An interview with private chef Sid Shanti
We love to interview Islanders who live and run their business on the white isle. Some people are here to stay and rise high above the rest.
One of these guys is Sid Shanti an Ibiza veteran who lives on our stunning island for almost two decades. When you like to make the move and set up your business Sid will offer you some sound advice. Buckle up friends..
What date did you first arrive in Ibiza?
I arrived in 1998 to the island. At the time I thought I was relatively late to come as I’d heard many stories already about Ibiza. I was invited as a touring DJ by club night Manumission, and was picked up from the airport by a dwarf driving an old American Army pick-up truck with “Ass, Grass or Cash, No-one rides for free” written on the side!
How is it to start and run a business in Ibiza?
Well starting a business anywhere is difficult. However in Ibiza you have the sun shine and the music to keep you going! It’s exciting to create concepts and then aim to implement them into the business and this essentially is what drives the desire to have one.
“Be aware though that you must be prepared to make sacrifices and work long hours”.
Has there been a defining moment in your career on the island?
There have been many and it would be very hard to specify just one but I guess the bbq’s at the Manumission Motel were some of the best times and re-enforced my passion for cooking which had taken a back seat professionally while I enjoyed a short career as an international DJ.
Have there been challenges in your career and how did you overcome these?
There are challenges in all careers I’d imagine and Ibiza presents it’s own set of hurdles. Being a tourist destination means you have two extremes of work life: summer, which is relentless and hands on, and winter, which is slower and gives time to reflect and plan.
I settled into the rhythm of Ibiza from the off but still one must be prepared for the highs and the lows of island life. I always keep in mind where I live and the luxury it affords me and try to hit the beach or the campo for a walk at least once a week.
What makes you unique to Ibiza?
Well when I came to the island there was no food movement, in fact I was most likely one of the first international chefs to come here. I have seen the island change into a gastronomic melting pot and this movement gathers pace every year.
So I have experienced the island prior to this and grown with it. Now I specialise in food from the island. My philosophy is farm to fork, and we actively work with farmers and grow our own produce.
Over the years I’ve also had great luck in meeting island providers of the highest quality produce and so I can pass this on to my clients on Ibiza. It would be hard for me to replicate this service anywhere other than Ibiza and neither would I want to!
What projects are you currently working on this summer that you can reveal?
Well we have just signed on a new commercial unit in Ibiza town which has state of the art kitchen and client liaison / tasting space. From here we will continue catering to our varied clients producing dinner parties and events.
New for 2016 is a bespoke takeaway service. Beautiful healthy food in bio-degradable packaging using ingredients from our island farms. These are Ideal for boats, for the beach or to have in the villa. In addition to this we are also starting our own product ranges.
We have developed a range of chocolates using island flavors scheduled for late 2016 release and we are also growing a variety of Trinidadian chilies on the island in order to bring a range of sauces to market.
We will use at least 80% of Ibiza ingredients in the sauces, utilizing many of the fruits here that for years have been underused which leads to incredible and unnecessary waste. These are scheduled for 2017.
One of the most legendary parties that you’ve been too that you’ll always remember?
The best parties I find you never seem to remember much. Except of course a thumping hangover for a few hours in the morning to remind you that it must have been fun!
The Manumission Motel was pretty crazy where graffiti artists, strippers, dwarves, Kate Moss, Jade Jagger, Roman Polanski, gypsies, Hell’s Angels, millionaires and drug dealers would somehow become one entity under a throbbing bass line and starry sky.
What makes Ibiza your utopia?
It’s inherent values of patience, tolerance, acceptance and respect. It’s global position as the number one destination for attracting free thinkers and thrill seekers, beach bums and movie stars, models and hippies, royalty and poverty, techno kids and house heads, food lovers and beer drinkers and alternative minds and intelligent souls. It’s beautiful countryside and virgin coastlines. The sunrise, sunset and Mediterranean air.
This interview is presented by bulldog gin.