This year’s Grand Gourmet Award had a new venue: the 5-star hotel Castell Son Claret, near Es Capdellà. Some 155 people attended (some of them flying to the island especially for the event) for an extraordinary gastronomic experience, created by eight superb chefs (seven from Michelin-starred restaurants).
Fernando P Arellano (Zaranda, Castell Son Claret)
Tomeu Caldentey (Es Molí d’en Bou)
Macarena de Castro (Rte Jardín)
Marc Fosh (Simply Fosh)
Andreu Genestra (Andreu Genestra)
Santi Taura (Santi Taura)
Rafael Sánchez (Es Fum)
Thomas Martin (guest chef from the 2-Michelin-starred Jacobs Restaurant in Hamburg).
The previous format of a sit-down dinner, followed by the award ceremony, was replaced for 2015 with a more dynamic event. Having attended a previous event, I preferred this new more informal format. On arrival at lunchtime on Sunday, June 14th, we enjoyed the welcome reception, with drinks and delicious finger food created by Martin, Caldentey, and Fosh. Castell Son Claret’s general manager Björn Spaude welcomed everyone to the event, and Daniyella and Band provided background music enhancing the relaxed ambience.
food: Baby squid ‘a la bruta’ – Santi Taura
Shrimp from Cala Ratjada with almond stew, green peas and Mallorcan black pork – Andreu Genestra
Tartar of red mullet – Macarena de Castro
Hake, yellow pepper and blood orange, rice and tonka beans – Rafael Sánchez
Braised beef cheek, alliums, parsley, apricots with roasted hay, and bone marrow emulsion – Marc Fosh
Cannelloni 2001 – Tomeu Caldentey
The three little pigs – Fernando P Arellano
Guests – in groups of just over 20 people – then moved to a different location to eat each of the seven savoury dishes (each matched with a wine). Assisted by their own restaurant personnel, the chefs served their creations in locations including Olivera and Zaranda restaurants and kitchens, the Olivera lawn, and Sa Clastra – the beautiful courtyard at the heart of the hotel. Apart from the dishes eaten while standing in the gleaming contemporary kitchens, guests sat at long tables, enjoying the company of like-minded gourmets from different countries, before returning en masse to the Olivera terrace for some sweet treats.
Quark mousse with infusion of berries, lemongrass, basil ice cream – Thomas Martin
Fresh cheese sponge, tomato ‘Ramellet’ and passion fruit – Santi Taura
Avocado with yogurt and almond – Macarena de Castro
Balm of eucalyptus and citrus – Andreu Genestra
Charcoal (better than it sounds!) – Rafael Sánchez
Burrata Zaranda, goat’s cheese, strawberries and basil – Fernando P Arellano
The excellent music continued, and many of us took the chance to dance. The award ceremony this year was different, in that no ‘winner’ was announced: instead each chef received a framed certificate of participation, a bottle of wine, and enthusiastic applause.
The formalities concluded, guests were able to take advantage of the Fever-Tree gin and tonic bar, and a Feurring BBQ – just in case they hadn’t already had enough to eat! The barbie food looked good, but I couldn’t manage another morsel . . .
Congratulations to the whole team at Castell Son Claret, and all the chefs and their teams who took part. It was a Sunday afternoon we’ll remember for a long time.