyster marinated in tonic water and topped with a cucumber and lemon foam. In between courses, we enjoyed live violin music, interspersed with entertainment from ME’s resident DJ, who provided the perfect backdrop to the evening with his cool, ambient set. The second plate was a creative take on a classic hot dog – a milk break loaf topped with red tuna tartar, fresh, fragrant chunks of avocado and fried onions. Almost immediately after, we enjoyed a ramen noodle salad served with perfectly white flaked crab meat on top of a bed of tomatoes. Served prettily in a seashell, we devoured the innovative creation – which we paired with an Albarino white wine on the recommendation of our sommelier.
Our penultimate main was a modern take on the classic Ibicencan dish Bullit de Peix – a fish stew served with potatoes – Carles’ version featured a creamy mash made with red potatoes and was topped with a perfectly cooked scorpion fish fillet. The final fish was a beautifully cooked piece of pork that had been grilled on the Josper to elicit the perfect smokey flavour.
To end the night, we ended with a delicious selection of desserts – a traditional Flao custard tart was given a modern twist with a fragrant Earl Grey and mint tea sauce poured over it, while an intense chocolate ice cream was flavoured with beautiful olive oil to contrast the taste of the chocolate. It was a perfect end to a wonderful night – we’d fully enjoyed the fare at the chef’s table, and to be able to see the work that goes into delivering a gourmet service like that was such a unique and brilliant experience.
This Thursday, August 10th, it’s the turn of Toni Canales, Executive Chef at El Gallinero in Madrid and a contestant in 2013’s prestigious show Top Chef. It’s bound to be another unforgettable night, so book now to avoid disappointment and make sure you get your seat at the chef’s table.
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