As part of our journey through the Basque Country, we had the pleasure of visiting the world renowned Restaurante Arzak, a three-Michelin starred restaurant in San Sebastian. Run by the legendary Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena (pictured above), it consistently ranks as one of the best restaurants in the world. Arzak is at the forefront of la Nueva Cocina Vasca, the New Basque Cuisine that has influenced chefs all over the world, including back home in New York. This is the first installment of our three-part feature on the Arzaks and their restaurant.
"This food could not be made anywhere else."
I was sitting in the lounge at Restaurante Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. Sitting beside his daughter and co-chef Elena, over coffee and cava, the great Juan Mari Arzak was explaining to me the principles of la Nueva Cocina Vasca, the cuisine that he founded and of which he remains the leading inspirational figure. He grew animated as he spoke, his passion for food and culture visibly on display. Although their food incorporates flavors from around the world, he explained, it could not be made anywhere but right here, in the Basque Country.