Discover the Basque Country

All set for the summer!

“I love my job!”

“I love my job!” THIS is what I’d hear from friends when I lived and worked in London. It used to puzzle me. How could someone really love their job when they were based in an office and spent most of their time rushing around London or at their computer stressing out. The more ‘stressful’ someones job was, the more respect they seemed to earn from peers while chatting over a beer after work or at the weekend with friends. This did not make sense to me.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild - part of Rekondo's unique wine collection where we hold a private tasting on Sunday evenings.

Now, three years after leaving the ‘rat race’ of London, I find myself saying to myself “wow, I really love my job!” It last happened on Tuesday while I was running our Basque cookery class in San Juan. We were all around the kitchen, chatting about some anchovies which Alex, our chef, was preparing to salt and cure for the next 7 months. I was learning more about Basque cuisine which fascinates me and my two clients (on honeymoon from Los Angeles) were loving the unique experience we offer.

The last month has been a heady mix of food and wine adventures from the memorable Rekondo wine tasting with Martín and guests Eric and Kristen from Seattle, a unique Market & Historic Tour with Simon Gregory, head chef of Gordon Ramsay’s Boxwood Cafe to so many enjoyable cookery classes and Pintxo Tasting Tours with guests from Australia, Ireland, Holland, USA, Japan, London and South Africa. I have especially loved visiting my favourite vineyards in Rioja where we get VIP treatment and generous tastings.

Gateaux Basque at Hotel Arraya - fabulous

The best meal of the month, goes to a fabulous lunch at Hotel Arraya in Sare. A faultless, enjoyable and highly memorable Sunday lunch in the green hills of the French Basque Country (Iparralde in Basque translated as ‘Northern side’). From start to finish it was a constant pleasure and for 22 Euros (excluding wines), it was fantastic value for money.

Lastly, I’ve also realised why I love what I do. I create memories for my guests which will stay with them for a long time to come. From tasting wine beneath the medieval city of Laguardia in an ancient cellar to Alex explaining taste vs texture of fish in our Basque cookery classes, an indelible mark is left in the memory of every guest. That is surely what it’s all about?

Note: Bookings are still available for the Discover The Basque Country Tour next month (5th – 8th July).  Contact us for last minute places and availability.

One thought on “All set for the summer!

  1. Teresa Jarvis (nee Goicoechea)

    Love reading your blogs…… a bittersweet thought that “others” like yourself are introducing the foods and dishes of my father’s homeland to the rest of the world. We thought we could keep it all to ourselves! 🙂

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