MEET TESS FLUIT, THE ITALIAN PRIVATE CHEF ON IBIZA
Tess Fluit is an Italian private chef who left The Hague to cook under the sun on Ibiza. We meet the colorful Tess on a sunny Tuesday morning in the winter season in the cozy town of San Josep. Enjoying a cortadito and a tostada con tomate at a local bar terrace, she talks about her passion. "On Ibiza, I work as a private chef. I cook on location, at home, or I rent a location and people come to me to eat. When I'm not cooking for people, I cook for my social media, develop recipes that I will eventually make into a cookbook. So every day is about cooking, writing about food, thinking about food, dreaming about food...!
"I would describe myself as one of the abuelas who stands in your kitchen, like the Italian nonnas cook. Comfort meals with lots of love, lots of time, simple, and really delicious. Simple, cozy, nutritious, flavorful. That's really what I stand for."
FEELING AT HOME
While most people say, "I've been coming to Ibiza for years, or my parents, friends, others...," Tess did not have that experience. "I heard that it was a very free-spirit island, very nice. And then I thought, I'll go take a look. I've been here once before, for a job as a culinary photographer, so never on vacation. And when it was 21 degrees here last October, I experienced for the first time 'yes, indeed, it's really nice here!' Before Tess left for Ibiza, she didn't know that she would work as a private chef, where she would prepare her top-notch dishes for large groups and events.
"I always liked cooking, and I did it for home or for friends, but I had never cooked for a group before I came to Ibiza. When I was making fresh pasta one evening at a group of people's home, which is one of my specialties, I was told 'you should just do that here because you're singing, telling a story, and we're hanging on your lips.' That's how her top-notch dishes were born. I discovered here that taking care of people, taking care of them, and serving them is what I enjoy doing so much. And then I thought 'holy shit, I want to do this!' I really want to cook for people, so they sit at a table and think, 'Ah, this is nice, like coming home.'"
When asked what her signature dish is, she laughs and says, “The meatballs are my specialty! If I get a request for a dinner at someone’s home, it always comes with the sentence ‘with your meatballs, right, Tess!’ The balls of Fluit are famous by now!’’ “I’ll tell you, I recently had a dinner for 12 men, then I think it’s very funny that I serve my meatballs with fresh pasta that I make myself with my pasta machine. They looked at me like ‘yes, it’s definitely different than caviar and fresh tuna’. You won’t get that from me either! Because let’s face it, isn’t there anywhere better food than with me?” she says with a wink. ;-)
In response to the question of whether these dishes are simple to cook, Tess firmly says: "I always say, simple cooking is difficult! You always have very few ingredients or very few spices. It has to be seasoned well, and therefore you have to go for good quality products. That's what I love about simple cooking, and that's why I'm doing it at a high level now. Every product I use, I specifically choose from the most local places all over the island and create a story on your plate with it, and that's what makes my dishes so special for me."
And it's not just Fluit's meatballs. With her top-notch dishes and creativity, Tess takes you to a sultry Italian summer evening on Spanish soil. With her background as a food photographer, she creates real works of art on your plate down to the smallest details. And while you enjoy her delicious Italian dishes to share, Tess, singing and with a big smile on her face, prepares her famous fresh pasta tagliatelle, ravioli, or her most creamy Spaghetti Puttanesca. Sounds good, right?
"SIMPLE, BUT PERFECT"
Tess too has become a true Ibicenca and has recently been introduced to the Spanish cuisine. "The best local delight on the island is the tortilla, which is what I have now incorporated into my Italian cuisine. I've gotten the best tips from my Spanish neighbor on how to make that delicious, sticky tortilla, and that's harder than you think. You can really mess up a tortilla, despite the simple ingredients you need. I now master the tortilla like a local Spanish abuelita!"
How do the locals live in Ibiza? "The locals in Ibiza celebrate life, and I think they live the way it was intended, so more living in the moment, and they also pay true attention to each other. For example, if you look around this terrace now, you don't see anyone on their phone, just chatting with each other, whether they know each other or not. People find it important to eat together and make time for it. I love that Ibiza is so versatile, and especially the winter, I think it's fantastic!"
Tess's tip and regular spot on the island is the small local bar at the end of the village of San Josep, which is well hidden behind the coffee shop Passion and therefore unseen by tourists. Come here for the best fresh tortillas and herebas. "Good coffee, tasty sandwiches, but it's mainly the ambiance. You can sit outside in the sun, inside you can hear them laughing and bickering in Spanish. They make fresh tapas every day. No frills, just what you expect from a Spanish local spot, and I love it!"
Hungry for more? Say no more! That's why we're excited to let you know that Tess can be booked through us this year for an unforgettable and cozy experience, at home, in your villa, with her pasta machine. A home away from home! We can also organize many more fun services for you, so please contact us via the service page.
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