Women in gastronomy & hospitality on Mallorca

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Bodegas / Drink / Eat / Food / Hoteliers / Hotels / Michelin / Sleep / Wine / Wineries

Today is International Women’s Day, which prompted me to write about just a few of the women I admire within the gastronomy and hotels sector on Mallorca.

Charlotte Miller – Bodega Biniagual


Charlotte is at the helm of the winery owned by her German family, Bodega Biniagual, just outside the tiny hamlet of Biniagual – all of which belongs to the winery. The picturesque and peaceful hamlet is a magical place to visit – and the wines at the more modern bodega are pretty splendid too.

Just a few days ago, three of the Bodega Biniagual wines won medals in the prestigious Sakura Japan Women’s Wine Awards. The two red wines Finca Biniagual Gran Verán 2012 and Finca Biniagual Verán 2011 received Double Gold medals; the rosé wine Memòries de Biniagual Rosat 2014 received a Silver medal.

The third edition of this competition featured more than 3,500 entries from 35 countries and was judged by an all-female panel. A fitting mention for International Women’s Day!

Ilka Karl – Sant Francesc Hotel Singular

Ilka during an interview on Mallorca Sunshine Radio.

Ilka on radio

Ilka – also German – worked in Mallorca’s 5-star St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort and Gran Hotel Son Net before she took up her post as general manager of Palma’s 5-star Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in 2015. 

The hotel has featured in media around the world and won many accolades under her direction and, in 2017, Ilka has decided to move on to a new challenge. I am looking forward to finding out what and where it will be!

Macarena de Castro – Restaurante Jardín


Macarena de Castro-20150614180032

Mallorcan Macarena is the only female chef on the island to have had her cuisine awarded a Michelin star. Her signature cuisine at Restaurante Jardín is derived from authentic Mallorcan recipes. In the past, the former Fine Arts student used to spend the winters – when her family’s restaurant in Alcúdia is closed – working alongside renowned chefs around the world, to enhance her skills. She and her entire team have spent the past few winters in Uruguay, at their other seasonal restaurant Jardín by Sarava.

Barbara Mesquida Mora – Bodega Mesquida Mora

A well-received speech from Barbara at her winery's first anniversary party.

A well-received speech from Barbara at her winery’s first anniversary party.

This passionate young woman (and mum) is from the fourth generation of a well-known wine-making family on Mallorca. After she and her brother left the family winery they had been running, she launched her own Mesquida Mora winery in Porreres, in 2013, cultivating her vines in line with biodynamic practices.

Maria and Teresa Solivellas – Ca Na Toneta restaurant

A wall painting from Ca Na Toneta - but not Maria or Teresa!

A wall painting from Ca Na Toneta – but not Maria or Teresa!

Sisters Maria and Teresa own and run the delightful little restaurant Ca Na Toneta in the village of Caimari – famous for its annual olive fair in the autumn. Organic produce sourced from as close to home as possible is turned into delicious cuisine by Maria in the kitchen. Her Mallorcan ‘coca’ – a cheese-less pizza-like dish – is a particular treat.

Itziar Rodríguez – Zaranda

Itziar Rodriguez serving finger food at a function at Zaranda.

Itziar Rodriguez serving finger food at a function at Zaranda.

Itziar has been the manager of the Michelin-starred Zaranda since Fernando P Arellano first opened in Madrid in 2005. The restaurant moved to Mallorca and, today, it’s located within the 5-star Castell Son Claret hotel in the southwest of Mallorca.

These are just a few of the women who have made their mark working within the gastronomy/hospitality sector on Mallorca. On International Women’s Day, I’m proud to know them – and pleased to say there are plenty more women doing great things in the hospitality sector on Mallorca.

©Jan Edwards 2016

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