Every extraordinary experience deserves an extraordinary cuisine. At Bonder & Co we are proud to have the best chefs of Spanish national scene among our trenches. 3 years ago we came across this amazing cook and human being: Cristina Dueñas.  

 

Cristina Dueñas

Cristina Dueñas

Chef at Bonder & Co.

Hard work, determination and good pinch of seamless passion for food. If it were not for that, she wouldn’t have achieved all she is today. Because excellence comes from within, once the right ingredients are gracefully blended with talent. Her cuisine has slowly matured over the years in the kitchens of fine restaurants such as Britain’s second best venue Pied a Terre, and as Head Chef at one of David Reartes outstanding restaurants in Madrid.

Cristina has tasted exotic and traditional flavours alike from far away lands. But it seems that – in spite of being a restless soul – the world has outgrown her. The same way that we are what we eat, we are also where we come from. So it was about time that this child of the island returned to Ibiza to squeeze the full potential of it.

When did you start “hands on” in the culinary world?

 

It came from my father: he is a cooking fan. He would work during the week and spend Saturday and Sunday in the kitchen. Each season he tries something new and doesn’t stop until he reaches perfection! When I was younger I liked to spend time with him because we had lots of things in common. And so I fell in love with food. By the age of 16 I started studying for this. I’ve been cooking at a professional level for more than 14 years now!

What have you learnt throughout all these years traveling and cooking for other cultures with different ingredients?

 

I’ve travelled half the world and that has affected me greatly. However, the traveling hasn’t only been the main thing. I cook guiding myself through my instincts, through flavors that are reminiscences of my childhood. I make croquettes, piquillo peppers… things I’ve eaten and that are wonderful without any complication, you see? I hate for instance molecular gastronomy.

While traveling I have discovered that in poor countries, with basic and delicious products you can probably taste better food with less ingredients than mixing more than 17 at a time. I usually don’t combine more than 5 or 6 products in one dish. This is the case of Brazil for example. They eat meat every single day along with manioc flour farofa and rice with beans feijao. It is spectacular! When you eat everything combined you think “My God, how can this be so good!”

But you finally came back to Ibiza after all.

 

I have been born in Ibiza and I have my family here. I will never leave Ibiza for a long time. I travel a lot because I am restless but my home is here. I will always come back to Ibiza.

So when did you start working at Bonder & Co?

Three years ago. This is going to be my third summer here. I was a good friend of Carlota’s partner (Carlota Bonder is Catering Manager of Bonder & Co) and so they would always come see me at this restaurant I was working at. They would always tell me that whenever I wasn’t there, the quality of the menu would go down: it was like night and day! Carlota seized the opportunity and told me “you are coming with me”. It was actually the right year and the right time. So I jumped in the deep to see what happened.

If I had to try only one of your dishes which one would you recommend? Which are you most proud of?

 

(Cristina laughs) The false risotto. I can’t really describe it; you have to try it. I’ll just say it is a journey to the past. I only prepare this meal when I really like a customer. It is something that comes from within. Something that I cook by heart. And whenever I do so people always call me to the table to ask what it is. Among those people was Paloma!

What kind of meals or ingredients do you like cooking the most with?

 

What I enjoy cooking the most is fish. Truth is, I don’t like to eat it. But I am very good at it: let’s say fish and I are very good friends! I like to prepare it because whatever I do, I am sure I am going to hit the mark. Not that I like or dislike cooking concrete meals but I rather go to the market and choose from whatever there is. There is not a single day I prepare a fixed menu in advance.

“For me, cooking is not just a profession but a way of life,

so I learn and I adapt very quickly.”

What kind of meals or ingredients do you like cooking the most with?

 

What I enjoy cooking the most is fish. Truth is, I don’t like to eat it. But I am very good at it: let’s say fish and I are very good friends! I like to prepare it because whatever I do, I am sure I am going to hit the mark. Not that I like or dislike cooking concrete meals but I rather go to the market and choose from whatever there is. There is not a single day I prepare a fixed menu in advance.

So your routine is…

 

I get up every morning, I go to the market and think about the menu along the way. Maybe I was considering cooking some meat but all of a sudden I see a beautiful wild fish and quickly change my mind.

Is cooking a tough job which requires continuous training and learning?

 

Yes indeed. It is something that you can’t and shouldn’t stop doing ever. It is actually inevitable. We all eat at all times so once you are familiar with the culinary techniques you learn while you eat. I never stop. I am with friends, I go to their restaurants, I sneak into international kitchens all over the world, I attend courses… The necessary training comes to your organically.

If you are dying to try Cristina’s false risotto or would love her to arrange a special menu for your during your holidays, call our concierge team and they will manage everything so that you can taste al delicious dishes of our fantastic chef! 

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