At Abama Resort, the bar is nothing if not astronomically high when it comes to cuisine, but Diego Dato is up to the task. We have become the island playground for one of Spain’s most lauded chefs, Martín Berasategui. His signature restaurant, M.B, located in The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, has maintained two Michelin stars for years, but like all the greats, Berasategui isn’t content to rest on his laurels. He’s since opened two additional restaurants here at Abama: the wonderful Basque tapas restaurant Txoko, and now his riff on Mediterranean gastronomy, Melvin.
Located in the owners’ club of our beautifully situated community, Las Terrazas, Melvin shares in the jaw-dropping views and pursuit of excellence that define everything at Abama. And it tips its hat to the younger generation with the youngest team of all Berasategui’s restaurants. If you’re looking for a dynamic, fresh meal in a relaxed and uplifting ambiance, then Melvin is your destination. Read on for an excerpt of our recent interview with head chef Diego Dato, and look for the Abama Magazine next month for the full version.
You have worked with major players in the gastronomy world like Santi Santamaría and, in the past few years, Martín Berasategui. What has most impacted the way you cook?
Yes, I’ve had the luck to work with two of the grand maestros of the kitchen: Santi Santamaría and Martín Berasategui. During two years at Santi Santamaría’s side, I had the opportunity to absorb his love for traditional cuisine that always incorporates local products. During my trajectory in the kitchens of Martín Berasategui, I would highlight the willingness to reinvent yourself every day, getting the absolute maximum out of every ingredient, every dish, every preparation: pure avant-garde.
What makes Melvin a Martín Berasategui restaurant? Where do we see his influence?
As soon as you set foot in the restaurant, you’re taking in the philosophy inculcated by Martín Berasategui: it’s an experience from the first minute. The most important thing is that guests are made to feel at home through our friendly, respectful service, and that we succeed in surprising and impressing them with products of unparalleled quality treated with care in the kitchen.
Have you discovered any interesting surprises in the cuisine of the Canary Islands?
Since I arrived on the island I’ve been trying to absorb everything about the culture. I would have never imagined the incredible variety of products that it offers. Its cheeses win prizes every year, its wines have a long and interesting history, and they are known all over the world. The potatoes, the tomatoes, the history of the fish trade…you can’t imagine that you could find all these delicacies on the islands.
Located in one of our most popular communities, Las Terrazas, Melvin feels like a local restaurant. What role does the community play in generating this atmosphere?
Las Terrazas is located right at the heart of Abama, completely integrated into the landscape, and enjoys a relaxed, refined atmosphere. It’s a unique location from which to enjoy the best views of the ocean and La Gomera island. We are incredibly privileged.
What do you hope will be the most memorable aspects of a meal at Melvin?
An experience that is unforgettable for our guests and exceeds their expectations. As Martín says, we are the bearers of happiness.
We welcome Diego Dato to the fold and know he will become another wonderful feather in the cap of Abama Resort Tenerife. Looking forward to what the new year will bring!