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A fanfare heralds the opening of 1742 by Nassau Group & Edwin Vinke

Ibiza's gastronomic pinnacle officially opens in spectacular style


As we all know, rank has its privileges. Case in point, when the gilt-edged invitation to attend the opening of one of Ibiza’s most prestigious restaurants, 1742 by Nassau Group & Edwin Vinke, lands on the desk at Spotlight Towers, the Editor gets the first shout. Stand back, I’ve got this…

So, it is, with excitement, that photographer Pete and I wait at the appointed pick-up location for the tiny minibus that will transport us through the narrow, labyrinthine streets to the highest point of Ibiza’s medieval old town Dalt Vila.

Beside the emblematic cathedral at the top of the mount stands the original Bishop’s Palace. This palace has seen many changes over the centuries, but none could compare to the building’s latest transformation.

Since being taken over by the island’s famous Nassau Group, the palace, renamed 1742 in honour of its year of construction, has been totally renovated and reconfigured to house a unique deluxe dining experience. A ruin when the project began, it has taken over 8 years of determination and logistical challenges to get the ancient edifice into the shape we see at its official opening celebration.

With the renovation complete, and the kitchen and dining spaces created, the key to the success of 1742 was to attract a Head Chef up to the task of turning the Nassau Group’s gastronomic vision into reality. Step forward Dutch masterchef Edwin Vinke, holder of 2 Michelin Stars at his famous seafood restaurant De Kromme Watergang in his native Netherlands. Awarded his first star in 2005, Edwin followed up that success with a coveted second star in 2012.

When approached to helm the project, Edwin jumped at the chance. Looking for a new challenge, he left his son in charge of De Kromme Watergang and headed south with some of his core team for the adventure of a lifetime.

The 1742 dining experience begins at the entrance, where diners are greeted by the elegant Maitre D’, resplendent in tails, and a classical violinist who ushers you up the winding staircase.

Spread over many floors, the gastro-tour meanders up through the building, passing the glass-fronted bodega (wine cellar) containing some of the finest vintage wines and champagnes from France and Spain, stopping briefly at the kitchen to meet the chef and his team and to be spoon-fed a delectable amuse bouche along the way.

We are escorted to the rooftop terrace with a dizzying view. Swifts and swallows swoop above our heads as we enjoy possibly the ultimate vantage point of the famous cathedral, Ibiza Town and the entire port and marina areas spreading out below.

As the sun sets behind the hills, glasses are filled with light, fresh Albert Bichot Chablis Premier Cru Le Lys for the first time. And they don’t run dry for the whole evening! The first hors d'oeuvres arrive of what will become a 10-course journey through the imagination of Edwin and his talented chefs.  It is not possible to describe in detail every plate that we sampled, except to say that each portion was an intensely powerful concoction.

Paired with an evolving visual display on the main dining room walls to enhance the flavours on the plate, the audio-visual-gustatory experience even included a live operatic aria from one of the most emotional soprano voices imaginable.

To create his dishes, Edwin has scoured Ibiza to tap into the rich diversity of local farmers, fishermen and suppliers, with most of the ingredients KM0. However, one of the most potent flavours of the night was a crispy North Sea seaweed brought with him from Holland.

Although many of the dishes are too intricate to describe in this format and we cannot convey the intensity of the flavours, we hope that our photo gallery will give you a glimpse of the complexity of the dishes on offer to diners at 1742. Our standout favourites of the night included a deeply salty and citrus prawn broth with coconut and lime and an exquisite portion of goat belly, with basil, baba ganoush and an almond crumble.

We come away clutching a beautifully bound book chronicling Chef Edwin’s exploits and his culinary philosophies. It is the perfect insight into the mind of a genius and an excellent memento of a genuine gastronomic adventure.

It may be some time before the chance arises for us to dine at the table of Edwin Vinke once again. It is probable that the gurus of the Michelin Guide will be reacquainted with him again in the meantime.

If you would like to book a table at one of Ibiza’s most innovative and evocative dining experiences, follow this link to create the memory of a lifetime.

Visit also the other restaurants of the prestigious Nassau Group: Nassau Beach Club | Tanit Beach Club | Cas Costas Grill

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