Basque cooking

Aizepe is a typical gastronomic club in the Old Part of San Sebastian. It is located between the old port and Mount Urgull. The building was originally contructed around the XVIII century and was first used as a salt deposit for the Dutch merchants given its proximity to the port. During the napolenonic wars it was one of the few buildings to survive the raging fires that consumed the Old Part. These fires were set by the English-Portuguese troops who fought for months against the french invaders.

Today, it is a place for friends and family to get together to prepare the rich local products fruit of this land. The ritual is always the same, go to the local farmers market to buy fresh products, prepare them inside the gastronomic society with friends and finally sit down to enjoy the wonderful dishes prepared in a table that can seat as many or as few as desired.

One of our great chefs, although still in training, is Telmo Ezcurra. He is always willing to prepare something for the rest and makes sure that we have everything. In the Basque Country we believe that the first virtud of a good chef should be this, the desire to please the palate. There is no greater satisfaction for a chef that to see others enjoying that which he has prepared.

Another important chef in our small Aizepe family is Alain Alonso, blogger in Pintxo a Pintxo.   A great chef, also Basque and Donostiarra, a bit less conservative and more innovative in his dishes. He always manages to surprise us with something new hidden in traditional ingredients.

In addition to these noteworthy chefs that one can find in the kitchen at Aizepe, there is another group of people, of friends and family who also contribute an invaluable ingredient to the success of a dinner. It could be someone who brings the freshest ingredients, or who acts as somelier, setting the table, preparing coffee or even small bits of advice given in the kitchen. All together everything insures that things go perfectly.

This little article has made me realize how important it is to share life and its small joys with familie and friends. I can assure you that there are few places in the world like the gastronomic club to celebrate this sacred basque ritual of sharing a table with those we hold dear.