Originally published on ttglive.com on 22 October 2010
Three Michelin-starred Basque country chefs cooked up a culinary storm for 250 guests of the Spanish Tourist Office at London’s Wallace Collection last night.
Andoni Luis Aduriz, Martin Berasategui and Pedro Subijana hold eight Michelin stars between them and provided a showcase of Basque food that included prawns with flambeed orujo liqueur, caramalised millefeuille of foie gras with smoked eel, and grey clay baked potatoes.
Juan Mari Arzak, who has three Michelin stars, wasn’t present but contributed his baby squid broth to the evening.
Basque cuisine has developed a reputation for creativity, with new Basque chefs using pioneering techniques, and the food at the Wallace Collection was served in a similarly innovative style.
The clay baked potatoes were made to look like pebbles on a sandy beach; waiters wore sandwich boards decked with anchovy, olive and chilli tasters; and a gazpacho-style soup was served in plastic medicine bottles.
Gastronomy attracts 5.5 million people to Spain each year and has been a key focus for the country in 2010.
The Spanish Tourist Board said: “We hope that this collaboration will further help promote the Basque country and its fantastic gastronomic offering and inspire travel industry partners and guests.”
Based on simple hearty ingredients, Basque cuisine has a broad variety thanks to the region’s blend of cultures, combined with its proximity to mountains and the sea. It takes in fresh seafood, cured meats and vegetables from the area’s fertile valleys.
Of the chefs present on the night, Andoni Luis Aduriz’s Mugaritz restaurant in Errenteria was placed fifth in The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2010, while Martin Berasategui’s eponymous restaurant near San Sebastian came in 33rd.
Click here to see photos from the event.