London-born chef and restaurateur Marc Fosh’s contribution to the vibrant gastronomic scene in Mallorca cannot be overstated. More than half-a-dozen young chefs who have worked under his tutelage have subsequently opened their own successful restaurants on the island. His teaching and mentoring skills can be in no doubt.
I first discovered Marc’s food when he ran the kitchen at the former Bacchus restaurant, at what used to be Reads Hotel. It became our go-to place for a Michelin-starred dinner and overnight stay for special celebrations. After Marc left Bacchus in 2009 to open his own restaurant in Palma de Mallorca, the hotel was never the same for us.
The only British chef in Spain at a Michelin-starred restaurant
Marc Fosh restaurant in Palma is one of two Michelin-starred restaurants in Mallorca’s capital; the other is owned by chef Adrián Quetglas (who coincidentally used to work for Marc). Fosh is still the only British chef in Spain leading a Michelin-starred kitchen. He also has a catering company (Fosh Catering) and a farm (yes, Fosh Farm) cultivating some of the produce for his kitchens.
This modest chef has now added published author to his talents: His first cookbook (in English) has been launched in Spain and has its UK launch on July 9th. Entitled Modern Mediterranean – Sun-drenched recipes from Mallorca and beyond, the book reads like a love letter to the produce and food producers of Marc’s adopted island.
Marc Fosh restaurant recently hosted a book signing, combined with a tasting of wines from 3.10 Celler.
In his book, Marc shares recipes for eighteen of his favourite ingredients, which include almonds, lamb, lemons, olive oil, saffron, tomatoes, and chocolate. Each key ingredient has its own chapter of recipes, preceded by an informative introduction. The book is crammed with gorgeous photos by the multi-award-winning Palma-based photographer Nando Esteva. The publishers originally wanted to use a UK-based stylist and photographer but Marc insisted on using Nando – who has worked with Marc for many years.
Putting recipes to the test
When my review copy arrived from the London publishers, I invited two people – a professional cook and a reluctant cook – to choose and try one of his recipes and review it for my radio show Table Talk (edition 60) on Mallorca Sunshine Radio; (click the link to hear their reviews).
My professional tester Sandra van Oorschot is the cooking half of the business Captain Cook Culinary Sailing Tours. Sandra made and loved Marc’s Mediterranean Spiced Lamb Stew with Apricots and Coriander. This friendly Dutch woman is an excellent cook and if you love good home-cooked food (and well-chosen Mallorcan wines) and would like to combine it with a sailing trip, offering a different perspective of Mallorca, I can highly recommend a trip out with Captain Cook (which, unlike some other charters operating in Balearic waters, is fully legal and therefore suitably insured).
After browsing through the review copy I received from the London publishers, The Boss was so enthused by the book that he offered to cook Pomegranate-marinated Leg of Lamb. This was Quite Something, as he is a reluctant cook – unless a BBQ is involved. He followed the instructions carefully but, instead of cooking the lamb in the oven, he chose to adapt the heat settings and timing for our Weber BBQ. Fingers were crossed (by both of us), but I’m pleased to report that the dish was delicious and is now in The Boss’s outdoor-cooking repertoire. Thank you, Marc!
Unlike some Michelin-starred cuisine, Marc Fosh’s is based on simplicity. His techniques bring out the flavour of the prime ingredients he uses. His recipes seem accurate and the instructions easy to follow. Now I just need to work a bit on my plating skills…
Modern Mediterranean – Sun-drenched recipes from Mallorca and beyond (Nourish) is available to buy at Marc Fosh restaurant in Palma (25€), from Amazon, and other outlets on Mallorca. In the UK, the book will be on sale from July 9th for £20.
Jan Edwards ©2019