A Place to Just BREATHE
Millions of tons of waste is the result of lazy disposal of plastic packaging and drinking bottles, destroying large parts of our oceans and the life within them. Climate change and severe environmental damage are caused by the release of CO2. Air pollution through greenhouse gas emissions alone claims 7 million lives a year. And still, our society is ruled by fast food chains, cheap grocery shopping and a way of old thinking that triggers the consequences for natural disasters and the ravaging of our planet.
The food industry has a massive impact on our environment. However, for our October cover story we are presenting to you an outstanding venue that certainly isn’t falling into that category.
All of us should know by now what is going on in our world. However, actually doing something and getting active as a single person can be quite hard when in our daily lives we are almost "forced" to buy and consume products that are not promoting sustainability in any way.
This is where multifaceted gastronomic concept BREATHE comes in. The venue represents a new culinary experience that Marbella has eagerly been anticipating. As the name already discloses, BREATHE is a place that lives within and without. With it’s modern urban architecture, encompassing natural elements such as fire, earth, water and air, it creates an energy that connects people, nature itself and fresh-thinking gastronomy.
BREATHE comprises of a vast restaurant with its gastro bar, vertical gardens and patio on the main level, as well as, "Air," the raw food bar with its signature cocktails on the rooftop terrace and the soon to be open Ground Café. BREATHE is the place to go for any occasion, during the day or at night. Moreover, it features a large three-story underground parking, making itself more accessible than other venues. But there is more to this unique venue than meets the eye. Visiting BREATHE automatically enables you to contribute to caring for your environment and the planet. Having made sustainability and quality their top standards, BREATHE’s founders have created an innovative ground-source system, by which the entire venue can provide itself with energy through an underground pipe system where the water’s temperature is being regulated, also known as "Geothermal Energy Systems."
However, its self-sufficiency is not the only thing that makes BREATHE so different from other restaurants. With a zero-waste policy and the importance of valuing the concept of honest food, BREATHE is not only a restaurant; it boasts one-of-a-kind architecture as well as a one-of-a-kind approach and mentality.
With this incredible appreciation for our environment and strong sense of eco-responsibility, BREATHE represents an exclusive space that invites you to fully enjoy this green experience with exceptional customer service, the wow-factor plus the knowing that while you dine, brunch or sip on your cocktail, you are doing your part for the environment.
But what is it exactly that BREATHE offers? How is its mission defined and what feelings does it aim to evoke in its customers? Our cover star, and BREATHE’s internationally recognized chef, Simone D’Elia has the answers to all these questions. Combining his incredible knowledge of honest, healthy and sustainable food, as well as different sourcing techniques from growing up in a family of cooks, Italian-born and raised Simone has made gastronomy not only his hobby and career but also a meaningful, creative passion.
"I grew up in an Italian family with five brothers plus my mother who are all chefs like me. We used to enjoy cooking together as a family since a very young age. Remember, the Italian cuisine is not only consisting of pasta and pizza - with 107 provinces around the country, every single one of them features different dishes."
He continues, "at the age of 15, I start my career as a cook at the renowned fish restaurant ’Sante Collesano’. There I was taught the basics from one of the best chef’s in the country. When my “teacher” sadly passed away, I started travelling around, gaining inspiration and knowledge in places like Sardinia and London. In London especially, I got to know more about the Asian and French kitchens, discovering the essence of North European foods and trends. Afterwards, I taught myself all about the Argentinian and Mexican cuisines. This is when I started combining the different cultural influences and gaining more information about the products themselves. I started asking more questions, like where does the food come from, and what exactly are the production and sourcing processes?"
D’Elia made it his destiny to discover food and everything that comes along with it. After gaining endless experience travelling, he moved to Ibiza.
"In Ibiza I gained experience working in some of the most prestigious Beach Clubs, offering a very modern concept that sourced vegetables and meat from local farms. When I came to Marbella to start working with this incredible team at BREATHE (whom have now become like a second family to me), my mind-set was already highly influenced by the idea of sustainable food. Now I get to combine my ideas with the international twist, using fresh and local ingredients that this particular region of Spain is so well-known for."
Bringing all those high standards and experiences with him, Simone D’Elia has a very distinct technique when it comes to working with and training the kitchen team.
"All cooks at BREATHE are trained to have the same mindset: Being eco-friendly, as well as knowing how to recycle all waste and using every single part of the animal is what every cook must be aware of, to be able to work at BREATHE. This place is a true pioneer in Spain when it comes to sustainability: We aim to produce zero plastic, which means that our costs are slightly higher, but that’s nothing compared to the difference it makes. This is worth every cent and exactly what we stand for. Besides contributing to the decrease of plastic waste, we also source all our products from either organic farms, or, like our vegetables and fruits, from our own grounds. We have a field that supports us with a wide range of vegetables, besides having planted mango, lemon, figs and pear trees around the building that helps to provide us with the freshest fruits you can get locally."
Not only does BREATHE grow its own fruits and veggies and boast a bakery where all pastries are made by hand, this place offers a menu that will blow your mind! Simone told us more: "While BREATHE is based on a healthy and organic concept, in our bakery we are producing 85% of all that is served in an artisan way. Basic every-day dishes will include homemade granola, chia pudding with blueberry jam, seasonal fruits and a large selection of fresh juices and salads. However, we will always feature a huge variety, which means that there will always be new things on the menu to discover."
Simone continues: "It’s all very simple, real, delicious and healthy. In the main restaurant on the ground level, we will mainly serve lunch and dinner, using only meat from a certain organic farm, where I personally went to see how the animals are kept and how exactly the meat is produced. We source our prawns locally for our signature dish combined with a special dressing named Agua Chile. Plus, our chicken is provided by one of the very few producers who let the animals grow naturally. It is incredible how organic and honest you can actually source food if you just make up your mind."
And indeed, it can be so easy to eat organically, healthy and help the planet recover. Even when it comes to "Air," the venue’s sky bar, there are fantastic dishes and innovative cocktail choices: "In our sky bar, we will serve 70% fish, mainly in the form of tataki, ceviche, tartars, as well as oysters from France and Spain. Our ecological caviar comes from El Rio Grande. All cocktails will have a basis that’s sourced from BREATHE itself, letting our customers explore an exotic and signature mix of fruits with a spirit from around the world. We also serve unique drinks, such as Sake and cocktails with Yuzu, Lychee and Pitahaya, reflecting the international gastronomic character of BREATHE. We basically want to make our customers feel the natural ambiance of BREATHE, combined with all these exotic international flavours and the knowing that while enjoying this, they are also showing environmental responsibility."
BREATHE stands for an extraordinary experience with an organic touch, where our planet in all its variety is being recognized and reflected. The whole town is ready to experience this stunning venue, which represents the new place to be destination that has certainly been missing in Marbella!