Amorevore Food & Arts Festival – A fiesta for the senses

If there’s doubt in anyone’s mind about Ibiza’s reputation as one of the world’s blossoming gastronomic capitals, then Amorevore Food & Arts Festival, a three-day event taking place between October 26 and 28, 2018, will make them reassess those assumptions. A fiesta for the senses set to fuse the most scintillating elements of food, art, music, film and conversation, the aim is to provide an opportunity to sample some of the island’s most exceptional produce and cuisine while delivering a cutting edge cultural programme designed to spark debate, cement change and deliver insight into hot topics affecting food sustainability and community.

“When you look at food issues, there’s a really strong potential for making considerable change through bringing people together,” explains Amorevore Food Festival founder, Jenna Ansell. “Ibiza is known as a party island and if you scratch beneath the surface of that you discover that the true cost to the environment and communities here is significant. So the idea is to give back to the island – to nurture and to protect it, rather than just take from it.” Indeed, Amorevore is about so much more than just plates of delicious food (though there will be lots of those!) – it’s powered by a team of devoted individuals who really hope to drive perceptions and change.

In the past, Jenna worked on events for Wilderness, Secret Garden Party and the BBC, but it was Ibiza’s infamous magnetic pull that kept her rooted in the white isle. “Ibiza chooses you,” she smiles. “Follow the signs and the magic unfolds.” And it’s a genuine passion and dedication for gastronomy that has seen her develop the Amorevore vision here. “What’s behind this project is real authenticity and good intentions,” she says earnestly. “Everything we’re doing comes from the heart. We want to create something positive – a legacy and foundations that we can build on, year on year.”

The basis of that ideal centres around a series of entertaining, inspiring, innovative events, the majority of which will be held in collaboration with the spectacularly rustic rural hotel Casa Maca. “The whole feel of Casa Maca is spot on for Amorevore,” Jenna explains. “It’s built around these old agricultural buildings that really speak of Ibiza’s past – it couldn’t be a more perfect partnership.” A slew of additional venues dotted around the island are also involved, as well as ‘Wild Walks’ hosted by Walking Ibiza, which lead guests on a ramble in search of Ibiza’s ancient food heritage, with food tasting thrown in for good measure. But the idea is to ignite more than just the taste buds.

“The most exciting part for me is the Symposium,” say Jenna. “We’ve modelled that on TED talks, and each day of the festival is curated around a different theme. On the first day we’re looking at Optimal Being, when author and TV chef Jasmine Hemsley is going to do a session on Ayurveda and cooking, and we’ve got nutritionists coming in to talk about gut health.”

The second day looks at lessons we can learn from the past, dubbed The Future of Heritage. “On this day we’re going to have a big vegan debate, which we’ve got an amazing panel for, which is very exciting,” Jenna adds. “We’re doing a talk on the future of Balearic cuisine, and a whole project where we’re hoping to make young farmers the new rockstars! We’ve also got Gill Meller of River Cottage fame coming to discuss his new book.”

The final day looks at what comes next. “It’s called The New ERA, which stands for entrepreneurism, regeneration and activism,” Jenna explains. “Jair Tellez, Mexico’s first Michelin-starred chef is flying over for a discussion on hacking fine dining, and we’re doing sessions on creating sustainable food trends.” The Symposium takes place daily from 10am to 7pm over course of the three-day event and is free to all Amorevore ticket holders

Of course, this is just a snapshot of the jam-packed schedule, which also features internationally acclaimed names from the culinary world including Graham Hancock,  author and cook Zoe Adjonyoh, founder of Local Futures Helena Norberg-Hodge, chefs Valentine Warner, David Reartes, Ibiza tourism chief Vicent Torres, organic gardener Anna Greenland, eco-chef Justin Alexander Horne and author of Eivissa: The Ibiza Cookbook, Anne Sijmonsbergen, who’ll all be present to weigh in on the debates surrounding critical food-related issues, and offer their personal take on solutions. “The idea is that we’re bringing international and local experts together, so people can come and listen and get super inspired,” Jenna says.

That’s what’s happening at the more serious end of the scale, but elsewhere there’ll be all kinds of treats to indulge in – for all the family (former Noma chef Boris Buono is hosting special kids’ session and concession tickets are available). Think elaborate, five-course, alfresco banquets showcasing the best in Ibiza’s seasonal cuisine; artisanal street food markets; craft beverage stands demonstrating all that’s delicious about the island’s local liqueur hierbas, sake, biodynamic wines, and mezcal; artworks and visual displays; live music; a screening of Seed: The Untold Story hosted by Cinema Paradiso; beekeeping sessions, and a range of hands on workshops like how to cook with fire.

Standout events over the long weekend include the official Amorevore Food & Arts Festival opening party held at a beautiful secret location, a pop-up dinner at Campo Comida, and additional feasting events at restaurant La Paloma and organic farm, Ca’n Pere Mussona, while the crowning glory is a closing banquet courtesy of Ibiza Food Studio star and Amorevore co-founder, Boris Buono. “I’m constantly blown away by the way Boris talks about food, presents food and his food philosophy,” Jenna says. “He’s such a strong ambassador for the project.”

Amorevore Food & Arts Festival is set to be three blissful and inspiring days of delectable food, stimulating conversation and cultural questioning, but the hope is also that it will create a dialogue between the island, mainland Spain and the rest of the world to create a meeting point where everyone can learn from each other. “That’s the dream,” Jenna concludes. “We want to put Ibiza on the map as a food destination. The festival is the perfect way to demonstrate that there’s so much more to this island.”

In keeping with this ethos, Amorevore has partnered exclusively with White Ibiza as media partners for the event, so keep your eyes on our Facebook and Instagram channels, event calendar and website for more exciting news, schedules and announcements as they come to hand. In the meantime, further information on guest speakers, events and ticketing is available on the Amorevore website.