With Bitty away on a book tour, the remaining three pilgrims disembark on what Mario describes as “the mind-blowingly-beautiful island of Mallorca.” For a suitably sumptuous breakfast they head to the Juan de Saigo pastry/ice cream/chocolate shop, opened in 1700 and now run by the ninth generation. After a quick spin around Palma’s high spots, including the Miquel Barceló chapel in the Palma cathedral, they’re off for a four-course lunch at the Malvasía Restaurant, where chef, Joan Olives, sits down at the table and designs a special menu for them: baby broadbeans with sausage, a crusty seafood paella, sea bass pie, and almond cake. Mario is impressed by the food as well as the muscatel dessert wine.
In the afternoon Mario and Claudia get a lesson in making ensaimada (the unique local puff pastry, a tourist attraction in itself) from Miquel Pujol, the island’s premier baker. “The ensaimada is a spiral within a spiral,” says Miquel, adding what might be an apt slogan for the whole road trip: “The heart is next to the stomach and if the stomach is content, the heart is content.”
The next day, Mario and Gwyneth share a chatty breakfast at the Deiá golf club before heading to the beach to prepare a spectacular seafood grill and eat it in the sea spray. Later, Claudia and Mario hop over to Menorca where they and a couple of singing lobster fishermen fire up a killer lobster stew in an earthenware dish over an open fire, finishing off with a Mahon cheese and umpteen glasses of gin, a local custom they are assured.
If you love pastry, lobster and the seashore, you’ll love this chapter. Here’s the link.