Interview with Óscar Molina, chef of La Gaia and Ibiza Gran Hotel

Interview with Óscar Molina, executive chef of Ibiza Gran Hotel and La Gaia restaurant, a gastronomic reference in Ibiza

we interviewed Óscar Molina, one of the best chefs in Spain and chef de Ibiza Gran Hotel. Molina has been awarded numerous prizes inside and outside of Spain, including a Michelin Star at his restaurant La Gaia by Óscar Molina, or the prestigious VII National Gastronomy Award (FACYE) in 2004. Catalan by birth and Ibizan by adoption, Óscar Molina has more than 20 years of experience as a chef in five-star hotels and has been responsible since 2008 for the incredible gastronomic proposal of La Gaia by Oscar Molina, the exceptional restaurant of Ibiza Gran Hotel.

-What does being a chef mean to you?

A way of life, something that I chose from a very young age and it is my way of living. Being a chef has been what I have always wanted.

- Since when did you want to be?

From a very young age, from the age of 13. My father ran a restaurant in a very small town next to Barcelona and it always caught my attention, I don't know if it was out of adoration for my father, but that has always existed.

-What did your father say to you when you told him that you wanted to be a chef?

That it was silly (laughs) There were stages of everything, I was bitched a lot and I was loaded with work. He gave me a hard time to see if I would regret it and change my mind, but not even then.

-Do you remember your first food for people?

Yes, it was in the same restaurant. My father's partner was an endearing person and he has always taken great care of me, I was the boy! They had a weekly dinner and there was one day that was my turn, there it was a little ... Feeling fulfilled, with brutal pressure and when I finished it was great, I have very good memories.

-You have been at Ibiza Gran Hotel since 2008, how has La Gaia evolved since then?

The history of La Gaia is very beautiful because La Gaia was the hotel bar And it continues to be so, in addition to the restaurant. It started out as the lifelong Casino Jackpot, and with the introduction of Heart, we changed it. The hotel, as a five-star great luxury that it is, had to have a restaurant, so the most immediate solution was to provide food service in the bar and make it easy, rich and fashionable. There we start with the sushi.

The second year we put ceviches and the kitchen was introduced and or services Nikkei, which he really liked. That is why we refurbished the restaurant and began to make improvements of all kinds and to pay close attention to the small details. This process of improvement has made us become more and more a gastronomic restaurant. With a very small capacity, we are on an average of about 30 customers per day, which is very little for a restaurant, but of course, the average customer has 16 steps.

In the end, one thing leads to another and ends up becoming what La Gaia is today. We are more and more staff, we start by supplying the needs of customers and, nowadays, we have started to do what we want and that people come to see what we do.

Oscar Molina La Gaia Ibiza Grand Hotel 02-What makes the Tanit and Posidonia menus so special? Why do you have to come and try it?

What we we offer es an experience, we give happiness. I think that La Gaia differs at a gastronomic and experiential level, it has a lot of magic. If you're foodie you have to try it yes or yes.

-What do you like the most and what do you like least about your job?

The hardest part of this job it's the personal part. We go against the world, when people go out or rest and have their free moment, which is lunch and dinner, we are on the hook. In addition, all the productions for which we are going to serve at night we do them daily in the morning, each day it goes back. It is very hard work that it takes a lot of time and requires a lot of dedication. That is the most complicated part because it goes against family, friends ... that is the most negative part! The most positive part is that worth!

-Well, but you don't work in winter, do you?

Yes yes we in winter we work preparing the whole experience, not only from La Gaia, but also from the hotel, from the breakfast ...

-When you are not in Lto Gaia and you can go to lunch or dinner in Ibiza, where are you going, what are your favorite restaurants?

There are many, this is a brown. I think that Rafa Zafra has created a very cool concept, I like it a lot, a product concept, so I would highlight Can Jondal. I also believe that David Reartes is doing a very nice and very interesting story with re art o Pomona. I like it a lot too Can Pujol.

-Did you invent the concept of Mediterranean kaiseki?

The food critic BORJA MATOSES, when he came to taste our menu, he defined it as a kaiseki experience, Mediterranean Kaiseki. We thought it was a very cool idea and we have adopted it, but we did not invent it ourselves, it came from there. We have taken the most conceptual part from Kaiseki, uKaiseki food is an experience. Then if you go deeper it is more complex, but, simplifying, in La Gaia if we work on an experience.

Since the customers enter, they meet the stewardess and he accompanies them to the high table where I am, we do five steps interacting with the client, it is something very cool. Then he goes to the living room, and there comes the Maitre d ' with all the spectacular harmony of wines that it has created, and that lives intensely. The client enjoys many steps and interacts constantlyso much that everything becomes a great experience.

-What do you eat at home?

As very normal, I like fried eggs, Cuban rice, a fideuá ... very normal. Of course, I try to cook delicious,I'm the one who cooks at home and I always like to cook rich!

-What would you highlight of the Ibizan gastronomy?

From the Ibizan gastronomy or from the gastronomy of Ibiza? They are two completely different terms ...

-You asked me a good question! Explain the difference to us.

La ibizan gastronomyas I understand it, it is the traditional gastronomy, made with traditional product. I believe that the highest representative is José Miguel Bonet, of traditional Ibizan cuisine, of Es Ventall. There are many more, eh? But I would highlight José. The current gastronomy of Ibiza It is what there is today and it is brutal.

-How do you see the restoration in Ibiza with respect to leisure, at the moment?

La The pandemic has encouraged us to do what we did before, but with more enthusiasm. What happens in Ibiza, practically only happens here. Have internationality and great gastronomic quality, we could be a gastronomic reference at an international level.

It is true that leisure overshadows everything, I mean, being the best in the world at something is very difficult, and Ibiza is the best place in the world for leisureNobody beats us there, that's imperative, for the good and for the bad.

The good thing is that it allows us to have a client who has to eat, sleep and use other services on the island, and that draws the attention of these gentlemen who help us to position the gastronomy of Ibiza worldwide, such as Martin Berasategui, Paco Roncero, Dani Garcia in Nobu, OKU ... These people position gastronomy internationally.

The negative is that, although these gentlemen are here, leisure also eclipses that potential that gastronomy has, the work we do, that traditional cuisine and those products from Ibiza that are like to get chest out ... Chefs, the press and all of us should make noise, make it clear that Ibiza is not only the best in leisure, but also in gastronomy.


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