• Juan Mari Arzak
  • Juan Mari Arzak
  • Juan Mari Arzak
  • Juan Mari Arzak

    Juan Mari Arzak

    Juan Mari Arzak is widely acknowledged as one of the best chefs in the world; his San Sebastián restaurant, which he currently runs alongside his daughter Elena, has three Michelin stars to its name, placing it in an elite category in which quality, creativity, impeccable service and superb food make for a world-class dining experience.

    He inherited his love of cooking from his grandparents and his mother, Paquita, taught him traditional Basque cuisine. After completing his studies at the Higher School of Gastronomy in Madrid, he started travelling and learning from international masters like Paul Bocuse, who showed him how to take gastronomy to an art form.

    From the mid-70s to the present day, his curiosity and innovative style have brought him numerous prizes and awards, and he is a leading exponent of New Basque Cuisine. Arzak’s cooking is signature cuisine, Basque cuisine. Its outstanding feature is that it is firmly rooted in the land but continually evolving. It’s also cuisine based on research, progress and cutting-edge ideas.

    How I found Ibiza...

    I went for four days in September 1974 and since then I’ve been back every year except one. When Discoteca Ku opened, its owners were from San Sebastián and my great friend Pedro Subijana set up the kitchen there.

    Some of its myriad facets...

    I like the people in Ibiza and in Formentera too, I go to Ibiza at night and I spend the day in Formentera. Ibiza nightlife is fantastic, amazing. I’ve got good friends on both islands and I visit them every year, especially my good friend and great professional Felipe de la Peña, who has worked so hard for many years to publicise Ibiza\'s gastronomy.

    A luxury on the island...

    In Ibiza, the sea is a luxury, as are the beaches and the food, which is absolutely wonderful. In Ibiza you can get one of the best fish in the world - Raor (cleaver wrasse). The island has some first-rate local produce and restaurants serving terrific food; the people of Ibiza convey a special kind of peace; you islanders have a different pace of life.

    My favourite moment...

    Best moment, a good dinner on the seashore, I love Ibiza food with its Mediterranean flavours.

    A memory when I\'m far away...

    For me, the place I call home is San Sebastián, because I was born and bred in Donosti, but Ibiza comes a close second. Every time I think of Ibiza, I remember the sunshine and the atmosphere; I always go there in the summer so I don\'t know what it\'s like in winter, but the Ibiza I know is fantastic.

    The magic of Ibiza...

    The magic of Ibiza is like that special touch you give a particular dish. We might all be making the same recipe, but everyone gets a different result, and that depends on the individual touch each person gives it; what’s that touch? I don’t know; what’s the magic of Ibiza? Well we don’t know that either, everyone finds their own version of it. All over the world, when you talk about Ibiza, people go crazy about it.

    What I tell my friends...

    I say to my friends: “you’re going somewhere I can’t explain, because words can’t explain it, I can only tell you that you’ll have a wonderful experience and when you get back, come and tell me about it...\". The best example of all is that I’ve been going there all my life since 1974. You’ll have a great time in Ibiza, it’s a very friendly island, very warm and welcoming.

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