“Ibiza is on the cusp of a food revolution” reads the first sentence in this tantalising book, and Anne Sijmonsbergen is waving the flag for this uprising in artisan and home-grown products. This cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes, rather “Eivissa” perfectly captures the relationship between the triangle of land, culture and food that makes the place unique. The author herself came to the island in 2005 and set up camp in Can Riero, a 450 year old finca, where her and her family began to cultivate most of the fruits and vegetable the island has to offer as well as their speciality heirloom tomatoes, of which they have dozens of varieties. They now supply some of the top restaurants on the island with this produce, and years of experience on the land has brought Anne and her family into contact with many of the best local producers as well as giving her an invaluable insight into seasonal eating. The book reflects this experience and is divided by seasons so that the recipes in each chapter propose the best ways to eat the ingredients that are ripe and fresh during that time. In spring you can nibble on some Courgette and Aparagus Tostadas with Riccotta and Mint, in summer you can sip on some Watermelon Gazpacho, cosy up with Chicken and roasted figs in autumn and warm up in the colder months with a Winter Spiced Carne Estofada. As well as this, the book incorporates a section on how to make and preserve essential sauces, chutneys and condiments, delicious desserts and some of the best drinks to wash it all down with.
Bringing the book together visually is the stunning photography by David Munns which captures the vivid colours of the food and produce as well as the countryside it is grown in. This really is a gem on aesthetic value alone, but the heart-felt warmth of the content and the mouth-watering recipes make it a fantastic representation of what the island gastronomy has to offer. At the heart of the concept is the idea that locals, ex-pats and visitors alike can be united round a dinner table and a love of good food, and the sustainable food movement that this book is all about aims to ensure that this great pleasure in life continues to thrive.