The Basque Country has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita on earth. And its stunning scenery is treasured by the ancient people who have traditionally lived in baserri farm houses, pulling the best tomatoes, lettuces and peppers out of this hilly land for centuries, possibly millennia. At world-famous Aroa Farms, in the beautiful fishing village of Getaria, we see the birthplace of the products that land on plates in the top restaurants in the Basque Country.
Jaime, in his taste growing garden, hands me a bunch of tomatoes, some greens—light and simple. But as we chop and toss, a fragrant aroma of sweet tomato flesh and aromatic leaves fills the kitchen. The sea breeze flows in the windows, catches the scent of freshness, and dances out over the green hills. We taste and smile at the magnificence of a real tomato, plucked from a farm where the farmer is as familiar with his seeds as with his family. And that is why Michelin star chefs are chopping up and serving the produce of Jaime from Aroa Farms—because he cares about what he plants and what he sells. It is his passion, and he loves to share it with you.
Words & Photo by Jonathan McCallum