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.
Marc Fosh’s Three Meals on Mallorca
Can Simoneta (Canyamel): The chef, David Moreno, does a nice fusion of Mexican and Mallorcan cooking. The location is stunning as well, the same coastline as Sa Pleta.
Daica (Llubi): I’m tipping this restaurant to get a Michelin star soon. Caterina Pieras cooks Mallorcan food that is beautifully done.
Las Terrazas del Bendinat (Portals Nous): Hotel Bendinat’s huge terrace restaurant is right by the sea. I always go for the sea bass baked in salt; it’s a lovely dish.