Marc Fosh, who will be showcasing Majorcan cuisine at London's World Travel Market. | Humphrey Carter


At the beginning of next month, Marc Fosh, the only British chef to have been awarded a Michelin Star in Spain, will be showcasing the very best of Majorcan, Balearic and Mediterranean food at the World Travel Market in London. With him will be Tomeu Caldentey, the first Majorcan chef to have won a Michelin Star for his restaurant Es Moli D’en Bou.

Marc, whose Michelin Star restaurant Simply Fosh has set the benchmark for quality and value-for-money fine dining in Palma, will be jetting into London from Frankfurt where he has been granted a wild card to compete in the grand final of a highly prestigious national cooking competition.

He began working as a chef at Read’s Hotel in Santa Maria some 20 years ago, and that is where he won his first Michelin Star. And in February, Simply Fosh is going to be celebrating its ninth anniversary.

"I guess when we first opened, we were unique. There were none, or at least very few, high-end restaurants in the capital. But over the past nine years, the game has changed totally and it is frightening at times when I see all the new boutique hotels with their own fine- dining experiences on offer. However, I think it’s great. I’m rather more thick-skinned than many other chefs, so competition no longer concerns me.

"I’ve been cooking for a long time and I’m a lot more philosophical than I used to be and than many of my colleagues. One of the guys has a total breakdown if anybody posts something bad about his restaurant on Trip Advisor. I just tell him to ignore one or two negative comments and look at all the positives. I have to admit I used to be like that when I started out with my own business. I was obsessed about what people were thinking, but now I don’t worry myself about it.

"We have our philosophy and that is to use fresh ingredients and treat them with respect and also present servings of fresh, clean food with direct flavour. I like my guests to be able to see everything they are eating, enjoy the textures, the colours. I am not one for covering everything in sauces, I don’t want to hide what I’m cooking, I want to show it off."

Marc, who could have been a professional footballer, arrived in Majorca after six years in San Sebastian and a number of years in France before that, but he admits that here in Majorca he is in culinary paradise.

"I guess being open for nearly nine years is proof in itself that we’re doing something right. Most restaurants last a year or 18 months, so I think our philosophy works. Obviously not everybody likes it, but if you start trying to please everyone, you’re going to get into a real mess and serious problems because it’s not possible. Sometimes I go to restaurants and look at the menu and wonder what they are trying to do. More often than not, it is too much and that comes across in the food and the service. And that is the only complaint I have about restaurants in Palma, the poor level of service. It’s wonderful this food revolution the city has undergone over the past few years with so many new, quality restaurants and four and five-star hotels opening up.

"We’ve not got two Michelin Star restaurants in the capital and, to be honest, we could do with a few more but I’m convinced they will come. I am now one of a group of chefs involved in the Palma 365 Foundation which was set up to boost all-year tourism and establish Palma as a viable and serious city-break destination. It’s great, I think Palma is a wonderful city, we’ve got everything in the winter apart from the flights, and that is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

"We all notice it. Here we do on average 2,600 covers per month, but come the middle of winter, that drops to around 1,400, so all the businesses can see for themselves that Palma needs more winter promotion. Ryanair and the likes will fly you to cities all over eastern Europe, but they will not fly you to Palma in January and that is because of high airport fees etc. These need to be addressed if we are going to push forward.

"And now that I am more front of house, overseeing the service, meeting the clients, quite a number of whom are repeat clients who know me from my days back at Read’s, I get to hear what people think not only about our food but also Palma. The large part love the city. This year our clientele has been the most varied yet with guests from the United States, Korea, Japan, China, not to mention the scores of people who have followed and supported us along our journey until now.

"Trying to push Majorca as an island in the winter is a bit of a non-starter, I think, because most of the island outside Palma closes. We should be putting much more emphasis on Palma. There has been and is so much private investment, I think the least the authorities could do is acknowledge that and help the private sector. And I don’t think ministries like tourism should be political.

"Every time we just about get going on one project or another, we have an election and the new guard come in and we have to start all over again, and that is very frustrating. The position of tourism minister should not be a political one, so that way we can follow through on projects and have some longevity in the tourist industry.

"Palma has so much potential and we need to make the most of it. For example, Hairy Biker David Myers, when they were filming here with me, fell in love with the city and is looking to buy an apartment here. There’s a great vibe around Palma, more so than ever this year, but within a few weeks that is sadly going to start cooling down. So, let’s see what we can do with our Majorcan gastronomic experience in London."