This article was translated by John R. Bopp


Allan Jenkins
, cuisine journalist for The Guardian, has already been mentioned in our blog.  Today, he’s paying us another visit in his article published in The Observer (the Sunday edition of The Guardian) talking about his visit with José Pizarro to The Land of the Basques.

José Pizarro, the chef from Extremadura who has triumphed in London and who has just written a book on Basque cuisine, is becoming a regular on our blog.  This is the third time he’s come up in just this past month.

His book on Basque cuisine, which we talk about here, is getting a lot of press in Great Britain.  We’ve already found numerous articles which talk about the chef and his (literary) work.  We hadn’t collected them, because we’d already discussed them, but this magnificent article published in such a major newspaper (which we’ve cited on more than 100 occasions) demands we dedicate a few lines to him.

Allan Jenkins takes us on a trip to the western Basque Coast accompanied by José Pizarro to see some of the chef’s favorite (gastronomic) places..

Chocolate pots with tejas de Tolosa. Photograph: Laura Edwards
Chocolate pots with tejas de Tolosa. Photograph: Laura Edwards

The article can’t be missed (both for its content and for we we imagine the authors had to face with all those dishes).  This trip passes through Etxebarri, at the foot of Anboto mountain, and ends in Elkano at the feet of the Ratón de Getaria, with special attention paid to San Sebastian and its dazzling culinary scene.
The article offers us four typically Basque dishes.  Also, David Williams, the same newspaper’s wine connoisseur, helps us select the best wines for these dishes.

The Observer – 10/4/2016 – Gran Bretaña

José Pizarro’s Basque country recipes

We are being blown across the coastal road, our big umbrella is inside out. We are soaked to the skin but happy because we’ve just eaten at Elkano, the best fish restaurant in the world. I am with José Pizarro in the Basque country, visiting places that inspired his brilliant new book. Now based in London, Pizarro is from the other end of Spain, in Extremadura, where his mum and dad had a dairy farm. He first visited San Sebastián 20 years ago as a young chef working in Madrid and has felt at home here ever since. “I love to go to San Sebastián,” he says, “not just to eat in the city that has more three-star Michelin restaurants than anywhere else in Europe but to visit street after street of glorious pintxos [Basque tapas] bars.” Which is where our trip comes in.

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The Observer – 10/4/2016 – Gran Bretaña

Three wines to go with José Pizarro’s recipes

When I made José Pizarro’s interpretation of La Cuchara de San Telmo’s tomato soup at home, I was surprised by the depth of sweet flavour that comes, I suppose, from roasting the tomatoes to the point of caramelisation. But as with all tomato dishes, when it came to finding a wine to work with it there was the high acidity to think about, too. So it wasn’t simply the name’s similarity that led me away from the Basque country further west in northern Spain to the Pizarras de Otero red. Made by the reliable Martín Códax co-operative in Bierzo, it uses the local mencía, a grape variety that always delivers a burst of cherryish acidity and freshness and which is in particularly exuberant aromatic form here.

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