A hands-on cooking class, culiminating in dinner served with Spanish wine.
The Basques pride themselves as a people independent from the rest of Spain. They are also proud to have the city with the highest amount of Michelin stars per capita; food is an obsession for the Basques. In Basque cities, stopping at a bar for some pintxos is a daily routine, which happens at specific times of the day. People crowd into the streets as the bars overflow with guests enjoying small bites and some young txakoli.
In this workshop, the third in a series of regional Spanish cuisines, we will make our own Basque pintxos with local, seasonal ingredients (lucky for us, northern California’s climate easily replicates many Basque ingredients). Camila Loew will teach us how to prepare and savor these Basque small bites.
Piquillo peppers stuffed with salt cod brandade
Caramelized pearl onion and Idiazábal cheese skewers
Tigres (Stuffed breaded Mussels)
Garlicky shrimp pintxo with lemon alioli
Basque walnut creams
Sixteen years ago, I fell in love with Spain. I was on a two-month journey during a hiatus before graduate school, and little did I know that two months would eventually turn into fifteen years. I fell in love with the Spanish lifestyle: the busy, sun-filled cities with streets full of people chatting away day and night, the small villages with their plazas, fresh markets, narrow streets and long siestas, the ancient Gothic churches nestled in winding pedestrian roads. And especially the food, oh the food, completely in tune with the way of life. Lunchtime stretched out for hours, through course after course of olive oil-drenched, fresh, colorful, seasonal goodness. In the evenings, tapas crawls were a must, bar hopping with a glass of red wine and something to nibble on so as to line one’s stomach. Always eat more than you drink, and you’ll never get too drunk, were the wise words a tabernero from Extremadura once offered me as a welcome. And during that trip, of course, I also fell in love with a Spaniard. We met in Madrid, the city where lunch is at 3pm and dinner is at midnight. A few months later we both moved to Barcelona, so we could be close to the Mediterranean, eat fresh seafood and vegetables year-round. A few year later, a Ph.D. in Humanities as well as culinary training allowed me to teach American students abroad about Spanish literature, culture and, yes, food!