October 3, 2018
Andreu Genestra, tradition perfected
Aged 35, he is ambitious and has very clear ideas: to position the local pantry of Mallorca and its cuisine both within and outside an island which, until a decade ago, had left its great restaurants in the hands of ‘a Ku Klux Klan of Germans and English who were calling the shots.’
A new generation of cooks, which he leads, is turning the tables.
Charming on a personal level, he wanted to be a chef ever since he was a child: frank and without hypocrisy, his conversation is fluid, direct, critical when necessary, sprinkled with a sense of humour, passionate to the point of obsession when he talks about Mallorca and his work. That personality is reflected in a seemingly effortless cuisine that tastes of the island’s terroir and the Mediterranean Sea, of centuries-old influences that built our culture, of spices, tradition, restrained technique, of present and future ... of Andreu Genestra.
He admires the produce of his land absolutely, has an in-depth knowledge of both its roots and contemporary cuisine, offers myriad nuances and flavours as his hallmark: all this is unfurled at his Michelin-starred restaurant at the Predí Son Jaumell Hotel in Capdepera (in Mallorca), a traditional country house dating back to the 1400s.
On his 40-km² property, Genestra has become the king of produce thanks to his vegetable garden and farm, and the envy of all cooks huddled in an urban jungle. This cook uses technique to study the past and answer the ‘whys?’, seeks to surprise diners with shapes and textures, but always respects those familiar flavours whose language is part of our DNA. For him, creativity means presenting an everyday food in a different way, using new techniques.
In this process of gastronomic rediscovery, he studies historical dishes and reinterprets them by applying his technique and knowledge, improving the way the produce is handled and offering a cuisine that is healthier. Thus, he will take the Madrid Fusión stage with the baker Tomeu Arbona, from Fornet de la Soca in (Palma), who defines his work as ‘local gastronomic archaeology’, to explore the Jewish roots of Mallorcan cuisine via two radically different visions of the ensaimada.
By Pilar Salas