"Discover Basque Spain" Michelin, Food & Wine Tour
NEW "Discover Basque Spain" Michelin Star, Food & Wine Tour
Another UNIQUE cooking passions "Small-Group" Food & Culture Experience
8 Days / 7 Nights of All Inclusive Luxury (Land Content)
Date : Monday 30 September 2013 to Monday 07 October 2013
PRICING$AUD3585pp (Double/Twin Occupancy*)
$AUD4485pp (Single Occupancy*)
*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including Luxury Boutique Accommodation; Two Meals daily (Including three Michelin Restaurant Experiences); All Land Transportation, All Private Guided Tours and Private Group Escort
- BOOKED OUT* -
*Currently accepting "Expressions of Interest" from those people interested in being advised of our 2014 "Discover San Sebastian" tour.
Join Nico & Belinda of cooking passions cooking school as we visit one of the world's finest gastronomic destinations - the "cult of good eating" - SAN SEBASTIAN in the Basque Country of Northern Spain.
In a town where the importance of food & socialising is the backbone of its unique Basque culture, highlights of this special Michelin Star, Food & Wine Tour will include :
- 7 Nights Luxury Boutique Accommodation in central San Sebastian
- Experiencing the San Sebastian ritual of "pintxos" through the Old Town's many bars & restaurants
- Dining at the world's most acclaimed restaurants :
- Mugaritz - Two Michelin Stars (Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz) Voted World's #3 Restaurant - (The San Pellegrino World's TOP 50 Best Restaurants - 2012) with Chef Andoni being award "The Chef's Choice 2012" as voted by the The World's 50 Best Chefs.
- Asador Etxebarri - (Chef Bitor Arguinzoniz - Spain's "Grill Master Extraordinaire") Voted World's #31 Restaurant - (The San Pellegrino World's TOP 50 Best Restaurants - 2011)
- Wine & Food Excursions :
- Visit to Spain's famed La Rioja Wine Region and the Frank Gehry designed titanium & steel "City of Wine" at the Marques de Riscal Winery in Elciego, SPAIN
- Lunch at Marques de Riscal Winery Restaurant - One Michelin Star (Chef Francis Paniego) - awarded its first Michelin Star on 25 November 2011
- San Sebastian Basque Cooking Class with Chef Enrique San Jose Azkue (Chef/Owner Marinela Seafood Restaurant, San Sebastian)
- Introduction to Spanish Wines - Wine Tasting and San Sebastian "Pintxos Tour" through its Old Quarter
- Lunch at one of San Sebastian's traditional port-side Seafood Restaurants - "Restaurante Marinela"
- Group Transfers to Bilboa and Elciego excursions.
- Visit to the famous Frank Gehry designed - Guggenheim Museum (Bilboa)
- Group Pre-Trip Briefing (Perth)
- Assistance of Group Escort during duration of tour
cooking passions cooking tours
cooking passions cooking tours are designed so you can do as little or as much as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping and eating that YOU want to experience (we'll be happy to provide suggestions from our previous experiences). We've arranged all of the accommodations, land transfers, cooking classes, private guides and most meals, so that all you have to do is pack a bag, a sense of adventure and join us on one of our delicious & exciting culinary journeys.
SAN SEBASTIAN (Basque Country)
Set on the golden crescent-shaped La Concha beach in the Basque Country of Northern Spain is the enchanting seaside beach resort of San Sebastian (Donostia in the Basque language) - one of Spain's "most beautiful" towns.
Long before there ever existed a "Costa Brava" or "Costa del Sol", wealthy Spaniards followed in the footsteps of Queen Maria Christina who, in 1886, chose this charming seaside town for the Royal Court of Spain to spend its summers, making it all the rage of it's time.
With its elegant & refined "Belle Epoque" resort feel, San Sebastian is synonymous with quality of life - some of the world's greatest eating experiences combined with a relaxed beach & surf culture on the glistening shores of the Bay of Biscay.
CULINARY CAPITAL OF CULTURE
Recognised as the culinary capital of Spain, San Sebastian is the only city in the world that sparkles under more Michelin stars per capita, and the only city in Spain with more restaurants, bars and taverns per square kilometre than any other.
San Sebastian is the cooking epicentre of Basque gastronomy with good eating an important part of Basque culture. It has an almost reverential respect to organic seasonal products and only the best raw materials are used by restaurants and famed Michelin-awarded chefs of San Sebastian's "New Basque Cuisine" revolution.
- Pintxos (Basque tapas) - One of the distinquishing marks of Basque gastronomy, pintxos ("pinchos") is the classic "miniature cuisine" which has experienced unparalleled sophistication in the last few years, with more and more complex creations presented in bars across San Sebastian's Parte Vieja (Old Town). San Sebastian is the world capital of pintxos, and it even has it’s own tradition which the locals carry on called txikiteo – bar crawls through the public houses of the Parte Vieja, each offering their own pintxos speciality. Washed down with the Basque country’s fine, young regional wine, txakoli, or a spicy red from the nearby Rioja wine region, you continue until you are suitably full, keep a tab of what you have eaten, then settle up with the bar staff before moving on to the next establishment.
- Txokos (Private Gastronomic Eating Societies) - A Basque tradition established in the 1840's, San Sebastian's txokos are gastronomic societies where Basque men come together to cook, eat, drink, talk and sing. Each txoko has a society constitution that sets out the maximum number of members, administration issues and a communal funding system. Originally women were not allowed entry to a txoko, however most txokos now allow women access to enter the txoko to eat, drink and socialise, but not to cook. Meals can be elaborate affairs featuring dishes made from the Basque regions bountiful supply of fresh produce. Txokos operate on an honour system where each member is expected to keep track of what stocks were used from the communal foodstores and how much alcohol their group consumed. During the Franco era, txokos became a refuge for many Basques. As the constitutions of the txokos prohibited the discussion of politics on the premises, people could meet without state control, so they were free to speak Basque and sing Basque songs which was illegal during Franco's realm.
- New Basque Cuisine - Influenced by the nouvelle cuisine of France in the 1970's and 1980's, Basque chefs created the nouvelle cuisine basque, which, while retaining a solid Basque substance, were lighter and less rustic versons of traditional Basque dishes and flavours. Chef Juan Mari Arzak of San Sebastian's restaurant ARZAK, one of Spain's first three-star Michelin awarded restaurants, is recognized as being the father of New Basque Cuisine and paved the way for molecular gastronomy. He has been credited with putting Spanish chefs, including El Bulli's Ferran Adria, on a bold new trajectory where traditional classic dishes were reinterpreted and presented to the world's culinary elite.
Day 1 - Monday 30 September 2013 - SAN SEBASTIAN ARRIVAL
Arrive in San Sebastian at your leisure so that you can have a rest before our tour begins. Our accommodation is at San Sebastian's first comtemporary styled hotel, the 4-star Astoria 7 Hotel. Formerly the landmark Astoria Cinema, the cinema was rebuilt into a 102 room boutique hotel, where each room has been individually dedicated to actors, actresses and directors who have attended the famed San Sebastian International Film Festival since 1953. Conveniently located a short 15 minute walk to San Sebastian's central market - La Brexta - and the pintxos bar laden streets of the Parte Vieja (Old Town).
5pm - This evening we will venture into San Sebastian's "Parte Vieja" (Old Town) to commence our immersion into Basque culture with an "Introduction to Spanish Wines - Wine Tasting" conducted by the knowledgeable and passionate Nerea, who along with her brother, have pursued their passion for Spanish wines and have established one of San Sebastian's finest wine stores.
7pm - Following our Wine Tasting we will then go on a private Pintxos Tour of the Old Quarter, where we will visit 4 of San Sebastian's unique Pintxos bars and get some "insider's" tips from locals, Amaia & Nathan, our personal local guides for the evening, on the "do's & dont's" on how to navigate through the endless myriad of San Sebastian's gastronomic "miniature food" culture.
Day 2 - Tuesday 01 October 2013 - SAN SEBASTIAN COOKING CLASS
- Mount Igueldo - Catch the cable car from Ondaretta to the top of Mount Iqueldo for a breathtaking panorama of the city and its half-moon shaped La Concha beach.
Day 4 - Thursday 03 October 2013 - FREE DAY
- Mercato de la Bretxa - Wander the underground food market in the centre of San Sebastian where fish, crustaceans, cured ham and cheeses are all artfully arranged.
- One of the most unique experiences we shared with our group on our most recent tour to San Sebastian was to visit the 100 year old, La Perla, Thalassotherapy spa situated directly on the beach at La Concha. La Perla is a genuine heir of the belle epoque of San Sebastian and was established more that a century ago when Queen Maria Cristina established the royal summer house in the city and sea baths were considered to be a fine pleasure by holidaymakers. La Perla is regarded as the best Thalassotherapy spa in Europe with more that 5,500 m2 of spas and treatment pools overlooking La Concha beach.
- For another of San Sebastian's spellbinding panoramic views head to the top of Mount Urgull and visit the 12th century Castillo de la Mota
- Visit the Ayuntamiento de San Sebastian (Town Hall) built in the latter half of the 19th century. It offers a nice glance at the culture, history and traditions of the ancient seaside town. Tours are by appointment.
- Visit the 1830's Bibiloteca Municipal in the Plaza de la Constitucion. The beautiful sandstone building built with Tuscan influences sits in the square in which bullfights were held. You can still view the numbers on the balconies of the surrounding buildings in which the residents would rent out to spectators.
pm - Evening at your leisure. An opportunity for you to visit one of San Sebastian's other 16 stars of Michelin awarded restaurants such as Arzak (3 Stars); Martin Bersastaegui (3 Stars); Akelare (3 Stars), but make sure you book well in advance.
Day 7 - Sunday 06 October 2012 - MUGARITZ (Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz) MICHELIN-STARRED FINAL GROUP LUNCH
am - Morning at your leisure.
1pm - Our final group lunch at the two Michelin-starred MUGARITZ (#3 of The San Pellegrino World's TOP 50 Best Restaurants - 2012 and "Chef's Choice" as voted by the 50 Best Chefs of the world)
Undeniably, one of the most amazing dining experiences we have ever had, to experience one of Chef Andon Luis Aduriz's 18 course degustation menus, is to experience "gastronomic theatre" at it's sensory best. From visiting the kitchen, to meeting one of the world's most innovative chefs, our final Group Lunch here in October 2012, was truly one of the most memorable meals we have ever experienced!
Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz completed his academic studies at the School of Hotel & Restaurant Management in San Sebastian and has worked with such chefs as Juan Mari Arzak and Ferran Adria, as well as serving as head chef with Martin Berasategui at his three Michelin starred restaurant.
Situated a short drive from the centre of San Sebastian in a rustic yet modern caserio (country cottage), Mugaritz's 18-course tasting menus change daily according to what chef Andoni Luis Aduriz can obtain at the street markets and what's growing in the restaurant's herb garden. His team creates intricate dishes that seek to reconnect diners with nature. His self-dubbed "techno-emotional" approach sees the use of science and a rigorous understanding of ingredients mix with produce-driven cuisine.
Check out what Gary Mehigan of Australia's MasterChef series said about "my all time favourite meal, absolutely amazing. Five hours and 15 courses later I don't think I could be any happier with my life". Please click here to read more from Gary's MUGARITZ experience.
pm - Final group outing. Depending on what room we have left after Mugaritz's tasting menu, a long stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town and along the beach might be in order.
Day 8 - Monday 07 October 2012 - DEPARTURE
am - Check Out from our hotel and final "Hasta luego" (See you later) to the group. Gather up your memories from our special week together in San Sebastian and safe journeys to your next destinations or home!
BOOKINGS & BOOKING DEADLINE
To secure your places, please contact Nico Moretti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 9228 0507, and we will forward you a cooking passions Booking Form.
Booking Deadline : 15 March 2013 (or until places remain available)
Booking Deposit : A $AUD500 non-refundable BOOKING DEPOSIT is required to hold a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation.
Final Payment : Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure (Payment Due : 30 June 2013)
We look forward to hosting you on this very special "Discover Basque Spain" Michelin, Food & Wine Tuscany experience. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate in contacting us.
I just wanted to thank you for some excellent instruction...Harri and Dan
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