5-Days Basque Gastronomy Delight tour. You will take a master-class at the Chef Aingeru Etxebarria at his Culinary School in Bilbao. Visit Txakoli winery Bodega Berroja, visit Idizabal cheese-making farm, dine at a traditional basque home-cuisine restaurant, taste the meny at Michelin starred restaurant, taste Rioja wines and eat all the pintxos in Bilbao.
We are happy to invite you to join us in “Basque Gastronomy Delight” tour. We have a unique opportunity to get acquainted to the traditions of the mysterious Basque Country, Basque people and Basque traditional cuisine and winemaking. During the tour you will learn to cook typical local dishes, take part in the cheese tasting and visit the winery followed by the professionally accompanied wine tasting.
Arrival to the airport of Bilbao (BIO). Transfer to the hotel. 4**** hotel accomodation in the center of Bilbao.
Walking sightseeing tour in the heart of Bilbao. The tour starts at the Zubizuri glass bridge, the masterpiece of Santiago Calatrava, one of the renowned Valencian architects. The bridge connects the left bank of the Nervión river where stands the Guggenheim museum, with the right bank, where the new designer hotels and buisness district hi-tech superstructures are built.
We will visit another architectural chef-d’oeuvre of Frank O. Gehry–the Guggenheim Museum of Modern art, open to public since 1997.
The city of Bilbao, founded in 1300, comprises the Old City (Casco Viejo), and the new business and industrial district, as many of the old cities do, as well. The Gran Via–the wide boulevrad crossing the El Ensanche district is the most cosmopolitan and socialite place in the city. It is situated on the left bank of the Nervión river and starts from the Casco Viejo at Plaza Circular, then goes to the west to the Plaza de Federico Moyua towards the Bellas Artes Museum and the Doña Casilda de Iurrizar Park. Along the Gran Via one can see the Palacio de la Diputacion and the monument to the founder of the city–Lopez de Haro, as well, as boutiques of the renowned european and spanish designers.
Whilst in Bilbao, it´s an absolute must to try the local food. Pintxos is a good start to get acquinted with the local color. Pintxos is the type of the canapes sandwiches, or small appetisers, that locals eat as a snack during the day while having a glass of wine, or a beer with the friends. Those micro-wonders taste wonderfully, and surely they will make you stop by every attractive bar on your way. But, don´t worry, the affair is worth it. Many of our tourists include Pintxo-bar tours into the itinerary of their gastronomic journey.
For the evening we suggest dining at the traditional basque cuisine restaurant (homestyle cuisine) and tasting the Basque country wines (Rioja Alavesa region). Among the traditional dishes, worth tasting are bacalao al pip-pil and bacalaoa la vizacaina. Both dishes are locally caught atlantic cod, sauteed in a way, that the gelatine-texture natural juice is coming out of fillet in the first case and with a tomato sauce in the second. Marmitako and porusalda are stew-style made from bonito del norte and potato and leeks. Sukalki–veal stew, Txuleton–t-bone steak, Rabo en vino tinto–bull tale stewed in red wine, Kokotxa–sauteed pork cheeks are the meat first course dishes interesting to try. Local homestyle pastries, such as Goxua, and flans are typical to the region.
As an alternative, we can book for you a dinner at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants. The idea is to teach our guests what is ´Slow Cuisine´. The term was invented by Carlo Petrini in 1986 who founded the international society uniting the profesionals of the gastronomic and culinary institutions. The Slow Food underlines the importance on the pleasure of eating, learning to enjoy a variety of recipes and. By respecting both the rhythm of the seasons and of diners, the formula perfected by Carlo PETRINI and his collaborators balances dining pleasure and everyone’s right to enjoyment while assuming a new sense of responsibility. This attitude is named eco-gastronomy. In Bilbao we have several starred restaurants following the idea of eco-gastronomy and Slow food approach. they are: Azurmendi 3 Michelin stars, Mina, Nerua at Guggenheim Museum, Etxanobe, Zortziko. All these restaurants offer seasonal tasting menu in order for the guest to follow the culinary narration of the Chef from A to Z.
Apart from visiting tourist attractions1, the list of which is available in any travelguide and could be obtained from our guide, as well,
We suggest visiting the following places:
1) El Rincon de Vino, special wine rack, founded by Antonio Garcia, former sommelier of the Zortziko famous restaurant. Here, you can find all types of wines from all the surrounding denominations (Rioja DO, Ribera del Duero DO, Piorat DO, Catalunya DO etc.), the most traditional, the most original, signature wines, the most exotic, avant-garde, the best value in terms of price-quality… The place offers an excellent selection of liquors, oils and local delicacies.
At this wine cellar, you can also buy wine handling accessories, such as wine oxygenators and etc. Upon your prior request the wine tasting led by a professional sommelier could be organized on any wine/denomination theme that could be interesting for you.
2) Abando Market–small food market with 16 stalls, but chosen for the known professionalism of the companies, selling their products. They offer a wide range of traditional food products (dairy, cheese, charcuterie, cold cuts, fish, seafood, frozen products, meat, fruit, vegetables,poultry and pickles).
3)Casa Rufo–food store and restaurant of Don Rufino, managed by José Luis Pérez Landeta, who managed for the 3 decades the city´s most exquisite restaurant, is a place worth visiting for tasting and buying local meat specials. If you choose to dine at Casa Rufo–order the Txuleton–T-bone steak prepared from the local veal. Take a sip of Rioja Alavesa Reserva wine to accompany your dinner and feel basque.
4)BIoBio first ecological shop in Bilbao. Wide range of food and cosmetics with Eco certificate. Everyday fresh arrivals from the farms in Basque Country, Navarra and etc. Fresh fruit, bread, pastry, dairy products, cereals, honey, jams, edible oils, eco-meal and pasta, tea and herbal infusions etc.
5)Alma de Cacao Chocolates Gallery–wide range of chocolate-based products, different origins certified chocolate in different forms. Truly delicious experience and and idea for an exquisite gift to your beloved.
Today we will take part at the haut cuisine workshop with the Chef Aingeru Etxebarria at his Culinary School. The Master Chef is a popular figure in the culinary world, and participates often in the culinary shows and battles. He is certain that the keyrole of the succes in the gastronomy business is the smart usage of the seasonal products of the highest quality. Chef Etxebarria is an author of the numerous recipes that you could easily replicate at home, willing to impress your friends and family, as well, as of the highly professional cooking techniques to be used in the new wave cuisine.
Before the start of the workshop, we will visit the biggest in Europe fresh market. El Mercado Ribera is an abundance of the fresh fruit and vegetables, best Basque country cheese varieties, raw meat of the highest quality, fish and seafood caught hours before.
Now we start the master-class.
First step–the Chef will teach us to choose the right products for the dishes we are going to cook. Special attentuon will be drawn to the meat and fish selection techniques. Step two–we are going to learn the secret of the traditional basque dishes cooking, such as veal with caramellised piquillo peppers a-la basque garnished with potato, seafood delice in tempura, local style fried calamares aka “rabas”.
After the master-class we will be tasting the cooked dishes with the best wines of the regions. At the finale of the dinner, all the participants receive the special gifts and the Certificates of the Aingeru Etxebarria Culinary School.
Free time in the afternoon.
Today we will take a visit to the Txakoli wine producing Bodega Berroja. The history of this wine is as old, as the Basque history itself. In the past decade Txakoli has acquired the sympathy towards itself in the many parts of the world. Nowadays, Txakoli is rightfully considered to be the fair player on the vino blanco playground of Spain. We will tour the winery and learn the secrets of the Txakoli production. After the tour we will taste several samples accompanied by the prepared with love pintxo snacks.
Lunch at the restaurant “Martinez”–traditional Basque cuisine place with the touch of modern style. Xabier Martínez, the chef and the owner of the restaurant, follows his mother´s Conchita traditional cooking technique and elaborates the succulent local dishes, prepared strictly out of local products.
Following the lunch we will head to the Idiazabal cheese-making factory. The special type of cheese is produced for already 200 years in the regions of the Basque country and Navarre region. Since 1987 its production is regulated and protected by the DO (denominacion de origen). The milk used for this cheese production is coming only form the Latxa breed of the sheep. The cheese is matured for at least 2 months, and thus is considered a young cheese. The other varieties comprise mature, smoked cheese, and raw cream cheese. The season for the cheese production starts in December and ends in June of every year.
Free time in the evening in Bilbao.
Free time in Bilbao. Transfer to the Bilbao airport (BIO).
1 Bilbao things to do and places to visit: Funicular de Artxanda, Basilica de Begona, St.Nicholas Church, Santiago Cathedral, Arqueologocal Museum of Bilabo and Basque Country, Church of Sagrado Corazon, Maritime Museum and etc.
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