Santa Eulalia is embracing the arrival of a new venue, Chiringuito Blue, which encapsulates all the glamour you would expect from an Ibizan chiringuito with a truly exceptional culinary experience, quite unlike anything the town has been graced with in the past.
At the helm of this new gastronomic venture is renowned chef Haim Cohen. Having enjoyed an illustrious career in his home city of Tel Aviv, he comes to Ibiza with a wealth of experience, and a host of intriguing and frankly outstanding dishes.
Having fallen in love with food at an early age under the influence of his mother’s kitchen, he is self taught, and explains that when he began his culinary journey, the advantages which are available to young chefs today were not there for him, instead he honed his craft by travelling the world, embracing new flavours, cultures and bringing these influences together to create his own signature style.
He tells us that he loves to remain true to his roots, yet is not afraid to experiment with new versions of classic dishes, drawing on staples such as fresh pita bread, aubergines, and lamb stew, adding a unique twist to each dish.
He is supported on his quest to ensure that each service is better than the last by his protegee, Head Chef Tzvi Avisat, who was himself inspired to become a chef after reading an interview with Haim in a magazine, advising young people with aspirations in the restaurant world to travel, study and explore, which he did, spending three years at the Hoffman Culinary Institute in Barcelona, before returning to Tel Aviv, where he has spent the last 3 years working alongside Haim, forging a deep understanding of the same language of food.
Haim is passionate about making the most of the wonderful local produce available to him here on the island, sourcing local fish, which he says is some of the freshest he has ever tasted, using handpicked island herbs and adding olive oil from Ibiza in his dishes.
He describes the menu as perfect beach food, to be enjoyed on your luxuriant daybed, or in the elegant setting of the shaded restaurant area, and the food is simply divine. We tasted three dishes, recommended by Haim, beginning with sumptuous lamb, encased in handmade pitta bread and enriched with flavours of shallots, local herbs and served spicy and cinnamon sauces. A innovative take on a classic dish.
Next we were delighted by some excellent yellowtail sashimi, complemented by tomatoes, squeezed over the dish as if they were lemons, and the subtle additions of coriander and olive. A final serving of the ingenious ‘married sardines’ dish, where two fabulously fresh sardines are cooked together and then combined with bulgar wheat and aubergine, and then cooked in fresh breadcrumbs. Heavely.
Haim finished our conversation by telling us that being in Ibiza is a dream come true, to be cooking in the state of the art open kitchen whilst just a few metres away from the sea, a whole other world to the hectic, fast paced life in Tel Aviv, here he feels relaxed, and welcome the people who come to spend an idyllic day at Chiringuito Blue. After all, he laughs, food is what makes EVERYONE happy!