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El Txoko de Martín, the first post-pandemic project launched by the chef with the most Michelin stars on the Spanish culinary scene, is opening in Palma de Mallorca with an affordable fine dining experience in a unique 600 m2 space with multiple nods to Berasategui’s Basque origins.
The new restaurant El Txoko de Martín was inaugurated just in time for summer 2021, determined to leave the difficult months of the pandemic behind. This new gastronomic venue features decorations in which wood, iron, stone and ceramic details play an important role. The most striking feature of the restaurant includes three large murals, made by the Mallorcan firm Sublime using HI-MACS® solid surface, which capture a variety of sports disciplines, two of which originated in the Basque Country.
The original concept for this project sought to create a space where diners could revel in traditional yet innovative cuisine with the Berasategui stamp, but also where they could enjoy spending time with friends and family in a close, warm atmosphere. In Basque, the chef’s first language, “txoko” means “nook.” In bringing that concept to his new restaurant, Berasategui wanted to share a little slice of his homeland with Mallorcans, by establishing a little “nook” in Palma where they could savour a variety of delicacies from the Basque Country and where they could soak up Basque traditions in good company.
Of course, the venue’s design had to live up to the quality of products and service offered there, so three murals were devised, to be installed in different parts of the restaurant. The images capture three sports: traditional Basque rowing, Basque pelota and soccer, in honour of Berasategui’s athletic, multidisciplinary youth in his native land. These murals, which draw visitors’ eyes as soon as they step inside, were produced on HI-MACS® natural acrylic stone, in Alpine White, by complex, skilful sublimation work.
Sublime, the Group Concord company in Mallorca tasked with designing the murals, explains the sublimation process performed on HI-MACS® as a complicated technique, by which digital prints were transferred in a gaseous state to the solid surface, by applying controlled pressure and heat in special kilns.
Sublime’s vast experience with sublimation techniques ensured that the final images would be completely incorporated into the material, making the artwork resistant, durable and suitable for places with heavy traffic. HI-MACS® offers a number of additional advantages that provided added value to the end result. It is a completely smooth surface without pores, which guarantees the perfect integration of the dye. The seamless material gives a superbly hygienic finish, as well as simplifying cleaning, along with a high level of resistance and durability when in public areas like a hospitality venue.
“There are very few materials that can be moulded to resemble tiles, and that are capable of receiving the heat transfer of an image within their structure,” notes Juan Chito, Sublime’s designer, in reference to the properties of HI-MACS®.
Regarding the final rendering and how the technique was combined with the material, he adds that, “the convex sides and the application of a layer of epoxy resins on the face achieved the cracked, distorted effects we were looking for in this decorative project.”
With these murals on a par with the quality of Berasategui’s cuisine, the restaurant’s interior also stands out for its modern yet cosy decorations: the rustic textures in warm hues create a comfortable, cosmopolitan ambiance. The location in Santa Catalina, the old fishing district and present-day hot spot, inspired an interior design that is respectful of the tradition and history of this iconic neighbourhood.
Berasategui’s love of Mallorca with his Basque origins, at El Txoko de Martín, means pride of place is given to the wood used in the ceilings, decorative details in natural colours like greens and blues, and the frames on the walls containing photos of the chef’s family and the restaurant where he was born and raised.
With a capacity for 200 guests and a space divided between a main room, a private dining area and pavement seating, the new restaurant in Mallorca with the Berasategui seal promises to become the ultimate meeting place for food and relaxation, with traditional yet innovative cuisine and a space brimming with tradition and celebrating the chef’s origins.