Introduction

Introduction

By
Jose Pizarro
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781784880262
Photographer
Laura Edwards

When I sat down with Kate, my publisher, and Holly, my agent, to talk about my new book, we decided that writing a book dedicated to one region in Spain that meant a lot to me, would be a really interesting way to go. I love the Basque Country. This book is all about the food, of course, but it’s the people as well. I’m from Extremadura, a region that will always be at my heart, but I feel very much at home in the Basque Country too.

This book is not just about recipes from the Basque Country, it is about all of the wonderful ingredients you can find there, cooked in my style. It’s also about my experiences there, time that I have spent eating, talking and having an incredible time.

I love to go to San Sebastián, not just to eat in the city that has more three-star Michelin restaurants than anywhere else in Europe, but to walk around the Old Town and visit street after street of glorious pintxos bars. Yes, the Basque Country has a reputation for culinary innovation and modern techniques, but its history and traditions go far back, and the celebration of these can be seen every day on the streets of San Sebastián and across the whole region.

For people from the Basque Country, food is the most important thing. It’s sharing big plates of food around the table, it’s celebrating happy occasions, it’s a way of life. As much as I like visiting my friends in their Michelin kitchens, where I am always bowled over by their creativity, what I love is simple food, good ingredients sourced locally wherever possible, cooked with little fuss.

The recipes in Basque are a reflection of what I want to eat at home and the way I cook for family and friends. I want to show you not just some of the most popular and traditional dishes from the region, but also the quality and diversity of the ingredients that you can find there. The recipes have been inspired by what I’ve seen, what I’ve learnt, the people I’ve met and the respect they have for food. Far from being a lesson, I want you to pick up this book, feel inspired to cook from it and be really proud of what you can do.

You’ll see that I’ve given the recipes the title of either Pintxos or At the table. This is to give you some serving suggestions – pintxos being small tapas plates, and At the Table recipes being larger, main dishes. Use these recipes in the way that suits you best. Sometimes I just think anything goes!

José Pizarro

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