The Business Year

Marc Fosh

SPAIN - Tourism

Marc Fosh

Chef, Marc Fosh Restaurant

Bio

Chef Marc Fosh is one of Europe’s most exciting and creative cookery talents and without doubt one of Britain’s most successful culinary exports. He began his culinary career at London’s Greenhouse restaurant, before moving on to the Michelin-starred Chelsea Room at the Carlton Tower Hotel. Living and working in Spain since 1991, he developed his own unique style of cuisine focusing on fresh ingredients and quality of produce, to which he adds a touch of inspired genius. The result is a modern, yet simple cuisine with clean tastes and big flavors. In 2002, Marc became the first and only British chef to be awarded a Michelin star in Spain.

A Michelin-starred restaurant, Marc Fosh Restaurant has played an important role in elevating the island’s culinary offering since its establishment 13 years ago.

What was your motivation behind establishing a gastronomy business in Mallorca?

I was working in San Sebastián, in northern Spain, which is a celebrated gastronomic destination and was then offered the opportunity to come to Mallorca and open a new hotel. I soon I realized Mallorca was quite an inspiring place to be, located in the middle of the Mediterranean with great produce on your doorstep. My task in Mallorca was, first of all, to understand Mediterranean cuisine and the local ingredients and, then, to develop my own style. When I first came here 28 years ago, Mallorca was a different destination in terms of gastronomy. One of the interesting things, certainly over the past 10 years, has been the realization of the importance of local gastronomy. I opened the Marc Fosh restaurant in Palma 13 years ago, and felt very much in my own in the city. There were not, at that time, any Michelin-starred restaurants in the city. Yet today, Palma has three Michelin-starred restaurants, and the city is starting to develop a very vibrant gastronomic scene.

What role can gastronomy play in the longterm development of the island’s tourism industry?

Both the city of Palma and the island as a whole are embracing quality when it comes to tourism. I opened here in 2009, right after the financial crisis, and was afraid of offering a restaurant that felt exclusive. And then a couple of years later, we got the Michelin star and it made us realize that Mallorca could become a culinary destination. When we are promoting tourism and gastronomy, everything trickles down from the top. If we are going to have people traveling to the island for gastronomy, there is a need for high-level restaurants of great appeal, but also for tapas bars and other types of eatery that all together create an attractive culinary offering. The top-end of the market, and the quality tourism, have bounced back quickly since the worst of COVID-19.

How do you cater to the wide range of tourists that Mallorca receives, while providing a local taste?

One of the benefits of Mallorca is that it is an eclectic mix, as there is a large and diverse tourist profile. When we first opened, I think 60% of our clients were probably German, 30% British, and 10% from the rest of the world. Now, we have noticed over the past few years, a much greater diversity. Although every chef will have their own style and way of doing things, I think that if we can give everyone visiting the island a little taste of the local produce, hopefully they can leave having tasted something very personal, and unique to the island with a clearly Mediterranean feel.

What would be your outlook for the future?

Generally, we have a great clientele supporting us in our endeavors, and motivating us to keep pushing forward. I am hoping that over the next five to 10 years we are going to see an acceleration of Mallorca’s tendency to attract more quality-oriented tourism. Moreover, seasonality will be less of a factor, too, as all stakeholders involved work to create an appealing year-round offering. Hopefully, then, we can transform Mallorca into a 12-month destination, by ensuring that Palma remains a vibrant city, that also has much to offer for weekend breaks. The cultural and gastronomic dimensions will clearly help with this. And starting with Palma as a 12-month destination, we should be able to extend the success to rest of the island.

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