This weekend was the last in a long line of weekends in which I over indulged and woke up penitent wishing that for once I’d demonstrated just a shred of self-restraint. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh? So on Monday morning I was full of good intentions. Alcohol was off the menu, healthy eating was on the cards and desserts were an absolute no-no…and then I remembered I was going to Ibiza resident masterchef Tess Prince’s house for lunch and that suddenly all became a pipe dream – whose willpower can withstand the talents of a woman whose puddings are so good they make mums all over the world weep? No one. I rest my (albeit withered) reputation on it. Tess Prince is a modern marvel of a woman. She’s a trained make-up artist, a qualified chef, a food stylist and she’s spent this summer catering for intimate, private parties. She bowls up, blows your mind with her intricately presented food, makes everyone look flawless and then packs you off ready for a night to remember – all with the added bonus of making you feel like you’re one of her oldest friends. So you can understand why we’ve been eagerly anticipating this lunch.
Today we’re dining within the welcoming walls of her home near San Carlos. It’s a rustic finca with views over to Tagomago and orange trees in the driveway – an idyllic location that provides the perfect setting for her faultless style of food. When we arrive we’re greeted with glasses of wine and then mill around a table that’s been immaculately dressed. One of Tess’ talents is her incredible attention to detail. Nothing is present unless it’s supposed to be, everything from the colour of the plates to the height of candelabra has been considered. She ferries in and out of the kitchen hosting while putting the finishing touches to the food and then re-emerges carrying plate after plate of gastronomic wonder. We’re presented with artisan breads and slow-roasted garlic, parmesan grissini wrapped in sata negra ham and a pinchos of beetroot, horseradish creme, smoked salmon, quail’s egg and caviar – and these are just the appetisers. Next out are spiced lamb koftas with pomegranate and tzatziki, chicken tagine and sardines stuffed with bulgar and pistachios. And they’re all accompanied with roasted butternut squash, radish and broad bean salad, chickpea, puy lentil, beetroot and feta salad. I should mention here that there are only six of us eating today and that it’s now less of a surprise to learn she spent 15 hours preparing all this the day before.
And just when we think there can be no more food she re-appears with three spectacular desserts; Summer berry almond meringue with vanilla mascarpone, Baileys tiramisu, limoncello and passionfruit cake plus homemade hierbas are all placed proudly in front of us – we’re left stunned by this woman’s ability. The food tastes every bit as good as it looks and testament to her dedication to source local, organic produce. Tess reveals she trawls the island looking for the perfect ingredients and decoration to put the finishing touches to her dishes and admits she’s “constantly thinking about food”, whether it’s cooking for her husband Dan in the evening or catering for her very own wedding day.
It’s clear that cooking comes as second nature for Tess – her training as a chef and a make up artist mean she has a unique set of skills that work in complete harmony together. Next Spring she’s set to launch her own food blog – lovefoodibiza – as well as cookery courses for locals and continuing to take bookings for private events. We recommend you book her now if you want to sample some of her genius because it really has to be seen to be believed! Contact her at email@example.com.As for that virtuous living I was talking about earlier, well what can I say? Manana, manana…