Meet the chef: Borja Mendoza, Es Trull

Es Trull de Can Palau is a rising star on Ibiza’s gastronomic map, boasting a diverse menu that fuses tradition with modernity… plus one of the most beautiful views in Ibiza! Visionary head chef Borja Mendoza is behind each extraordinary creation on the menu, with a passion for his craft obvious via amazing flavours and stunning presentation. In this case, cooking really has become an art form…

What inspired you to become a chef?
My inspiration comes from my grandmother. I have many memories of the times we shared in the kitchen when I was very young. She was always in the kitchen! I believe wholeheartedly that cooking is a passion, so it makes sense I would follow our family’s tradition and become a good cook… if you don’t love cooking, you shouldn’t be a chef. You have to spend so many hours creating menus, thinking about each dish and its ingredients, tasting and testing, so you really have to love your work. The best way to learn is through experience, as I learned from my grandmother.

How do you describe the style of food at Es Trull?
I think you’d call it fusion cuisine – at times it’s very traditional but I always try to add modern touches, or it can be a very modern dish with a traditional element. We mix the old and the new with the intention to make our guests happy when they try each dish. I like to use all local ingredients and really bring out each unique flavour, so when someone bites into their meal, they get the true taste of Ibiza.

How do you describe your own style in the kitchen?
I’m normally very quiet and in control. I don’t like it when people are too authoritarian – you have to be open to trying new things. When we have a lot of things happening in the kitchen, I communicate with my second chef, Toni Riera… and sometimes things might get a little stressful. But hey, I’m only 25 years old – I know there’s still so much to learn every day.

What is your signature dish?
Guests love our chocolate and marzipan cake for dessert, but as far as the main menu goes, I’m well known for the way I cook fish. I love seafood – it’s much more difficult to get right than meat… there’s no raw, medium or well done, it has to be perfect. But it’s amazing, and just so fresh – not even two days after was is in the sea, it can be on your plate.

What’s your own favourite food?
Actually I like everything, but I particularly enjoy rice dishes, like paella, a lot. Whenever I eat out, I like to choose something made with rice – I think it’s an incredible ingredient with so much variety and it can be so very flavourful.

What are your favourite restaurants in Ibiza?
The season in Ibiza is so long, and I don’t have time to eat out much, then in the winter so many of the best restaurants are closed! But in the port of Ibiza, there’s a really good restaurant right at the end near the lighthouse called El Cielo. Ama Lur is also such a great restaurant – it’s a dream and they’re so friendly. I also really like Ancient People, the Indian restaurant where you sit at low tables… it’s fun.

What do you like the most about living in Ibiza?
I like the diversity of the people in Ibiza. There are English people, German, Spanish – it’s like a meeting point of cultures in the summer. I like all their different ways and styles. I think, like many people, you can live and work the way you want to, like there’s no tomorrow…

Read more about Es Trull de Can Palau Restaurant on White Ibiza

Es Trull, Ibiza restaurant

Photography by Ana Lui