Northern Spain is a thrilling destination for lovers of great food and wine. Each region offers authentic experiences and traditions that rival the best that Europe has to offer. Even the most humble of offerings can be so perfect in their simplicity and execution that they become famous throughout Spain.
What we most love about Spain is regardless of whether you're eating in a three-star Michelin restaurant or in a rustic country house, there is so much pride taken in the skill of preparation as well as the art and entertainment of eating. Even the most humble of offerings can be so perfect in its simplicity and execution that it becomes famous throughout Spain. There exists a true reciprocal relationship between the land, the farmer and the chef, an impossibly high regard for the earth and the ingredients and ultimately for their culture and culinary heritage. The gastronomic experience here is unique, open-ended and fascinating at every turn.
As our guests, you will be graciously welcomed with open arms everywhere we go. The trips we design involve close collaboration with key personalities to provide the most memorable and unique experiences and behind-closed-door access to ensure that each guest's experience in Spain is truly unforgettable.
SOME RESTAURANTS OF NOTABLE MENTION
ARZAK Juan Mari Arzak + Elena Arzak
Juan Mari Arzak is undeniably one of the most important figures in Spanish gastronomy, often referred to as the 'godfather' of modern Basque cuisine; his imprint has forever changed the face of culinary innovation, not only in Spain but around the globe. His disciples include the likes of Ferran Adrià of El Bulli restaurant in Rosas and his immensely talented daughter Elena Arzak, who joins him today at the helm of their three-starred Michelin kitchen to produce perhaps the most dynamic duo in Spain. The result is an enriched, reinvigorated Basque cuisine that retains a sense of tradition and most importantly, place.
Arzak's food is modern and entertaining, often witty, emphasizing the highest quality local ingredients - white tuna, fresh figs, fino sherry. A hyper-fresh egg perhaps, seasoned with house-made truffle oil, wrapped in plastic film, poached and served with a slim txistorra sausage, Cellophane of tempered oysters or astonishingly perfect Hake fish with a sauce of white clay.
MARTIN BERASATEGUI Martín Berasategui
Three-star Michelin chef Martín Berasategui, is one of the world's most technically accomplished cooks, and whose eponymously named restaurant in Lasarte outside San Sebastián is one of the greatest in Europe. Berasategui's cuisine is subtle and pure yet excites with every bite. His most famous dish is a smoked eel, foie gras and caramelized apple napoleon and without a doubt, the most copied dish in Spain. His signature style of serving tiny dishes comprising a luxurious piece of protein paired with novel dried, liquefied, foamed or creamed components allows for endless creativity and exciting variation. The food is truly exceptional, from a curl of cider-marinated mackerel with fried anchovies in olive oil to morsels of rare tuna belly grilled over wooden charcoal, hake with baby clams, or Roast Red Mullet with Crystals of Soft Scales, Rockfish Juice with Saffron, Black Olive Liquid Bubble.
EL BULLI Ferran Adrià
Set on an isolated beach on Spain's Catalan coast near the town of Rosas, El Bulli, named #1 restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine for the third consecutive year, has become a pilgrimage site for foodies brave enough to make the dizzying drive down for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. The restaurant receives over 2,000,000 requests per year for approximately 8,000 possible reservations.
Ferran Adrià has won the adulation of food critics and cooks by whipping up startling combinations of texture, temperature and taste: bite-size cuttlefish ravioli that explode in a burst of coconut and ginger, intertwined carrot chips with lemon verbena, ginger and liquorices, soft-boiled quail egg with a crispy caramel crust, a polenta of frozen powdered Parmesan cheese, almond ice cream on a swirl of garlic oil and balsamic vinegar.
MUGARITZ Andoni Aduriz
Andoni Aduriz is a, poet, inventor and perfectionist. His striking food is real, albeit with some unfamiliar flavours and textures, and each morsel verges on ethereal. The dishes are stunning such as a stew of tender roasted spring onions, bone marrow and fresh herbs, perfumed with slices of raw ceps, or confit of loin of Blue Mackerel, coated with an infusion of crushed sesame seeds and milk skin. Aduriz's interpretation of vanity - a moist chocolate cake with almond cream and chocolate bubbles.
ZUBEROA Hilario Arbelaitz
Hilario Arbelaitz is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved Basque chefs and his restaurant Zuberoa, with two Michelin stars, has been ranked among the world's 10 best restaurants by FOOD & WINE Contributing Editor Patricia Wells in The International Herald-Tribune. Zuberoa often serves as an eponymous reference to the use of ingredients of the highest quality, which he transforms with precise skill, into dishes that are both creative and sensual, and strongly rooted in Basque tradition. The specialties here include, baby summer squid with caramelized onion, hake in green herb sauce with clams and olive oil- potato cream, grilled oysters "Gaillardia" and veloute of cod fish brandade, roast sardine on tomato tartlet with smoked Idiazabal cheese or stewed and braise calf's jaw with caramelized endives.
ASADOR ETXEBARRI Victor Arguinzoniz
Grill master and celebrated innovator, Victor Arguinzoniz manages to produce indisputingly amazing dishes without a trace of liquid nitrogen or hydrocolloids. The restaurant has been mythologized in blog posts and articles, a lone man, exemplary seafood, his home-made grills and charcoal, and a grill technique from the next realm. It's a romantic story. Cooking his food without regard for international trends, Etxebarri has become Spain's new zeitgeist restaurant, reflecting a recent paradigm shift in Spain from sci-fi gastronomy to ingredient-driven cuisine. The grill not only defines the taste, texture and smell of the foods, but also forms part of the ambience of Etxebarri. The crackle hiss and aromas unmistakable of an open grill. What one eats here is puro producto ("pristine ingredients"), transformed by the grill into uncanny versions of themselves. Their specialties include the txistorra (a house-made and grilled regional sausage, smoked butter and grilled oysters, superb Galician beef and a smoked milk ice cream.