Dinner cooked by an active volcano
At El Diablo, an iron grate sits over a circular basalt pit that funnels the earth’s natural heat to the surface. (CC by Sylviane Moss)
A restaurant in the Canary Islands is taking barbequing to a whole new level.
The one-of-a-kind grill is not spewing with lava (it hasn’t erupted since 1824); instead an iron grate sits over a circular basalt pit that funnels the earth’s natural heat to the surface, where temperatures range between 400C and 600C.
The El Diablo chefs cook lamb, chicken and fish over the geothermal stove, for use in traditional Canarian dishes. Plan to eat early as the kitchen closes at 3:30 pm, although a special Tuesday evening reservation can be booked in advance for 50 euros, which includes a tour, a three-course meal and transportation to and from local hotels.
The volcano-powered kitchen was built by local architect César Manrique in 1970 as part of a commission to build a restaurant on a summit in the Fire Mountains, located in Timanfaya National Park on the island of Lanzarote. Unable to lay the foundations due to the ground’s heat, he and fellow designers added nine layers of basalt rock to serve as the restaurant’s base, leaving part of it open to the heat.
Today, the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the park’s volcanic calderas, cones, craters and black lava fields. The landscape has remained virtually unchanged since the last eruption, thanks to minimal rainfall and government protection.