Journey of discovery

Can Domingo team set out on their annual journeys of discovery.

Can Domingo is coming into its sixth season this year – a longevity that is a testament to the commitment and determination of a team who continue to present an exceptional experience. When the summer comes to an end and most people in Ibiza take a well deserved break, the Can Domingo team set out on their annual journeys of discovery. When you are a dedicated foodie your obsession is insatiable, and what others might classify as work just becomes part of your life. That is certainly true of the three owners at Can Domingo.

Last winter, while most of us were trying to spend as much time under the covers as possible, head chef and co-owner Giuseppe Vivacqua was in the kitchen of one of his idols learning new skills, tips and tricks. Giuseppe has long admired Pietro Leemann, whose Milan based restaurant, Joia, is the only vegetarian restaurant in Europe to have received a Michelin star to date. Leemann’s food is steeped in a spiritual wonder and a deep respect for nature. Giuseppe feels a profound affinity with the flavours, colours and textures served up at Joia but also for Leemann’s philosophy of food, cooking and life itself.

Leemann’s work is more often about a spiritual or emotional journey rather than just putting foods together on a plate. There is a communion between the offerings of the earth and the human experience. It’s this communion in which Giuseppe finds great joy, whether he is in the vegetable garden or in the kitchen. Veganism and vegetarianism may seem like the latest dietary trends but for Giuseppe these culinary concepts hold more meaning then just the newest buzzword. Certainly, there is a moral compass that directs him towards a more sustainable lifestyle and yet there is also a desire to study the purity of flavour the natural world offers. This is not about replacement; it’s more about innovation. Can Domingo’s menu this year reflects these discoveries in the most delicious of ways. This summer, we will be presenting Ibiza’s first vegan fine dining tasting menu in our enchanting gardens in the hills of San Jose.

Nevertheless, as they say, you can take the boys out of Italy but not Italy out of the boys! Giuseppe’s respect for his culinary roots is as strong as ever. Can Domingo classics such a slow roasted suckling pig, Ibiza lamb cooked three ways and famous homemade pastas such as the agnolotti del plin and local Ibizan fish are firmly embedded in the restaurant’s soul. While the Can Domingo garden thrives on the concepts of permaculture, never having once seen a single chemical, the cold larder is packed with cheeses from Italy’s finest cheese makers, Giolito Formaggi, a family run business based in Piemonte.

Obviously, the additional owners of Can Domingo, Alessandro Barni Spadacini and Andrea Sanarica, also pull their weight over the winter. The pair set out on their annual pilgrimage to the homeland to source new wines to add to Can Domingo’s carefully curated selection. As you can imagine, it’s tough work, travelling through Tuscany and Piemonte tasting and then choosing the best from small wine makers. New additions include some excellent examples of Gattinara, Barolo, Barbaresco and Chianti wines. Understandably Alessandro and Andrea were also committed to finding new grappas as well. In a change of direction this year they also travelled to Champagne to pick out some of the world’s best bubbles and to give the opportunity to their guests to have a great product by the glass for a reasonable price. It seems their winter was just full of work, work, work!

This is no doubt set to be the most exciting season yet for Can Domingo. The garden is thriving and full to the brim with incredible fruits and vegetables, while the team has coalesced into a tight knit group of people in love with food and life.