Juan Mari Arzak


Tortilla, Paella and Albondiga

You must stand until invited to sit, and musn't eat until the hostess as begun eating.

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  1. History
  2. Traditional foods
  3. Restaurants
  4. Chef
  5. Recipe





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Located in southwestern Europe, Spain is the third largest European country. It controls the crossroads between two seas the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. It is exceptionally mountainous and climatically it is much drier than the rest of Europe. The landscape ranges from arid mountain pasture to lush orchards and meadows, from magnificent coasts to rural or sophisticated towns.

It's history began with Phoenician, Greek, and Carthaginian coastal settlements. Later the Romans, and more importantly the Moors, brought with them elements of their own cooking which lingered and blended with Spain's culinary heritage. Imports from the New World included the tomato, potato, sweet potato, vanilla, chocolate, many varieties of beans, zucchini, and the pepper tribe. There are olives in profusion, vineyards and citrus fruit

Traditional Foods

A typical dining pattern involves a light breakfast at 8 a.m.; a mid-morning breakfast at 11 a.m.; tapas at 1 p.m. with a three-course lunch following at 2 to 3 p.m.; a merienda for tea and pastries or a snack at 5 to 6 p.m.; evening tapas at 8 p.m. or later, and a three-course supper at 10 p.m. The two main meals of the day ( la comida, or lunch, and la cena, dinner) are no less opulent because of in-between snacks.

Foods eaten often include - Besides meat, poultry, game, and fish entrees - a wealth of dishes featuring beans, rice, eggs, vegetables, and savory pies that make a meal. Tapas (small morsels or appetizers in great variety) play a role in meals throughout the day. While eating habits and hours are more or less uniform throughout Spain, the cooking can be quite different. Spain is sharply divided by regions, each with its own culinary traditions and dialects.


There are many famous culinary names in the world today and one of them is Juan Mari Arzak. At 65, he is still energetic and quite dynamic. It was his mother who introduced culinary arts to him. It was also his mother that revealed many gastronomic secrets of the Arzac Resturaunt which he owns.

He didn't begin his working life here, and only joined his family after he completed his studies and finished his compulsory military services. He also went abroad and learned his craft before he finally returned to San Sebastian to work in Arzak.

The Arzac, a three star michelin awarded resturaunt, first built in 1897 by Juan Mari Arzak's grandparents as a wine inn and tavern in the village of Alza. It then began serving meals when his parents took over the management. It has now become very prostegious with a father-daughter combination that has seen awards heaped on the resturaunt.

Restaurant Arzak, Features the local Donostiaarra cuisine, it is a luxurious family run restaurant - Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter, Elena. Arzak considered to be the finest chef in Spain and is a great champion for Basque cuisine in both its modern and traditional style.


Egg & Truffle Flower

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
1.- Eggs: 4 eggs, salt, 30 gr goose fat.

2.- Date and sausage mousse: 120 gr date, 150 gr sausage, 100 gr water, 1 gr ginger.

3.- Truffle teaspoon: 10 gr fresh truffle, chopped, 3 drops white truffle oil, 16 drops olive oil 0'4.

4.- Bread crumbs: 60 gr ground raw sausage, 60 gr ground raw bacon, ½ garlic clove, chopped, 300 gr bread, minced, 100 gr fruit juice, 100 gr water.

5.- Grape vinaigrette: 50 gr white grape, small dice, 30 gr black grape, small dice, 100 gr olive oil 0'4, 30 gr rice vinegar, pinch of parsley, chopped, pinch of ginger, minced, salt and pepper.


1.- For the eggs: Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and grease it slightly with oil. Place the egg with 6 drops of truffle oil and 3 drops of goose fat and a pinch of salt. Close it and tie a knot. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes and a half. Cut the plastic very carefully. Use a small bowl to put the egg in the plastic. Garnish with a beaten yolk egg with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

2.- For the date and sausage mousse: Put all the ingredients through the blender. Sieve the mixture. To serve, heat the mousse carefully.

3.- For the truffle spoonful: Mix just to serve and place it on a teaspoon. It can also be garnished with a leaf of chervil.

4.- For the breadcrumbs: Brown on a pan all the ingredients but the liquid ones. Add the liquid ingredients. Stir constantly until the mixture gets loose, about half an hour. Cook over a low heat.

5.- For the grapes vinaigrette: Stir to blend all the ingredients.


Place the hot egg in on corner of the dish. Below it, two parallel lines, not very thick, one with the crumb and other with the mousse. Place a teaspoon with the minced truffle perpendicular to them. Ladle the sauce on top of the egg and sprinkle with minced parsley

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