Tag Archives: wine tasting

San Sebastian Food Studio Launch – 80 guests in tourism and gastronomy come together to share common goal

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Welcome chalk board as guests arrive for the opening

Welcome chalk board as guests arrive for the opening

Last night, our studio in San Sebastian’s old town was officially launched with a special event attended by over 80 professionals in the gastronomy and tourism sector.  From government officials to hotel owners and the tourism office, the event was great fun and of course featured excellent local food and wine from the region.

We are delighted to report that Monday 16th April has marked the inauguration of our studio in San Sebastian’s old town on Calle Aldamar, No 30.

We received overwhelming support from invited guests and were delighted that over 80 people attended the event including Basque Government official Javier López.  Other guests included many of San Sebastian’s hotel owners and receptionists from hotels such as the Maria Cristina, Astoria7, Villa Soro, Hotel Codina, Hotel Niza and Hotel Parma.

STUDIO OFFERS ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR CULINARY & WINE TOURISTS

Jon Warren, San Sebastian Food founder gave a short presentation on the studio which he believes can be the number 1 place to visit for anybody interested in gastronomy and wine while visiting San Sebastian.

Standing on a chair, due to the huge number of guests who attended, Jon spoke in Spanish explaining his vision for the studio.

“I have no doubt that San Sebastian is one of the greatest places in the world to enjoy authentic gastronomy.  But, finding it is not always easy.  Our goal for San Sebastian Food is to offer guests access to these culinary experiences”, he passionately explained.

Jon also used the opportunity to thank all the partners who collaborate with his business followed by a toast to a successful and continued collaboration together in the future.

The San Sebastian Food signature walnut!  One for everyone who attended!

The San Sebastian Food signature walnut! One for everyone who attended!

TOURISM OFFICE SHOWS ITS SUPPORT

It was fantastic to see the full team from San Sebastian’s tourism office attend the event, led by Gorka Oiartzabal, departmental head of customer service.   In addition, Kristina from the Central de Reservas of the tourism office also attended with her colleague Noelia.  This offered a great chance to get to know them personally and to discuss opportunities for the future.

TASTING EXPERIENCES HAVE STARTED

The studio not only offers a meeting point for those interested in gastronomy but also a place where people can enjoy a range of tasting experiences which has already begun with a daily wine tasting at 4pm.  Further innovative experiences will be launched over the coming weeks.  For more information, please visit our website www.sansebastianfood.com.

EARLY GUEST COMMENTS

“Muchas gracias por hacernos partícipes de una velada tan agradable. Sois un equipo fantástico. Os deseamos toda la suerte del mundo.” Lurdes Azpiazu Aizpiolea

“You did put on a good show!  Nice people and everyone enjoyed it! Well done” Turlough Quinn, Chef

Note: For all press enquiries, please call +34 943 421 143 or email us using our website contact us form.    Click here for our press release

Guests from our street, here the jewellery shop opposite!

Guests from our street, here the jewellery shop opposite!

Nicole and Eli, culinary guide, with delicious cured iberian ham

Nicole and Eli, culinary guide, with delicious cured iberian ham

Other guests at the event including Bildu political party deputy mayor Amaia Esnariaga

Other guests at the event including Bildu political party deputy mayor Amaia Esnariaga

Arkene from Zaporejai hand slicing delicious iberian ham, acorn fed of course!

Arkene from Zaporejai hand slicing delicious iberian ham, acorn fed of course!

Javier from Casa Aramedia with incredible artisan-chocolates-for-everyone!

Javier from Casa Aramedia with incredible artisan-chocolates-for-everyone!

A group shot of guests at the end of the evening.

A group shot of guests at the end of the evening.

San Sebastian Food – December Newsletter

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WELCOME TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Welcome!  Each month we bring you all the latest news from our busy food and wine studio in the heart of San Sebastian’s old town.

This December edition announces our brand new short breaks for 2012. If you’re still stuck for a Christmas present for the foodie in your life, choose from just €270 for a two-day Spa & cooking course weekend.

Or book our featured three-day Gourmet Escape which includes a hands-on cooking class, an amazing three-Michelin star dinner at Arzak and three-night’s accommodation at the luxurious hotel Villa Soro.

PERFECT PINTXOS THIS CHRISTMAS
LATEST PRESS: THE TELEGRAPH
The Telegraph’s Coverage of San Sebastian Food

Xanthe Clay says “San Sebastian offers such a range of gastronomic delights, it’s bewildering. Unless, that is you have a guide – and they don’t come better than Jon Warren at San Sebastian Food.  It’s like having a best friend who’s also a foodie local at your side….read more

IN BRIEF – NEWS & REVIEWS
NEW CULINARY GUIDE

We’re delighted to introduce Eli Susperregui, our talented and utterly charming new culinary guide! Born in San Sebastian, Eli brings a huge amount of knowledge and experience to the team.  She’s already been busy with three days of guiding a film crew from World Kitchen.

DARINA ALLEN – IRELANDS CELEBRITY CHEF

Darina Allen, the energetic and unstoppable chef, author, instructor and owner of the famous Ballymaloe cookery school visited us in November. It was a pleasure to spend time with Darina and her husband Tim as we darted around the old town sampling everything from cheeses to iberico hams and smoked anchovies!

JENNY TO RECCE PORTUGAL/RIBERA WINE ROUTE
Jenny Siddall, our specialist wine guide is going to be off in early 2012 researching new wine routes.  The dynamic tour will be taking guests on a authentic, behind-the-scenes wine adventure over 5-days sampling, learning and enjoying the best of Portugal & Spain.  Limited to 12 guests, contact us to be added to our waiting list. Tour date estimated Sept/Oct 2012.

Join our facebook page for more news!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS & THANK YOU
Lastly, a big thank you to all our fantastic guests this year!  We have so enjoyed meeting you and we look forward to staying in touch.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and successful New Year.

From all the team at San Sebastian Food

PS Haven’t written your Trip Advisor review yet? It’s not too late!  Simply click here to add your review.

Want to help us grow!? Join us on Facebook!

For more information please visit
SANSEBASTIANFOOD.COM

Jon and Paddy are back for Lesaka 2011

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We’re back! As we slowly emerge from winter, we’ve been working hard  to release our brand new 2011 brochure for this summer’s specially extended 5 day ‘Discover The Basque Country’ tour.  After last year’s success, Paddy and Jon are already regularly chatting about this year’s tour which will accept a maximum of 15 guests and promises to be our best yet!

With an extra day’s touring, extra luxurious rooms and a special Michelin star dinner experience, anybody that missed out last year will be in for a truly adventurous cultural and culinary 5 days. You can see last year’s guest comments San Sebastian Food Cultural Adventures

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Discover The Basque Country 2011 - Reserve your limited places today with San Sebastian Food

Tour dates – Tuesday 5th July to Saturday 9th July

If you can’t make this year’s tour but would be interested to find out about future tours, sign up for our newsletters by simply filling in your email address on our homepage http://www.sansebastianfood.com/

Tour Brochure and further details – To see our brand new brochure, click here

Our Blog – a new weekly post!

Paddy and Jon are committed to sharing all the behind-the-scenes news and happenings with you!  So, we will be making a regular weekly blog right here on EITB!   Looking forward to keep in touch!

Until next time,

Jon and the team at San Sebastian Food

http://www.sansebastianfood.com/

Winemaker joins San Sebastian Food team!

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Welcome Jean-Paul!

Jean-Paul, San Sebastian Food's new winemaker guide

I’m very excited to announce that we now have the expert knowledge and premium guiding of a very exciting young talent in winemaker Jean-Paul Trijsburg.

Hello everybody,

I’m Jean-Paul.  I’m from Holland where I grew up in a little town near the German border. I did a BSc degree in Agronomy at the University of Wageningen in Holland. During my BSc I got infected by the wine bug, and so after finishing my degree I decided to go to France and work in the famous wine region of Burgundy.  This led to a Masters degree in Winemaking and Viticulture in France and Germany. I worked in the famous region of Pomerol in Bordeaux, in the beautiful Rheingau region in Germany and lately in South Africa.

Rekondo, one of the greatest private wine cellars in Europe where we run our special wine tasting

My experience has taught me that you can read a dozen books about wine and wine regions, but it is not the same as going to a region and seeing its vineyards, feel the soil which feeds the vines, visit the cellar where the grapes are transformed in wine, and taste its wines with the local food. Every wine tells a story of its origin and the culture of a region. When you learn about the story and where it comes from you will appreciate the product so much more.

This is what made me come to Spain, to learn about its wine and food, its history, culture and language. I want to take you with me on my discovery and share with you my passion and knowledge about this beautiful product. I hope to see you soon on one of San Sebastian Food’s wine tours.  I will be guiding clients on the amazing Rekondo wine tasting, the unforgettable Rioja day tour and the NEW Txakoli wine tour.

Over the coming weeks, I will be reviewing my favourite vineyards so that even if you cannot join one of our tours right now, you will get a flavour for the magical places we visit!

Jean-Paul Trijsburg Msc

Winemaker & Viticulturalist

wine@sansebastianfood.com

Txakoli wine region close to San Sebastian, home to one of our new wine tours

All set for the summer!

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“I love my job!”

“I love my job!” THIS is what I’d hear from friends when I lived and worked in London. It used to puzzle me. How could someone really love their job when they were based in an office and spent most of their time rushing around London or at their computer stressing out. The more ‘stressful’ someones job was, the more respect they seemed to earn from peers while chatting over a beer after work or at the weekend with friends. This did not make sense to me.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild - part of Rekondo's unique wine collection where we hold a private tasting on Sunday evenings.

Now, three years after leaving the ‘rat race’ of London, I find myself saying to myself “wow, I really love my job!” It last happened on Tuesday while I was running our Basque cookery class in San Juan. We were all around the kitchen, chatting about some anchovies which Alex, our chef, was preparing to salt and cure for the next 7 months. I was learning more about Basque cuisine which fascinates me and my two clients (on honeymoon from Los Angeles) were loving the unique experience we offer.

The last month has been a heady mix of food and wine adventures from the memorable Rekondo wine tasting with Martín and guests Eric and Kristen from Seattle, a unique Market & Historic Tour with Simon Gregory, head chef of Gordon Ramsay’s Boxwood Cafe to so many enjoyable cookery classes and Pintxo Tasting Tours with guests from Australia, Ireland, Holland, USA, Japan, London and South Africa. I have especially loved visiting my favourite vineyards in Rioja where we get VIP treatment and generous tastings.

Gateaux Basque at Hotel Arraya - fabulous

The best meal of the month, goes to a fabulous lunch at Hotel Arraya in Sare. A faultless, enjoyable and highly memorable Sunday lunch in the green hills of the French Basque Country (Iparralde in Basque translated as ‘Northern side’). From start to finish it was a constant pleasure and for 22 Euros (excluding wines), it was fantastic value for money.

Lastly, I’ve also realised why I love what I do. I create memories for my guests which will stay with them for a long time to come. From tasting wine beneath the medieval city of Laguardia in an ancient cellar to Alex explaining taste vs texture of fish in our Basque cookery classes, an indelible mark is left in the memory of every guest. That is surely what it’s all about?

Note: Bookings are still available for the Discover The Basque Country Tour next month (5th – 8th July).  Contact us for last minute places and availability.

JON’S WEEKEND DIARY

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I’ve had a very busy few days so am relieved to find a few minutes to report to you all a snippet behind the scenes at San Sebastian Food from last weekend.

Friday 23rd April - Friday early evening was a private tour for a gastronome from Denmark, now the favoured destination for people wishing to try Noma, the latest number 1 restaurant in the world (http://www.theworlds50best.com/awards/1-50-winners).  There followed my second pintxo tour of the evening at 9.30pm for an English couple as part of a Michelin Star gourmet weekend.  Jovial chats were had with the bar staff especially in Goiz Argi as I re-ordered for the 2nd time in one night their fabulous Brocheta de gambas with refreshing glasses of Txakoli (local white wine grown in nearby Getaria)

Latest batch of Idiazabal Sheep's Cheese at the farm on Saturday morning

Latest batch of Idiazabal Sheep's Cheese at the farm on Saturday morning

Saturday 24th April – Beautiful weather for a special countryside tour and I never tire of visiting, high in the hills, the hard working couple Imna and Mikel who kindly show my guests around their Idiazabal cheese farm.  I have huge respect and admiration for the intense work which goes into producing their finest quality cheese.

I bought an extra cheese for Turlough, an Irish chef and close friend of mine who lives here and who has worked in many of San Sebastián’s finest Michelin star restaurants including Zuberoa, Arberlaitz and recently Martín Berasategui in Lasarte.  He wants to take some cheese back for his Mum’s 60th birthday party next week. We then went on to the market in Tolosa, it was good but not as fun as other weeks, perhaps people were at the cider fiesta in Errenteria.

Being such great weather, we quickly headed off to Getaria, a fishing village not far from San Sebastián for a whole monkfish, grilled on the bbq and a delicious, simple salad.  I had to order some Kokotxas (the meat from the chin of Hake), cooked in a parsley sauce called Salsa Verde.  They were sublime but I think my guests weren’t so keen as I appeared to eat the lion’s share!

Still busy, busy with bookings, I managed to squeeze in a pintxo tour for a couple of Japanese guests staying at the Maria Cristina Hotel between 6.30pm and 9pm.  There was little English spoken between us but with thumbs up and rubbing of tummies, we all enjoyed some fantastic pintxos.  It was fun going to different bars I hadnt visited for a while and trying new pintxos on their menus.  I was surprised just how much my Japanese guests ate and drank and dont think my accountant (nor my brother who acts as a business guru for me) would be very pleased with the net profit, oh well!

Jon with martin B at Lasarte 24th april 2010

Jon with Martín Berasategui at his 3 Michelin Star restaurant

Then for the big dinner of the year so far, a night at Martin Berasategui in Lasarte, the three-Michelin star restaurant (position 33 in the world). It was a fabulous evening and I owe great thanks (and a steady supply of bellota jamón) to my cousin Mark who so kindly treated us all. Unfortunately my food photography is still of a very amateur level despite Damian from Go Spain giving me a crash course in the back of a taxi last week. So no photos of the food other than this one of me and Martín taken by Nicole after dinner!

Well, Sunday 25th April morning was another beautiful day, blue skies and warm breeze from the South and after picking up transport, it was time to drive over to the Maria Cristina Hotel to meet some American guests from Atlanta for a bespoke tour. We had plenty of time to chat en route which I always enjoy and took the old Igueldo track road back to San Sebastián by 2.30pm.

I then joined friends for Des’s birthday lunch at the new Kursaal restaurant Ni Neu (‘me and myself’ in English or ‘yo mismo’ in Spanish).  The menu, for 39 € including wine, was pretty good and sitting outside with views of the river, mountains as well as the sea was relaxing (the Torrijas dessert, a type of French Toast was fabulous).

Martín wine tasting rz

Martín, sommelier serving the first wines of the evening in the Rekondo private cellars

By 7.00pm it was time for San Sebastian Food’s inaugural wine tasting and tour at Restaurant Rekondo.  I was very excited because its such a special event and it went without a hitch.  Txomin, the owner and wine lover who has single handedly selected what is certainly the most important wine collection in Spain, is the epitomy of modesty.   With waves of his hands and an appreciative smile, he shyly rebuffs our compliments and tries his hardest to persuade us that his daughter, Edurne and Martín (their sommelier) are the ones to thank.  It was a fantastic experience and I’m already looking forward to returning this Sunday for the next tasting so now I need to find some bookings!

With that in mind, we now have our first bookings under our belts for the Discover The Basque Country Tour, 5th – 8th July – 12 places to go!