SPAIN - Tourism
Chef, Maca de Castro
Maca de Castro is the chef and owner of the restaurant that bears her name. It has been part of the DCastro Group family business in the Mallorcan town of Alcúdia since 1996. Trained at the Escola d’Hosteleria de les Illes Balears, her career was consolidated after working in various kitchens around the world and alongside some of the most outstanding chefs of recent years, such as Hilario Arbelaitz (Zuberoa), Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz), Manolo de la Osa (Las Rejas), Willy Dufresne (Wd-50), Julian Serrano (Picasso), the Arzak family, and the Coussau family of Relais de la Poste Landés.
Maca de Castro places great importance on highlighting the island’s bountiful produce and seafood and was duly awarded a Michelin star for its significant contribution to the local food scene.
How did you start a career in the gastronomy sector before eventually becoming one of the bests chefs in Mallorca?
It has been a process linked to my family. My parents owned a nightclub, and the ground floor was a restaurant. It was a family business; my brother worked there, and I later joined as a waitress. I subsequently ended up working in the kitchen because I have always enjoyed eating and being surrounded by people. I embarked on culinary studies in University of the Balearic Islands and spent 11 years working off-island every winter because it was low season. During these times, I worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in the US, France, and Asia. This gave me a great perspective of restaurant management, high-end cuisine, and international trends. It was also a wonderful surprise for my own restaurant, Maca de Castro, to receive a Michelin star. The process of starting my own restaurant and gaining such recognition was an extraordinary learning process, and today we are fortunate to be in an incredible location in the north of Mallorca where cuisine is king.
Having been awarded a Michelin star, how does the restaurant contribute to Mallorca’s tourism offering?
In Mallorca, every high-end restaurant is located in a different spot. The Maca de Castro restaurant is located in the north, which sees all types of tourists and many foreign residents. As a restaurant, one of our strongest aspects is knowing the products we have locally and offering them through our cuisine. Every outsider is surprised when they realize the huge variety and diversity the island can offer. In terms of tourists, we are used to seeing German and English tourists, though recently we have started to see more Nordic, American, French, and Italian tourists, which is an interesting change for the island in terms of the diversification of its client base. As per the local products, Mallorca has an important role in Mediterranean products. We are located in a favorable place for fruits and vegetables. Mallorca’s tradition is again present in the restaurants. We must showcase the true island in order to make people fall in love with it. Therefore, we must continue to value our local products and not import foreign ones if they are available locally. You can quickly realize how different local products are simply by their unique smell.
Which local products would have more demand in a foreign country?
It depends on the season. In spring, we have almond trees. Later, we have oranges, blossom, peas, and broad beans. In winter, we have the vegetables we started cultivating in spring and finally in summer we have tomatoes, strawberries, lemons, and figs. Mallorca also locally produces rice, olive oil, and much more. It is also important to mention the Mediterranean Sea. Fish and seafood have a unique flavor. The Balearic Islands have a Mediterranean focus, and, therefore, we have a really strong local product. The Mediterranean diet is really important due to the ease with which we are able to source outstanding products.
SPAIN - Real Estate & Construction
Director, Jaime Salvá Architecture and Interior Design
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