Biel Payeras: “The gastronomy in Menorca is fantastic”
With more than 20 years of cooking experience, this year the chef Biel Payeras is working at the Restaurant and Guest House S'Engolidor de Es Migjorn Gran, offering guests a combination of traditional cuisine while always seeking that additional innovative touch.
Menorcan gastronomy is Biel Payeras’ latest challenge: “it’s fantastic, with real focus on fresh quality produce. It’s that local fresh produce that Menorcans care so much about. On the Fra Roger website you’ll see that there’s a real desire to revive old recipes while being innovative too”.
Lobster, Menorca’s star product
A Mallorcan who “right at home and that’s what really matters. I got to know Menorca when I was 18, I was in Binibeca”. Everything here reminds Biel Payeras of “Mallorca 30 years ago, it’s just so well conserved. I feel completely at home and that’s what I need right now in my life”.
He acknowledges that within Menorcan gastronomy it’s “spiny lobster that’s the real star product, the caldereta is full of flavour and here is where they first served up fried spiny lobster with egg and chips. But there are other products that I would highlight, such as the cor de bou tomato, which is grown here and has an aroma and taste like no other. Or aubergine stuffed with vegetables”.
Innovation in the kitchen
From traditional recipes like “arròs brut” becoming an amazing risotto, Biel Payeras is inspired by ideas and ways of creating innovative flavours and textures. “Right now I’m working on suckling pig. A lot of people eat lamb in Menorca but the suckling pig here is excellent, of really great quality. I put it on the S'Engolidor menu the other day and the customers loved it”.
“S'Engolidor is really attractive”
“It’s such a nice setting and a pleasure to work in. Ours is a tough profession, but it’s no good getting to the kitchen in a bad mood, things don’t work out no matter what and that’s why you need to be cheerful. I enjoy my time for what it is”, Biel Payeras tells us, adding that one of the best recipe’s essential ingredients is a love of what you’re doing.
He’s already started up the tasting menus “every night, with a couple of traditional Menorcan dishes like oliaigua soup or stuffed squid. On Sundays we do a special menu. Last time we made a dish based on frit mallorquí with cuttlefish and sobrassada sausage which everyone loved. And for dessert we did our special ricotta dish greixera de brossat.
“Snails with crab” at the fair Fira Arrels
S'Engolidor will be at the Fira Arrels fair on the 14th and 15th of April at the exhibition centre in Mahón. Biel Payeras will be collaborating with the company Es Caragol from Menorca and will make some delicious caragols amb cranca (snails with crab). Want to try them?