Continuing with the various activities held to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the exclusive Ibiza Gran Hotel gave us another welcome surprise the other night. On this occasion in order to inaugurate the new season at La Gaia restaurant, established as a symbol and highest expression of creative haute cuisine on the island of Ibiza.

An unparalleled setting, such as that of the only five star GrandeLuxe hotel in Ibiza, where you can witness the hotel’s commitment to art in every corner and piece of detailing, served as inspiration for a great offering at this social-culinary event, where what chefs Óscar Molina and José Avillez offered combined perfectly to become art as well, a very carefully chosen selection of dishes.

Óscar Molina, whose personal way of understanding the fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine has become an exquisite and sophisticated philosophy called “Japeruvian” (La Gaia’s signature style), wanted to have a master of Portuguese cuisine and their team in on the action: the renowned 2 Michelin-star chef José Avillez (Restaurante Belcanto, Lisbon).

As was clearly demonstrated, the roots, philosophy and interpretation of both chefs’ cuisine are heading in the same direction, complementing each other perfectly.

The end result? Cuisine with influences from a wide range of countries (result of their travels and learning in some of the best restaurants in the world), built on a solid foundation where the choice of the best local ingredients that constantly give nods to the soil and above all the sea, is vital.

The perfect idea. More than 50 individuals chosen, including food critics, authorities, the Spanish and Portuguese media in addition to some friends, who had the privilege of going up little by little in small groups for a tasting session, where the pace of the presentation of each of the dishes on the various tables was perfectly studied and worked as a game from start to finish.

Experience, research, technique, creativity, care, innovation and team work were the main ingredients in each and every one of the dishes, which were presented on a selection of truly sophisticated dinnerware, without that dinnerware becoming overstated, turned the dinner into an unforgettable experience.

The menu?  “Pistachio ‘handkerchief’ base with Ibizan salt”. “Amélie Oyster special selection with green apple juice and wild rosemary”. “Beets in brine with a touch of coconut, spicy radish tartar sauce and watercress”. “Smoked carp with cod liver, flowered pickles and green onion”. “Signature nigiris of Ibiza prawns and Balfegó bluefin tuna”. “Two styles of large red shrimp from the Algarve: Xerém de Samos and meadowsweet, as well as head with salt-baked beetroot”. “Monkfish cheeks cooked on the grill with sake and black garlic sauce”. And “oxtail with chick peas, liver and cream of onion with artisan cheese from the mountains”. All accompanied from start to finish with Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne.

The offerings from both chefs and their teams were exquisitely combined, getting all of the guests’ five senses to glide on top of a wave of flavours, colours, aromas, textures and perfect presentations.

The dinner turned at times into a kind of healthy competition between the Lisbon and Ibizan teams, in which, as the smiles and hug at the end by both attested to, after being applauded by the satisfied and committed diners, everyone came out a winner.

And for dessert? Two. “Blood orange pastry” and “Chocolate & Peanuts”

The sweetest possible way to finish off this exceptional event headed by 4 of the most skilled hands in international gastronomy, that all of the attendees will remember for a long time to come. An unbeatable way to kick off the season. An invitation from La Gaia restaurant to enjoy life through cuisine.