Ibiza Sabor Food Festival Spring 2018
- Nicholas Gibbs
Ibiza Sabor is in its 7th year. The grumpy old man in me has an auto-disdain for the organisers’ insistence on the official title being #IbizaSabor18, a marketing decision that by my reckoning is contradictory to at least 4 of the ‘history, tradition, culture, creativity and adventure’ elements of the strapline that follows it, but I cannot let such nonsense detract from what is without doubt one of the highlights of Ibiza’s rich gastronomic calendar.
Sabor is the Spanish word for flavour. Conveniently it is also the Catalan word for the same, and you may see the event marketed as Eivissa Sabor (actually #EivissaSabor18) depending where you are looking.
Flavours to Savour
Sabor happens twice a year, in Spring and again in Autumn. This spring they have a record 54 restaurants participating around the island, however it is not the quantity but the quality of venues that cannot fail to impress.
From the Vara de Rey institution that is Ca N’Alfredo to the interesting (to a newspaper editor at least) La Imprenta—so named as it occupies the building that housed the Diario de Ibiza’s first printing press—and from Botafoch’s biggest and best in La Gaia at the Gran Hotel, to the discreet luxury of Mirador high in the D’alt Vila; name after name leaves you amazed they can be accessible for the menu del dia value offered.
The Spring festival finishes Sunday May 27th, so you have a final week to take advantage, though for many of our resident and summer worker readers the coming week will not only be their last chance to indulge in Ibiza Sabor, but their last chance to do pretty well anything until the back end of September. If you are going to have one last long and leisurely Spanish lunch, why not do it in style?
The participating venues offer either or both of the event options—a set 3 course menu at a fixed price of 25€, and/or a tapas and drink for 6€.
Most of those offering the 3 course menu have time restrictions on when it is available, but frankly that is only to be expected in restaurants where a 3 course meal would normally cost you twice the price if not more.
In addition to the special menus around Ibiza, the event goes further in the promotion and advancement of Ibiza’s produce and culinary prowess. A highlight of the Spring season has been the hosting of the 3rd Professional Forum for Mediterranean Gastronomy – distinguished by the presence of no less than Ángel León, of three-Michelin-star fame for his restaurant Aponiente in Cádiz.
Celebrate Ibiza’s Traditional Gastronomy
Coinciding with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, which thankfully has not been contracted to #EuroCultHer18, the brief for the 54 participants was to create dishes that celebrate Ibiza’s traditional gastronomy and bring some innovative new twists on those ancestral recipes. To be honest I think the brief is always something along those lines, so enough of the hyperbole—let’s get down to business with what to expect.
You will find no shortage of Ibiza’s traditional dishes on offer. These include such glorious gastronomy as “bullit de peix”, “guisat de peix”,“borrida de rajada”, “arròs de matances” and “sofrit pagés”, plus the dessert favourites of “flaó” and “Greixonera”,
The menus offer up some really interesting surprises, but as a rule of thumb the swankier the restaurant, the greater the level of ‘interpretation and elevation’ you may expect. If you have a taste for the traditional, choose any of the many rural and coastline family run restaurants and you’ll come away with an authentic Ibizan experience.
Equally those with an eye on Europe’s cutting edge culinary creatives will have plenty of choice to explore modern technique and trends.
Of course the tricky decision is for those who are in the early stages of a relationship. Can you ever take a date to something that has a ‘great value’ association, even if the food is fantastic? Best bet, spend what you save on an awesome bottle of wine. Sensible with money, but not tight. Add to that your newly acquired refined knowledge of local cuisine gained by reading the Ibiza sabor booklet below, and without doubt you’ll be knocking her bandy.
We end with some very good examples of menus on offer. From the traditional fayre and timeless charm of S’Illot, to the innovative cuisine and bohemian beach-chic of Chiringuito. Take your pick, it’s all good.
- Playa de s’illot des Renclí, San Juan, Tel. 971 320 585
“An iconic restaurant, located on a beautiful cove in the north of the island, where one can sample the most exquisite varieties of fresh fish, bursting with flavour, or perhaps one of the stellar dishes of local gastronomy, “guisat de peix”. The desserts are veterans of a culinary tradition that has been carried forward for countless generations.”
- To start, either Country potato salad or Fish soup
- Main course, a choice of Guisat de peix” (fish stew) (minimum of 2 people) or Fish of the day
- Dessert, “Greixonera” (bread pudding), or Flaó” (cheesecake)
- Available, Monday to Saturday 1pm to 5pm
Cala Gracioneta Chiringuito
- Cala Gracioneta, San Antonio, Tel. 971 348 338
With the dream team of our favourite host Javier, of Villa Mercedes fame, and guidance of Chef David Reartes, the restaurant at Cala Gracioneta beach offers a menu replete with local produce, including their own version of “flaó”, one of Ibiza’s most traditional desserts.
- To start, Tiny Ibicenco potatoes and inhouse smoked amberjack, or the best of the kitchen garden, char-grilled
- Main course, Ray fish in mariner’s “suquet” (stew), or Local free-range chicken with Ibicenco lemon pickle
- Dessert, Ibicenco “flaó” (cheesecake), ‘our way’, or Lemon pie
- Available, Monday to Thursday 1pm to 4.30pm
Mirador de Dalt Vila
- Plaça d’Espanya, 4, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Tel. 971 303 045
“In a luxury hotel set in Dalt Vila, Chef Juan Manuel Tur offers vanguard Mediterranean cuisine, based on the best local produce, with dishes that recreate the island’s landscape and seek to surprise diners. In this menu, he reinterprets “flaó”, a cheesecake”
- Tasting menu; Creamy rice with sea cucumber and “botifarró” sausage, followed by Leg of lamb with herb butter and red potato, and dessert of “Flaó” (cheesecake) with nuances
- Available, Monday to Friday 1pm to 4pm and 8pm to 11pm, booking essential.
You can download a copy of the guide using the ⇓ on the menu bar of the pdf above. More information http://www.ibizasabor.es