This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Chef Hélène Darroze was named the Best Female Chef in the World in 2015 (yes, the same prize Elena Arzak won in the award’s first year, 2012). We have written about her and her love for Basque cuisine (and the Basque Country) before. We spoke of how she said that if she could chose, she’d like her “last meal” to be in the Basque Country. We also told of how, last summer, she worked at the Maria Cristina Hotel, where she presented her vision of pintxos, auteur dishes, and sweets.
Now we’ve been surprised by an article in the Financial Times in which she explains what her favorite places in San Sebastian are, focusing, of course, on gastronomy.
Financial Times – 9/6/2017 – Gran Bretaña
Chef Hélène Darroze on her favourite spots in San Sebastián
For pintxos (the Basque equivalent of tapas), head first to Ganbara, where hugely talented chef/owner Amaïa Ortuzar offers a delightful selection including wild mushrooms, tuna with anchovies, croquetas de jamón, egg with calamari and boquerones. The lower-ground-floor dining room is charming and intimate too, with a very good, well-priced local wine list. Two other speciality spots for pintxos are Bar Antonio for carabineros (scarlet shrimps, especially good in ravioli), and Bar Txepetxa for a huge array of anchovies: they have at least 15 versions on offer as pintxos, each one prepared differently and with intriguing accompaniments, from sea urchin roe to spider crab.