Amante Ibiza Organic Garden – Homegrown goodness

Amante Ibiza has long been a firm favourite for foodies visiting thw white isle, and over the past few years Chef Carlos Fernandez has introduced a host of healthy and fresh dishes to the a la carte menu, sourcing ingredients locally and organically wherever possible. In 2016 however, the chef doesn’t have to look any further than the restaurant’s own backyard (so to speak), as Amante Ibiza introduce their very own 1000 square metre organic vegetable garden.

Working alongside experienced Ibicenco farmer Guillermo Ferrer – who boasts over 30 years experience cultivating organic fruit and vegetables on island soil – chef Carlos can now expertly curate his menus with inside information on seasonal vegetables, with daily reports on the progress of each crop allowing him to be totally in tune, and hands-on, with nature’s developments.

While most diners are familiar with Amante’s exquisite seaside setting, what many don’t realise is that inland, on the opposite side to the cliffs, are miles of wonderfully fertile farmland. As much of it was unused, it made sense for the restaurant to cultivate their own crops, acquiring their own patch of land in late 2015 (after all, fruit and veggies don’t grow overnight!) and began to watch the organic garden take shape.

Ensuring the garden is 100-percent organic is a passion for Guillermo and Carlos, with absolutely no pesticides used on their soil. The ‘farm-to-table’ concept has perhaps never been quite so literal, with the fresh and healthy produce delivered daily to the kitchen, just a hop, skip and jump from the restaurant – the garden is adjacent to the parking area at the front of the restaurant.

At present, there are over 40 different types of fruit, vegetables and herbs thriving in the lush, Mediterranean soil – and that’s just the beginning, with plans to adapt the garden as the seasons change. “The varieties grown in the garden have already exceeded our expectations,” says Amante Ibiza owner David Piccioni. “We’re looking forward to adding more crops in the future.”

Right now, the earth is abundant with plump, juicy watermelons, lush tomatoes of all sizes, shapes and colours, courgettes complete with their delicious flowers in tact, hefty sized aubergines, hearty, deep red beetroot, crisp celery and more. Rows and rows of enormous lettuces and zesty rocket are complemented with fragrant Mediterranean herbs such as basil and rosemary, ready and waiting to be harvested and transformed into the freshest salads on the island.

The healthy, superfood-based quinoa salad is given an extra punch with mixed veggies and fresh rocket, the vegetarian risotto utilises the best seasonal Mediterranean vegetables as does the goat cheese salad and an absolute must-try is the organic rocket salad with tomatoes plucked straight from the vine that day. Most dishes incorporate produce from the garden, while cocktails make the most of the fresh fruit and herbs available, as does the delicious juice menu.

In addition to the health benefits for its clientele and the ability to guarantee the highest level of organic produce in their menus, embracing sustainability, reducing its carbon footprint and ensuring as little waste as possible are additional environmental benefits to the Amante Ibiza organic garden. After all – when the food is this good on your doorstep, why would you go anywhere else?