When Sophie Daunais stepped across the historic threshold of the former Can Cires in the hamlet of San Mateo, she was certain she did not want to start yet another project. But the house – which was built in 1899 – had other ideas and very quickly, Daunais felt called to extend her already huge regenerative farm project to its conclusion: a restaurant and bohemian hangout with the feeling of a private clubhouse, minus the rules and regulations. Juntos House, launched this summer, is the culmination of her lifetime obsession with style, food, design, community and environmental protection.
Juntos means together in Spanish and this one word sums up Daunais’ ethos, beginning with her first Ibiza-based project Juntos Farm. Established alongside her ex-husband and now business partner Christian Jochnick, the farm project evolved from a parcel of land in Ibiza’s north that had been neglected for decades. The pair rehabilitated the fields and surrounding forests, improving soil health and planting thousands of almond trees. “The idea came from wanting to create an ideal family environment,” says Daunais. “We wanted to raise our children within nature and to show people how important the health of the land is.” With the farm project producing high-quality yields, assembling a place where people could eat it was an obvious, yet unplanned, step. “I never thought a restaurant would be part of the package, but now I see how perfectly it fits.”
Designed in collaboration with longtime friend Camilleri Interiors, Juntos House is a showcase for Daunais’ natural talent for combining colour, texture and ambience. The spectrum ranges from raw wood hues to deep turquoise and blues and splashes of rustic undertones, with beauty to be found in every corner. A spacious garden terrace is crowned with an intricate mosaic telling the story of Ibiza – on close inspection, many familiar places and characters can be found within the art. A wood pergola dominates one corner of the terrace and will soon house further dining spaces, and the Juntos House cocktail bar. While magic seeps out of every perfectly styled nook and cranny, the real star of the show is the kitchen.
Farm-to-table is a term that’s bandied about with a little too much freedom these days, yet Juntos House is the real deal. Chef Benoît Cadot (La Mercerie, Marseille) was enlisted to head up the kitchen. “It’s truly every chef’s dream,” he says. “The connection to the farm is one of the main reasons I took the position. It’s amazing to be able to grow your own produce, to choose the variety, and work with it as you desire.” Cadot visits the farm regularly to connect with the products that end up in his kitchen and to collaborate with the farm crew on planting and harvesting schedules. “I come from a farming family,” he explains of his process. “I became a chef from watching my parents and grandparents pick fruits and vegetables from our land and bring them into our kitchen. There was always seasonal, fresh food in my childhood home. It’s the natural way.”
Cadot’s joy at the opportunity to work so closely with growers is obvious in the dishes he’s creating. “I am a strong advocate for a zero-waste kitchen,” he says. “I buy whole animals or fish and use them in their entirety. I use it all – nothing is wasted. Respecting and optimising the product must be the principal base of modern cuisine.” Zero-kilometre cooking at its peak, almost all of the produce served at Juntos House is plucked from Ibiza’s fertile soil that very morning. Fresh-picked artichoke is paired with lemon and pillowy gnocchi, tender organic Ibiza lamb is served with farm-fresh carrot confit and labneh, while local ricotta fills the crispy-fried zucchini flowers. Even the indulgent desserts are drizzled with Juntos Farm honey – everything on the menu has travelled mere minutes before arriving on Cadot’s chopping block.
The wine list at Juntos House is brimming with ecological, biodynamic and natural options and the creative menu of signature farm-to-glass cocktails designed by Maxime Potfer makes pre-dinner drinks essential. Actually, there’s no need to have dinner to enjoy a cocktail here – it’s Ibiza after all and celebration has no time constraints. Which is exactly Daunais’ goal. “Juntos House is a place where you can stop by to say hi, have one drink and leave or stay all night,” she says. “I want people to feel good when they walk in, like they’re being welcomed into someone’s home.” The concept of regenerative farming and conscious living has been extending to encouraging guests to feel good about themselves and their place in the world. Indeed, walking into Juntos House is a lot like walking into the embrace of an old friend. It’s good old-fashioned heart medicine.
Daunais’ restless creativity and commitment to the Juntos House vision will also be represented in the forthcoming opening of a small on-site boutique. She calls it creativity by association, which is a modest way to describe her collaborations with local and European makers. Alongside Alba Esteva, founder of island fashion brand Figtree Collection, she has created a range of hand-dyed silk kimonos and scarves – Esteva crafted the botanical dyes for the collection using vegetables and flowers from Juntos Farm. Soft greens come from artichoke and pale yellows from marigold petals, the magical process becoming a full circle moment – from farm to table to shop. Along with Figtree’s creations are hand-dipped candles, gourmet food products and much more. “My mission is to find good people doing good things,” Daunais explains. “And of course, every object is sustainably made. Everything tells a story.”
Consciousness and accountability are the cornerstones of the collective culinary vision created by Daunais and Cadot, along with impeccable presentation and service plus a healthy dose of Ibiza’s breezy-free-and-easy attitude. The Juntos House story is just getting started and if the first chapter is anything to go by, this tale is set to scale new heights, fast. With workshops, events and many other gatherings planned, Daunais and her team – along with her collaborators and her clients – are building the dream, together.