At the helm of the kitchen of hot new Playa d’en Bossa beach restaurant BEACHOUSE Ibiza is head chef Sebastian Altimari, serving up an extensive selection of rustic, honest and authentic Italian cuisine, made with the highest quality ingredients.
The focus on fresh flavours is prevalent throughout the sophisticated menu, and the day-to-night dining destination has quickly become a must-visit for every Ibiza foodie worth their Salinas salt since it’s official opening in July 2014! Still, we managed to steal the busy chef away from the kitchen for a few minutes one bright and early summer morning to get a little more insight into what makes him tick!
Tell us a little bit about your background – how did you become a chef? I was born in Italy – so I have that connection to the BEACHOUSE Ibiza style of cooking – although my family moved to Argentina when I was very, very young, so I feel as though I am more Argentinean by nature. I’ve always been cooking – for more than 20 years – and I love food, so it wasn’t really a decision to become a chef, it just happened naturally. I started from zero… just helping out, cooking, working in different restaurants… and over the years, I worked my way up!
What brought you to Ibiza? I have always travelled a lot and worked all over the world – being a chef, you can work anywhere in the world while you travel, and Ibiza always appealed to me because I love nature – it’s my way of getting grounded. When the opportunity came to come here, I took it.
What led you to work at BEACHOUSE Ibiza? I’d been living in Ibiza for four years, and previously I was working at El Chiringuito with [head chef] Jerome, which is owned by the same people as BEACHOUSE. Then the opportunity to take over the kitchen in the new restaurant opened up, and here I am!
Tell us about your style of cooking, you signature cuisine? For me, it’s all about using high quality ingredients to enhance the natural flavours in the dish. I use the freshest produce possible and love incorporating classic Mediterranean ingredients sourced here on the island – we have a really great network of suppliers who deliver to us daily – in combination with some specialist ingredients imported from Italy. I enjoy creating simple yet delicious dishes that are enhanced it with authentic, homemade accoutrements.
What is the atmosphere like in the BEACHOUSE kitchen? It’s busy, but it’s calm, despite the fact we have 18 team members in the kitchen. Our team is really great – there’s a lot of passion for what we do and we love seeing all the elements come together to create something special every day.
What are your personal favourite restaurants in Ibiza (aside from BEACHOUSE of course!)? [Laughs] I don’t have much time to enjoy them in the summer, since the restaurant is open from 10am until 1am every day and I am usually here, but I still love El Chiringuito on Es Cavallet and I also love Pastis in Ibiza town.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Ibiza? [Laughs again, motions to the sweeping view of Playa d’en Bossa from the BEACHOUSE terrace] This! I love the unspoiled beaches, places like Cala Salada, Cala Saladeta – the ones that are untouched by human hands. Being able to find places like this on such a touristic island is amazing – I love it here. It’s also great to be able to travel in the off-season, visit the family and then go to new places for inspiration.