Last week we catered the Sammic 50th Anniversary dinner for 30 people. We coordinated with Martín on a Basque menu, which unfortunately I have no photographic evidence of because I was busy cooking on the line…but I did manage to get a photo of the bubbly brindis (toast) at the end of the night:
One of the most important things you learn as a BasqueStage or any stage coming to Restaurante Martín Berasategui is to be flexible. I always talk about how every day here is an aventura (adventure) and it is, a challenging one for that matter. No matter how prepared I come with my moleskine notebook of ideas, schedules and plans, I am always thrown a curveball. Or a sinker. Or a change-up. Or a knuckleball. Just like in baseball, BasqueStage requires you to sharpen your reaction time, then translate it to Spanish.
For instance, for each Sammic filming day, Athena and I have one grabación (recording) in the kitchen of Restaurante Martín Berasategui where we demonstrate Sammic machines and the other grabación in Hagrid’s hut, also known as la choza de David de Jorge (literally a hop and a skip away on the premises of MB) where we film a personal dish.
For my last day in town, I decided to revisit my favorite pintxo bar, Hidalgo 56 for a few bites at lunch:
The family-run joint is just lovely. The wife Nubia, who speaks great English by the way, runs the front of the house with an occasional visit from her 5 year old son. Meanwhile the husband, Juan Mari Humada, works the kitchen with occasional help again from the 5 year old son. So cute, he is!
I can’t believe I’d been in San Sebastián and not yet tried the kokotxa! Finally…kokotxa!
Kokotxa is translated to ‘cheek’ but to be more precise, it is the lower jaw meat of the fish (the jowl), considered a real delicacy here in País Vasco, just as cheek meat is.
Naturally, I finished the meal and kicked off the afternoon with a café cortado, como siempre. In honor of my LCB friends, here is my coffee cup. I realize it is not Turkish nor is it Greek, but feel free to read my fortune!
I enjoyed a leisurely walk back from Gros. Just like they are in Paris, French Bulldogs are common here too.
Apparently I like to take slanted photos.
After a brief meeting with the directors of Sammic and grocery shopping with Andoni B, we headed to Parte Vieja to cook and feast at one of the oldest Sociedads Gastronómicas. I spent the majority of the time prepping with Marti while Andoni M. took photos and videos of our progression. Ah, Andoni M. also helped with the arroz–gracias!
On the impromptu menu that evening were: Sopa de Mariscos con alioli (Seafood soup with garlic aioli), Arroz con txipirones en su tinta, y jamón. I promise to prepare dessert next time! A bit embarrassing on my part, having just come back from pâtisserie school in Paris…jajaja. We’ve already agreed to hamburgesas y pasteles next time, si?
Here are some of Marti’s photos:
It was a splendid evening. Muchas gracias a todos por venir y comer conmigo. Such amicable, intelligent, humble young individuals…
Alexia y Marti
No puedo esperar a verles pronto!
Para cocinar, comer, charlar…
Arroz con Txipirones en su Tinta
y por su puesto, divertirse.
Sopa de Mariscos
Check out Andoni’s photos here.