Last Saturday we attended our second Hidden Kitchen event, organised by Chefs(in) – promoters of Balearic gastronomy. I booked and paid for our places some months ago, as soon as I saw that the chef would be Eduardo Martínez from the unique Brut Restaurante in Llubí. And had my fingers crossed that the pandemic wouldn’t lead to its cancellation.
Book a Hidden Kitchen event and you don’t know where you’re going to eat until you arrive on the day. It won’t be a restaurant. In the five days leading up to the event, Chefs(in) emails participants one clue each day – one of which is the meeting point.
Our meeting point was on an industrial estate in Palma (Son Castelló), outside a discotheque called Latin Magic. We’d been advised to wear comfortable shoes. No salsa stilettos then. Those facts fired up my synapses, I can tell you.
The restaurant Brut used to be a garage/workshop, earning its food the title of ‘garage cuisine’. Edu and his business partner Bruno Balbi even gave a presentation on ‘garage cuisine’ at the Madrid Fusion international gastronomy congress in January this year. Would we be eating in one of the many luxury car showrooms in Palma?
Not quite. Twenty-four diners arrived at the meeting point, where Araceli and Miguel Angel from Chefs(in) welcomed us.
For our last Hidden Kitchen, we were whisked in a luxury minibus from the meeting point to the lunch venue. How would it work this time, with the necessity for physical distancing?
‘I hope they send a full-sized coach,’ The Boss said to me, concerned about so many people breathing – even wearing masks – on a minibus during a pandemic. No transport was required – and all Covid precautions were taken.
Our venue for lunch was mere steps away from the meeting point, inside a business called Bosch & Lozano – a vast store selling vehicle spares and, at the rear, tyres. To be honest, it’s a business I’d never have otherwise visited but it was certainly appropriate for ‘garage cuisine’ Brut.
We began with a cocktail created by Matías Iriarte (of the Palma cocktail bar, Chapeau 1987), before moving through to the enormous tyre depot, where four well-spaced tables for six diners each, as well as Edu and his team, were waiting. As before, the tables were attractively decorated and, for added interest, the well-ventilated space had creative displays using tyres; a gleaming 750cc Norton Commando was also part of the décor (much to The Boss’s interest).
The menu had a Roman theme and a few of the dishes are pictured below.
Reasons to Attend a Hidden Kitchen
A Hidden Kitchen lunch or dinner is not only an opportunity to enjoy a unique menu prepared by one of the Balearics’ best chefs, but also to discover new places and meet new people (with a common interest in gastronomy). We shared our table with a German couple from near Santanyí and a local couple from Alaró, who’d been gifted the experience; neither had eaten at Brut, but seemed likely to try it in the future. If we’re ever in the market for a new fan belt, tyres, or other motoring miscellany, Bosch & Lozano will spring to mind!
A Date for your Diary
The next scheduled Hidden Kitchen is on January 30th, 2021, featuring cuisine by Javier Hoebeeck from the restaurant Fusión 19 in Playa de Muro. It’s a restaurant we intended to visit this year, but time ran out and it closed for the winter. Chefs(in)’s next Hidden Kitchen offers a chance to try Javier Hoebeeck’s cuisine before his restaurant’s new season begins. More details and bookings on Chefs(in).
Jan Edwards Copyright 2020