Amorevore Food & Arts Festival Wows Ibiza

Posted on October 27, 2018

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

A hotly anticipated lifestyle event that had the island talking for months in advance, yesterday saw the launch of the inaugural Amorevore Food & Arts Festival in the expansive grounds of rustic chic boutique hotel Casa Maca. Described as a ‘new gathering for the epicurious’, the three-day programme boasts an impressive array of talks, panel discussions, workshops, performances, food tastings and feasts starring an exciting mix of local and international culinary talent and nutritional experts. Striking a careful balance between celebrating gourmet pleasure while also discussing pressing matters affecting the food industry today, such as sustainability and environmental issues, we dropped in on opening day to check it out…

The first hint at a successful launch was when we were told upon arriving at the winding road that leads to Casa Maca’s enviable position in the hills facing Ibiza Town – with spectacular views on Dalt Vila – that we would have to wait for a transfer as the onsite car park was completely full. Ibiza is, by now, well-established as an international gourmet destination boasting almost every kind of cuisine under the sun, but in recent years the culinary industry has shifted to focus more on organic, local produce with a ‘km0’ footprint, sustainability and environmental factors as well as embracing the vegetarian and vegan diets in its rich offering. And the eager turnout for Amorevore Festival proved that they hit the ‘Zeitgeist’ on the head with a thought provoking, inspiring and creative programme that stimulates all senses.

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With the October weather treating us to a gloriously sunny afternoon, the sprawling gardens of Casa Maca were already bustling with visitors exploring the many different market stalls, food trucks, bars, dining areas and stages. With the hosting venue part of the world-renowned Mambo Group’s portfolio, Christian and Alan Anadon, also known as the Mambo Brothers, beckoned guests to join the opening address by Vincent Torres Ferrer, Director of Tourism Ibiza. Earlier in the day, famous UK food writer and cookbook author Jasmine Hemsley had held a talk on ‘Living La Vida Veda’ about her interest in the ayurvedic lifestyle, followed by Patrick Holdford’s insight into his ‘Mind Matrix’ theory.

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In the Symposium space Alan told the gathering crowd, “We love the project behind this event and we believe it has a massive future in Ibiza, so we are going to be supporting it always.” Noting that the island is undergoing some fundamental changes as a touristic destination, Tourism Minister Ferrer agreed that a new era is dawning with White Isle visitors seeking experiences that are different, celebrating Ibiza’s natural side and rich culture, which gives the local gastronomy and Ibicencan produce the opportunity to step into the spotlight.

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This was certainly the case at the Producers’ Market, where well established local delicatessen brands such as Sal de Ibiza and The Ibiza Chili Co were displayed next to authentic Ibicencan crafts, fresh local produce and new arrivals to the White Isle such as Sign, a replenishing natural drink made with citrus juices, pink Himalayan salt and plenty of vitamins. Nearby, the Casa Maca Airstream Bar tempted with expertly mixed cocktails – perfect to be enjoyed by the poolside lounge areas with breath-taking views over Ibiza Town and the sea, or near the charmingly decorated Cala Gracioneta BBQ station with the aroma of grilled meat drifting into your nose.

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Just around the corner, the food market awaited filled with temptations such as delightfully squidgy bao buns served straight off a vintage truck, vegan pad thai prepared by hip artisanal food company Los Fermentistas, sweet crepes and even made-to-order recipes to help with your personal ailments. Climbing ever higher up Casa Maca’s ascending gardens at the foot of Ibiza’s majestic hills, we reached the Orchard Stage, where a roster of musical talent was regaling the happy revellers. We soaked up some rays while sitting on the warm grass and listening to the blissful sounds of Bliaze, described by the duo of producers and musicians as ‘future soul and cosmic house’. They were followed by well-known island favourite music curator, DJ and producer Jaime Fiorito, who delivered his cutting-edge take on a modern Balearic sound to the delight of those eager to let lose on the dancefloor.

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Behind us, a huge dining table had been set up to accommodate the 30-plus foodies who had secured themselves a space for the Wild Botanicals Feast hosted by guest chef Justin Alexander-Horne of Tiny Leaf and Sativa, who had curated an irresistible and entirely vegan menu. A sumptuous spread for both the diners’ palettes and eyes, the space had been lovingly turned into a fantastic visual display by event stylists Velvet Circus Ibiza, with bright red chilli garlands dangling over their heads and luscious bunches of wildflowers adorning the table. Our eye caught by the picturesque pairing of a giant bulldog seemingly guarding a beautiful girl tapping away on a vintage typewriter, we strolled over to find out more, only to be offered an ‘intuitive poem’ by the lovely Alexcia. Asking us to give her three words, she then came up with a flowing literary creation so beautiful – and surprisingly accurate to our current, end of season state of mind – we felt rather emotional upon reading it.

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If, by now, you got the impression that there was a lot going on, a lot to be seen, and a lot to participate in, you are completely right. On the programme, a multitude of fascinating talks and workshops vied for our attention, and in the end our group split up to follow our personal interests. From ‘The Great Vegan Debate’ with local culinary trailblazer Boris Buono and a panel on ‘Alimentos Como Medicina’ – or ‘Food As Medicine – featuring Ibiza star chefs Oscar Molina of Ibiza Gran Hotel eatery La Gaia, as well as Casa Maca’s own executive chef David Reartes, there was a lot to be learned. Others went off to learn how to make your own almond milk, improve your gut health or simply enjoy one of the many food and drink tastings such as the Complice Mezcal degustation.

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Eventually tired out from all the excitement witnessed, on our way out we bumped into several of familiar faces from around the island, who, almost verbatim, agreed that Amorevore Food & Arts Festival has nailed the ‘Ibiza spirit’ and the topics that are preoccupying the island. Going on until Sunday, October 28th, you still have some time to experience it for yourself and we highly recommend you do so despite the bleak weather forecast – a dose of delicious food, colourful nature, inspiring talks and vibrant music is just the recipe for beating the impending winter blues!

Further Information & Programme:
w: www.amorevorefoodfestival.com

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