Meet the owner: Giuseppe Vivacqua

For Giuseppe Vivacqua food should not only nourish but also invoke emotion, memory and connection.

For Giuseppe Vivacqua (Beppe as he is known) food should not only nourish but also invoke emotion, memory and connection. It’s not artifice; the perfect dish is like standing in front of an incredible painting or reading a poem that incites weeping. Yes, for Beppe, it goes that deep.

Like many good chefs he grew up in his mother’s kitchen in Turin soaking in the flavours of the north combined with the tastes of his parent’s Calabrian roots. As a young man he travelled Italy becoming an apprentice in some of the country’s finest restaurants. A rite of passage for any young chef, an apprenticeship can be a gruelling experience. Beppe loved it. He has an insatiable desire for knowledge and this winter he plans to act as an apprentice once again at a vegetarian restaurant to learn new methods in an area that has become increasingly interesting to him.

12 years ago, Giuseppe relocated to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza to explore a new way of living. Ibiza contains everything Beppe loves. An expansive natural environment to enjoy and explore, countless wild edibles and a simple, unencumbered life where he can still leave his car unlocked. His days as a city person are definitely over; the rushing and stress of big cities are anathema to the purity of life he seeks. His inspiration comes from the beauty of the island and the openness of its people. He spent six years at the iconic Macao Cafe in Santa Gertrudis honing his skills, gaining knowledge, making good friends and dreaming of one day opening his own place. A chance meeting with Can Domingo co-owner Andrea led to an encounter with Alessandro and the trio was complete. Can Domingo was born and Beppe is now master craftsman of his own kitchen.

His latest creation, ‘Under the Almond Tree’, was inspired by the Can Domingo garden. The almond tree is not the most beautiful tree. It is old, and gnarled, but it’s Beppe’s favourite. It’s branches stretch protectively over the plants. Every plant growing under it ends up in the kitchen. This new dish skillfully depicts this through flavour, texture and colour.

If you can’t find Beppe in the Can Domingo kitchen you’ll probably see him in the garden lovingly caring for his vegetables and herbs and if he’s not there he’ll be foraging in the forest for wild food or sitting at home reading another book about cooking. You can take the man out of the kitchen, but you can never take the kitchen out of the man.