Meet the restaurateur: Yolanda Torres, Aubergine Ibiza
Beautiful new countryside restaurant Aubergine is the epitome of Ibiza rustic chic. With its farm to table menu and organic and local ethos it’s the perfect choice for a day out surrounded by nature, with delicious, wholesome dining and activities for all the family.
After thirty years away from Ibiza, successful business woman and born and bred islander Aubergine owner Yolanda Torres decided to swap her high-flying PR career in Barcelona to return home armed with an amazing concept and a great plan to put it into action!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am from Ibiza but moved to Barcelona to study. In 1996 I opened my own PR agency, Equipo Singular, which became the largest in Barcelona with over 80 staff. In 2010 I did a Masters in Digital Marketing with a view to coming home to Ibiza to be closer to my family and I was working with my lifelong friend Atzaró owner Victor Guasch on his rebrand, which inspired me to create something of my own.
Who are the team behind Aubergine?
There’s me, my sister Olga, Victor and Philip from Atzaró and my boyfriend Carlos, plus a great team of staff. I wanted to work only with family and friends because I’m almost 50, and at 50, well, you want to do things you like with people you like!
How did you come up with the concept?
Aubergine is what we like – healthy, natural cuisine, and a relaxed, nice atmosphere. I saw a gap in the market for somewhere in the countryside where you can go to eat great food, relax, read a book, with your dog, with your kids, that is open 12 ’til 12. I found this lovely finca surrounded by vegetable gardens and wanted to have not just a chic yet rustic restaurant but a shop, exhibition space, kids area, and a cosy space inside for winter.
How do you describe the style of cuisine?
Our chefs Rosina and Alexandra haven’t just been taught to cook this way, this is their lifestyle – they really live it. Everything is local and organic. Our menu is constantly changing. Much of our produce comes from our own gardens. We make amazing salads, focaccias, a fantastic local black chicken, a lovely dish of red prawns with quinoa. The menu is around 70% vegetarian just because we have so many wonderful vegetables at our disposal. We can create a children’s menu for little guests too – everyone is welcome.
What are your future plans for Aubergine?
With Equipo Singular I organised events like the Mango launch with Penelope Cruz at Atzaró and Vogue Sunglasses launch with Gisele Bundchen, so it feels like a natural progression to set up more personalised events at Aubergine. I have a vision of an organic market in our gardens where people can pass by to buy fruit, vegetables and flowers. I’m imagining biscuit-making workshops for kids. I want to produce an Aubergine Summer Festival, with local produce, kids activities, cinema, live bands and percussion. Ultimately my ideas are always related to food, because this the focus of Aubergine. Great food, in the heart of the countryside.
Do you feel like you have reconnected with Ibiza?
Yes – I’ve always loved it here. My name is Yolanda Torres Torres – I am totally from the island! My family is from the island but because I lived abroad for 30 years I also understand the island like an outsider. I see both perspectives. Sure, I can speak Ibicenco, and my daughters speak Ibicenco too but I understand what international visitors want, because I am the same in many ways. It’s been a very organic change of pace.