The culinary oasis in the Basque land

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd December 2014
In celebration of this month’s featured chef Elena Arzak, who works at the renowned three Michelin star restaurant Arzak with her father Juan Mari Arzak, we've had a further look at the culinary highlights the San Sebastian region has to offer. The Basque Country, and especially San Sebastian, is a culinary paradise. Numerous restaurants, endless Pinxtos bars and a high number of Michelin restaurants fill its streets. It is ranked second on the list of the highest number of Michelin stars per square metre, with only Kyoto in Japan having more. Of the seven 3-Michelin star restaurants in the whole of Spain, three are in San Sebastian: Arzak, Akelare and Martín Berasategui.

3 stars

Arzak Arzak - Credit to Worlds 50 Best The world-renowned three Michelin starred Arzak restaurant is a family owned establishment in the fourth generation. Joint head chefs are Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena who create an avant-garde Basque cuisine with a modern twist to it, which is research-based. They have held their three Michelin stars since 1989.   Akelarre Akelarre - credit to akelarre.netPedro Subijana is a good friend of Juan Mari Arzak and in the 1970s they went to France together to learn the techniques of the “Nouvelle Cuisine”. He became chef at Akelarre in 1975 and has held three Michelin stars since 2006. The Akelarre cuisine sticks to Basque traditions but always implements strong flavours and textures.   Martín Berasategui Martín Berasategui The head chef of the restaurant that bears his name, Martín Berasategui, had also made his way to France when he was a teenager and came back to run his parents’ restaurant Bodegón Alejandro in the late 1980s. In 1993, he opened his own restaurant that is famous today in Lasarte-Oria, a village close to San Sebastian. He received his third Michelin star in 2001 for his exquisite avant-garde cuisine.

2 stars

Mugaritz Chef Andoni at MugaritzThis two star Michelin restaurant in San Sebastian is a temple of extraordinary cuisine set in an old country house. Head chef and founder is Andoni Luis Aduriz. It has held two stars since 2006 and is closed for four months of the year. This time is used for creativity and experimentation. His cuisine also focuses on traditional Basque ingredients, which are presented avant-garde.

1 star

Kokotxa Daniel LópezChef and owner of the one Michelin star restaurant is Daniel López, who serves a lot of seafood. He has learnt from the best - Juan Mari Arzak and Pedro Subijana – and has developed his own Basque dishes. Estela Velasco is the floor manager and together they make a wonderful team in the old part of San Sebastian. Mirador de Ulía Mirador de UlíaThe one star Michelin restaurant opened in 1966 by chef Faustina Zaldua and has a great view over the whole city. Head chef at Mirador de Ulía now is Rubén Trincado, who has learnt from Faustina Zaldua and his father Mitxel, as well as at the restaurants Kokotxa and Bodegón Alejandro and outside of Spain. He creates innovative and precise dishes, faithful to Basque roots. Trincado received his first Michelin star in 2010. Zuberoa Hilario Arbelaitz Zuberoa is located in the village Oiartzun, close to San Sebastian. The chef is the renowned Hilario Arbelaitz who inherited his love for food and cooking from his mother. He creates innovative and seasonal dishes. His brother, Eusebius, and his wife, Arantxa, organise the restaurant.   Miramón Arbelaitz Miramón Arbelaitz Joxe Mari Arbelaitz, brother to Hilario at the renowned Zuberoa, is head chef at his restaurant Miramón Arbelaitz, which has one Michelin star and is located in the technology park of San Sebastian. Arbelaitz aims to create dishes that reveal the identity of the chef. He claims that there are no bad combinations of ingredients, the interesting thing are the proportions. Alameda The brothers Mikel, Kepa and Gorka Txapartegi lead the Alameda restaurant. While Gorka and Kepa Alameda-restaurant- credit to sansebastian.co.ukare responsible in the kitchen, Mikel and their aunt Marivi are in charge in the dining room. The product is always their focus, the brothers say. They only use fresh, local and seasonal food. The brothers create traditional cuisine that is modern at the same time. They aim to offer a familiar atmosphere in their restaurant. Gorka has learnt from Hilario Arbelaitz at Zuberoa. View our videos with Elena Arzak from restaurant Arzak here where she talks about her early years and her father. By Vera Kleinken

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd December 2014

The culinary oasis in the Basque land