We have arrived in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, as the 19th-century English poet John Keats described this time of year, in his poem ‘To Autumn’.
This season in Mallorca can be glorious: the intense summer heat has gone; the number of visitors has reduced, and – if we’re lucky – the sun shines from a clear blue sky, as it’s doing today. It’s also when we enjoy some of the island’s delicious seasonal produce, from the land and the sea.
Many hotels and restaurants in Mallorca will close for the off-season over the coming weeks and won’t reopen until next spring. Some hospitality workers – tired after the long tourist season – will be counting down the days before their well-deserved break.
This seems not to apply to Guillermo Méndez, executive chef at the stunning 5-star Belmond La Residencia in Deià. Although the hotel will close for the winter on November the 10th, the chef’s creativity is not winding down. Why would it, when autumn in Mallorca brings a rich bounty of fresh produce to inspire new recipes and culinary ideas?
The hotel’s El Olivo restaurant has launched Chef Méndez’s new Menu Extravaganza for autumn; this gastronomic dinner comprises eight dishes that showcase autumn flavours, textures, and colours.
I was fortunate enough to be treated to this menu at El Olivo last week and, if my writing ability extended to poetry, I’d write a more upbeat poem about autumn than the one written by Keats, just a year before his untimely death from tuberculosis at the age of only twenty-five.
Here are photos of just a few of the dishes (and please bear in mind that the romantic lighting at El Olivo is not as good for food photos as it is at flattering people!).
This luxurious celebration of Mallorca’s autumn gastronomy costs 150€ a head, without drinks.
A serious wine destination
Every year since 2004, El Olivo at Belmond La Residencia in Mallorca has been named as one of the winners of the ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ in The Wine Spectator‘s annual Restaurant Awards. These awards recognize restaurants with wine lists offering interesting selections – appropriate to the cuisine and with appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. The restaurants awarded ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ are described by The Wine Spectator as “destinations for serious wine lovers, showing a deep commitment to wine, both in the cellar and through their service team.”
Early autumn on this island is the time when grapes are harvested to make wine. Yet another good reason for autumn to be my favourite gastronomic season in Mallorca.
Jan Edwards ©2019