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In July 2017 I jumped into Bob (my 1972 VW Camper) and took a road trip to San Sebastien to sample the wonders on offer in this gastronic must visit destination…
I strongly urge any chef to make a trip here at least once in your life!! You wont be dissapointed!
Thanks to Didier at http://www.lecoindeschefs.com for hooking me up with Imanol at http://www.txogitxu.com in San Sebastien.
Dider told me that I must go and see this beef wholesaler’s operation and get an intro into Basque products and beef, beef, beef of the highest quality!
Well I didn’t need to be told twice so I made the call to Txogitxu and on my first day in San Sebastien I made my way to his warehouse.
I sat in his cigarette smoke filled office on my arrival and immediately was made to feel welcome..
What followed was a day I will never forget!!
A food experience worth the 16 hour drive !!
I just thought I was going to be shown around the warehouse but no.. more was to unfold!
A day that will always be remembered as a culinary treat!
Imanol (cigarette hanging from his mouth) welcomed me with open arms and a big hug Basque stylie and introduced me to his mate, a French butcher from Lyon and we were then given the tour of his fridges in his warehouse..
The fat on this beef is not greasy but is smooth and and it smells incredible.. I was starting to get hungry!!
He has a huge array of beef there from all ages, textures and cuts..
Imanol is a Basque, a very proud and passionate exponent of all Basque produce and of course the beef he supplies across the world!!
After a 20 minute tour of all he sells Imanol said to me that we would then be going to his gastronomic society kitchen and he would cook us all lunch!!
Wow, the day was getting better!
So we jumped in his car and drove 10 minutes across San Sebastien and then we went to a fine food shop where Imanol selected some amazing produce to go with the beef he had sourced.
Then we walked 5 minutes around the corner and walked through a door at street level, down some stairs and into what appeared to be a restaurant with open kitchen..
All very intriguing..
It was just the 4 of us.. the gastronomic society he belonged to had just 135 members, and was where he could go and meet his mates, cook, smoke and drink a lot!!
What a great idea!!
So Imanol talked us through what we were going to eat and opened his Basque red wine which had the aroma of eggs but tasted rich and silky smooth..
We ate beef in a variety of guises from amazing beef tartare to steaks cooked on the plancha accompanied by peppers, salad, more red wine and local chese and cooked meats..
The food and red wine just kept coming.. incredible!!
After 4 hours I thanked Imanol for his hospitlaity and staggered up the stairs to get a cab back to my campsite..
What a day! What incredile produce the Basque Region offers and what hospitalty from my host Imanol!!
Imanol Jaca is an absolute legend and any yacht chef who is visiting San Sebastien should get in touch with him and let him show you the quality of the products he sells!!
Your guests, owners and even your crew will be glad you did!
A must for any yacht chef!!
Imanol’s company is at http://www.txogitxu.com/en/
For more info on San Sebastien’s Gastronomic Societies visit https://www.sansebastianturismo.com/en/eat/gastronomic-societies