“Cooking up a tribute” to the revolutionary Basque cuisine

Ongietorri!, welcome in Euskara, the Basque Country language. That’s how we have started our two workshops in March.

Our friend Hye has published her own version in Korean: [스페인 요리] 스페인 바스크 요리 쿠킹 클래스 (Discovering the Basque gastronomy) – http://blog.naver.com/pyano7/220295989738

BASQUE COUNTRY WORKSHOP HILLSIDE(1)BASQUE COUNTRY WORKSHOP(2)Far more modest than the tribute paid to the American cuisine by the Roca Brothers in their documentary “Cooking Up a Tribute” [the film is the result of the tour that took “El Celler de Can Roca” to the Texas cities of Houston and Dallas; the Mexican cities of Mexico City and Monterrey; Bogota, Colombia and Perú], we want to embark you on a trip around the Basque Country, mostly San Sebastián, to discover this territory and its gastronomic treasures and above all, to pay tribute to the revolutionary Basque Cuisine.
As mentioned by Jesús Rodríguez in “El País”, we wish you to discover “what drives the culinary excellence of a region that is home to five of the world’s best restaurants”.
I guess everything in this culinary experience is about discovery. It was our first cookery class & “pintxos lab” and we did it, as Pickering and Higgins congratulate each other in My Fair Lady’s film. Mónica García Cabello and I we say that we would do it and indeed we did it!.
But a lot of the glory goes to you, dear participants, for you co-created the “pintxos” and that was an awesome experience. We thank you all.

GRUPOGRUPO2Our motto, inspired by Ferrán Adriá, was “the great revolution of the future will be to recognize that the diner is also cook”. And we believe that. We believe that participants should be “more” participants. That is why we will try to carry out this “learning-by-doing” experience in all our workshops, for it goes both ways around: you learn, we learn –a lot- from you. That’s the idea of a cooking lab…And that is where our commitment with innovation begins and so does our biggest challenge: turning people from mere observers into value creators.

Ongietorri to Euskal Herria, “the land of the Basque speakers”, and let the music leads you to the beauty of this country: “Lau teilatu Mikel Erentxun eta Amaia Montero”,

As casual Cicerone, we say a few words about the Basque traditions like the Pelota Vasca and inevitably, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has to be mentioned.

The Guggenheim has had a powerful impact on Bilbao’s transformation, now a mecca for design and architecture but until not long ago, a city full of decaying industrial complexes.

In our trip we walk on the most beautiful urban beach in Europe: la playa de la Concha, in San Sebastián. But everything in the Basque Country revolves around the passion for food, so we have to shift our swimsuits to aprons…

San Sebastián

Revolutionary?. The Basque cuisine took the dishes that were being prepared a century ago and reinvented them over the course of 40 years. We reflect on the drivers of this “spicy” culinary innovation and his/her pioneers, like José Mari Arzak or her daughter Elena. Firstable, the sum of culinary tradition [“txokos”, cookery clubs, and traditional recipes, local and seasonal products] and the so-called “avant-garde”. Secondly, that this (r)evolution has involved everyone: producers, the food and culture industry and the innovation hub.

And after all this talking and reflecting, Mesdames and Messieurs we were happy to introduce you the Marmitako recipe (Tuna Pot). In the euskoguide.com or in Jonathan McCallum’s blog you can find the recipe for this classic Basque meal. But our gift is the Begoña Hualde’s aunt’s recipe, a Tuna Pot recipe from Navarra (another region close to the Country Basque).

portadaAnd while the Marmitako is “over the flames”…We can devote ourselves to Donostia, San Sebastián. San Sebastián has gained significant press for its cuisine, just imagine that the city alone has 15 Michelin stars spread across 7 restaurants and it is also famous for its “pintxos”…

The Vaga Brothers  teach us that “Pintxos” are small finger foods served at bars and taverns, and that is typical to go into a bar in the Basque Country and find the entire counter lined with plates of various “pintxos”. From the verb “pinchar” (to stab or to poke), “pintxos” are served on a small slice of bread and have a toothpick piercing them, hmm…umm yammi. (check all the pictures we have on our Pinterest board https://es.pinterest.com/womenlabkorea/spanish4fun-euskadi-the-basque-country/). Follow WOMENLABKOREA’s board Spanish4Fun. Euskadi, the Basque Country on Pinterest.

DSCF9349DSCF9343And the time comes for the participants to co-design and co-create an appetizing & tasty “pintxo” and decide about ingredients, flavors, colors and textures…And the toughest part of it: to “test” the “pintxos” and the wine…This time it was Australian, next time we hope you will enjoy the slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content of a Txacoli…

C360_2015-03-05-15-05-30-093(1)1425427411084 (2)Muchas gracias (thank you, in Spanish), agur (Goodbye in Euskara) or better: gero arte (so long o “hasta pronto” in Spanish).

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