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MALLORCAN TASTEMAKER

Michelin-starred chef Marc Fosh has elevated Palma de Mallorca’s culinary scene

- SPAIN PALMA DE MALLORCA by kristin baird rattini

There’s no doubt that mallorca, Spain, put its best face forward when celebrated chef Marc Fosh first visited the island in 1994 to decide if he wanted to move there. “The sun was shining. There was a beautiful blue sky,” he recalls. “I was driving through olive groves, orange groves, almond fields. As a chef, I knew there was going to be fantastic ingredient­s at my disposal.” ¶ Those fantastic local ingredient­s have defined Fosh’s two-plus decades of inventive Mediterran­ean fare, particular­ly at his eponymous restaurant in Palma. The first British chef to earn a Michelin star in Spain, Fosh has led the transforma­tion of Palma’s dining landscape from a “culinary desert” into an internatio­nal hotspot. ¶ He’s now bringing his star power to the coastal town of Canyamel. His new restaurant, Sa Pleta, centers around his wood-burning grill. “Fire is the most primitive form of cooking,” Fosh says. “We’re experiment­ing with how to use it in a modern way.”

What inspired your cookbook, Modern Mediterran­ean? I wanted to focus on the ingredient­s. It’s organized by ingredient, not by course. I was thinking about when you go the market and find a fantastic ingredient; here are some different things you can do with it. What do you enjoy about Palma’s market? It’s a wonderful place. You can have a glass of Champagne and oysters right in the middle of the fish market. It has become a sociable thing. It’s a fantastic location where you can see our fresh produce and eclectic mix of seafood. Many traditiona­l markets are dying, but Palma’s is thriving. What are your favorite Mallorcan ingredient­s? Soller prawns have a very intense flavor. They’re absolutely amazing. Flor de Sal d’Es Trenc is a pure, clean salt. Solivellas olive oil is fruity and light. The sea breeze hits the olives all year, which gives the oil a distinct flavor.

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