When you think of Ibiza, you usually think of clubbing and dance music. You also think about sun and sea, money and glam.
Do you also think about food and specifically Steak? Well if you don't know, now you know...
STK, from The One Group chain of Steak restaurants moved to Ibiza in the summer of 2016. The aim has been to turn this popular steak restaurant into THE VENUE for Ibiza.
Now there, they have taken on Chef Alex Puddifoot to head up this restaurant and I have been given the chance to interview him.
Alex began his career with The One Group working at the iconic Hippodrome Casino in London, and later moved to the kitchens of STK, Cucina Asellina and RADIO Rooftop Bar all located in the popular 5-Star Me Hotel London. He now heads up the kitchen for the group as Executive Head Chef at the recently opened STK in Ibiza (opened July 2016).
Born and raised in the London Borough of Harrow, Alex always had an interest in food from a young age, predominantly influenced by his mother’s love of cooking. After culinary school, Alex headed to Australia with an opportunity to work in some of Melbourne’s up-and-coming restaurants and cafés.
Upon returning to England, he later joined The Alpine in Hertfordshire as Sous Chef.
Looking for a new and exciting challenge, Alex honed his skills and fine dining techniques at The Clarendon in Hertfordshire - a Michelin dining experience centered on the ‘Best of British’ produce. The Clarendon offered an all-day dining experience with a fine dining restaurant and exclusive chef’s table.
At The Clarendon Alex had the opportunity to learn from the best in the business and worked alongside some of Britain’s most accomplished chefs including Chef Patron, Barry Vera, and the likes of Heston Blumenthal. It was at The Clarendon that Alex and Vera developed a positive working relationship, and Alex later joined Vera as Executive Sous Chef for the opening Shaka Zulu in London – a 200 cover restaurant in the heart of Camden focusing on South African inspired cuisine.
Alex has a deep passion for food on all levels from cooking, researching new ingredients and studying the history and evolution of certain cuisines. He can often be found discussing new ideas and experimenting with new techniques with some even being considered a little extreme.
Who inspired you to become a chef and then move to Ibiza?
I wanted to be a chef from the age of about 14, as I used to cook with my mother who was a great cook, then through the years I started noticing the greats like Marco Pierre White, Micheal Roux Jr and love the way they cooked in the classic way.
The move to Ibiza was a little bit spare of the moment, but when I heard about the position to open another STK I was all in.
What made you want to pursue this role in ibiza?
The thought of doing another opening and the excitement and energy that is involved with that. Also the chance to work out side of the UK as I have not done it before and thought it would be a good challenge for myself.
When did you realise that being a chef was what you wanted to do?
Since a young age I always loved to eat as a kid. But then found you get more out of food by cooking for others and seeing them admire what we do as chefs
Where do you see the restaurant going in the new year?
The only way is up, with the reputation we built up in the short time we was open, the only thing is to improve on that keeping pushing higher
Why STK and why should customers go?
Why STK because there is no other dinning experience on the island, we have the entertainment like other places but it is all about the food at the end of the day, entertainment is just an added bounus to great food and the best steaks on the island
Which key differences stand out between customers here and in ibiza ?
To be fare the one thing I did notice was there where a lot of uk guest there that knew of Stk and know the brand and what we do, other guest like the locals where I think impressed with the whole operation from the moment they walked in the door to when they ate to leaving, not that a lot of them wanted to leave once the party got started.
Another coup for Life of Shayan. Head Chef of STK in Ibiza. Thank you so much to Alex, the OT Group and JPR Media Group for all their help.
You know what to do next... book your next trip and restaurant booking and see Alex in Ibiza. I can't wait to go.