High up in the hills of Na Xamena, discreetly tucked away within the stunning five-star surrounds of the hotel Hacienda is a big, bustling and busy kitchen serving up culinary creations to hotel guests and visiting diners around the clock. Presiding over the Eden Restaurant kitchen with a watchful eye is German-born head chef Patric Gernsbeck…
What inspired you to become a chef?
My parents had a restaurant, and my passion for cooking started there. Then I got an apprenticeship with a hotel, in combination with my cooking studies. There I learnt to adapt to the real hotelier world – I ended up loving it and and have been working with hotels ever since.
How did you come to work at Hacienda Na Xamena?
I came here to work for one season, then I went back to Germany, not even thinking about coming back to Spain! Three years later, the Hacienda Na Xamena asked me to come back and the more I thought about it, the easier the decision was made.
How do you describe your style in the kitchen?
I allow a certain liberty to my team, while sticking to the strictness of a professional kitchen. In summer, our kitchen provides food to our different restaurants, room service, wedding banquets and other events. This requires steady concentration, creativity and real attention to detail. I like to keep my team motivated so we maintain our high standards throughout the whole season.
What is your signature dish?
The Menu Ludico. It starts with Pica Pica, five appetisers, from around the world and then as the main course, there is ‘Mar y Montaña’, a tasting of fish and meat, inspired by the sea and mountains surrounding the hotel. For dessert, we make three sweet, small things also from all over the world – it is quite famous on the menu here.
What’s your own favourite food?
This is really, really easy – I like a good grilled fish or good meat, served with a simple garnish, and a good wine. I also like a lot of Japanese food like sushi, but mostly it’s simple food that suits me best. I like enjoying good food in a good restaurant, having fun and relaxing with friends.
What are your favourite restaurants in Ibiza?
It is quite difficult to say, as there are so many on the island. But (after our Eden Restaurant of course!) I do like Es Boldado, because of its setting, high up above the beach and facing Es Vedrá, as well as its very traditional Ibicencan food. It’s very tasteful and simple alike, with plenty of cosmopolitan characters there.
What do you like the most about living in Ibiza?
The quality of life! You have to work very hard in the summer, but you never lose the excitement of being here. Then comes the wintertime when it is really quiet and timeless. You can do a lot of things and enjoy the island in this time because there are less tourists, residents are more open minded, friends have more time for each other and many restaurants, bars and even discos are still open, so you can still have fun – it’s great!