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Chef Elena Arzak and Her Family Legacy

Chef Elena Arzak and Her Family Legacy


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On a Saturday afternoon in the Arzak restaurant in San Sebastián, Spain, the sounds of laughter and conviviality filled the dining room, and I was struck by what differentiates it from other temples of haute cuisine. Usually the only audible sounds at such luxe restaurants are the hushed whispers of diners and servers, the clink of glasses and silver at the table, or the gentle tones of subdued music playing in the background. When I asked chef Elena Arzak about it, she said, “This is how we ourselves are as a family, and that is picked up by guests, many of whom have been coming here through a few generations.”

Arzak shares the head chef responsibilities at the eponymous restaurant with her father, Juan Mari Arzak. Following three generations of cooks in her family, the petite powerhouse is expanding the boundaries of the cuisine of her beloved Basque region by incorporating influences, flavors, and spices from other cultures. On my last visit, she was charged up about her Cleopatra monkfish plate with Egyptian hieroglyphics made of pumpkin and chickpea puree. There is often a tongue-in-cheek humor to her whimsical plates that reflects her own lively personality. Her love for cuisine goes back to her childhood, when during summer breaks she was allowed in the restaurant kitchen for two hours every day. Those afternoons led to a lifelong passion for the kitchen’s creative processes. The entire family — including her grandmother, aunt, and father — are all chefs, and her mother took care of the front of the house of the restaurant, where Elena spent most of her childhood. Given her passion for gastronomy, it was inevitable that she would follow in their footsteps.

The restaurant is still located in the family home, where her father was born and grew up and where Elena lived as a child with her family. The family has since moved out to make room for the expansive wine cellar, the R&D kitchens, and offices, but she has very fond memories of those years. “There are two things that I remember the most,” Arzak said. “The first is when I was a very young child, maybe five or six, I smelled the aromas of food the moment I entered the restaurant, but every Sunday that I would come in the smells were different. I especially remember the smell of squid and that of the first mushrooms that arrived in the kitchen. One thing I remember distinctly [is] that even when the smells were intense, they were very clean, and I have never forgotten them.”

“Another vivid memory is of playing in this very dining room, waiting for my mother or my father to get me when the guests arrived since I was only allowed to play while there were no guests. I would hide under the tables with my dolls and pretend that under the tablecloth-draped tables was my own little house. I remember once I left one of my dolls under the table and the next day I was told that one of the guests found it.”

On my last visit, I walked into the kitchen to find Anthony Bourdain’s crew filming the Spain episode with Juan Mari. With cameras underfoot, the kitchen team, led by Elena, worked frantically to send out food into the dining room. I escaped up the back stairs into the calm of the recently remodeled research kitchen and spice room. A comprehensive collection of spices and ingredients from every corner of the world lines the shelves of the “Banco de Sabores,” and they figure prominently in dishes on the ever-changing menu. A few months ago, Arzak and I explored the spice market of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, where she was in her element with her adventurous spirit and passion for exotic spices.

After tasting a dessert on the menu with distinct tastes of cloves and coconut, I was tempted to ask Arzak if her interest in spices had deepened over the years and if she found herself playing with bolder favors. She said, “Yes, it’s true I do and find I take more risks now. I was just as much of a risk-taker in my twenties and then became more restrained for a while, and now I am back to it. You cannot have one style as a chef forever, and your style changes though the base stays the same. I want to have different experiences with food. I notice over the years there are a lot of places that I haven’t visited yet and now I want to travel and explore more.”

Her culinary education took her to Switzerland after finishing high school, and for six years she traveled and worked with many great chefs such as Michel Roux Jr. (of London’s Le Gavroche), Michel Troisgros, Pierre Gagnaire, Claude Peyrot, Alain Ducasse, and Ferran Adrià. Her language studies were no doubt an asset, since she speaks Spanish, German, French, English, and of course Euskara, the language of the Basque Country. Her life revolves around her family: her husband, Manu Lamos, an architect; daughter, Nora; son, Matteo; her parents; and her sister, Martha, who after studying art history became the director of education at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum.

The Arzak restaurant has held three Michelin stars since 1989 and was voted No. 21 in 2016 by the World’s 50 Best Academy. Not just food-lovers but also chefs from around the globe make it their first stop in San Sebastián to enjoy the food as well as to visit with Juan Mari and pay their respects. At 74, he is still at the restaurant with Elena every day, overseeing the kitchen and feeding friends and family at the table in the kitchen.


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Euskalkultura.eus

Marie Giffard, AFP. From the fourth generation of one of Spain&rsquos most celebrated culinary families, Elena Arzak has won plaudits for taking traditional Basque cuisine in a new direction.

After years working at her family&rsquos 19th-century eatery on the northern Spanish coast, her constantly evolving, research-based approach to cooking and experimentation with flavours won her international recognition as the world&rsquos top female chef.

Now, nearly a decade on, this energetic 51-year-old is still experimenting with unexpected combinations and new textures using mainly local ingredients at &ldquoArzak&rdquo, the family restaurant in San Sebastian which is renowned for its fine dining.

&ldquoIt is research for the good of cuisine,&rdquo says Arzak, who is the only woman running a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars in Spain.

Inside her flavour lab above the restaurant, a 3D printer and a centrifuge sit next to shelves piled to the ceiling with thousands of clear boxes of flavours, textures and other culinary secrets.

All are carefully labelled with QR codes that contain detailed information about the contents.

For now, she is using the printer to create unique, very visual geometrical shapes that are used in plating up, but she has not printed anything edible as the results haven&rsquot been good enough.

&ldquoThe art of cooking must make people happy. We can use all the technology in the world, but it must bring something to the dish,&rdquo she says.

Arzak&rsquos great-grandparents founded the restaurant in 1897 in what was then a village but has now been engulfed by San Sebastian.

Dubbed the father of modern Basque cuisine in the 1970s, her father Juan Mari won a third Michelin star for the establishment in 1989 which it has managed to keep ever since.

She herself returned to San Sebastian in 1995 and since then has been working alongside him, being named the top female chef in the World&rsquos Best 50 Restaurants list of 2012.

Five years ago, she took over the kitchen at Arzak as part of a &ldquoslow&rdquo transition, although her 79-year-old father still helps out.

The preference for local ingredients has not changed at the restaurant, which experts regularly rank among the world&rsquos best.

&ldquoI love parsley, anchovies, squid, garlic, tuna,&rdquo she says, listing ingredients which features heavily in Basque cuisine alongside other flavours like hake or txangurro, flaked spider crab meat.

&ldquoMy cuisine is an identity cuisine, Basque, very rooted in the sea.&rdquo

And while training at top European restaurants such as London&rsquos Gavroche and Louis XV in Monaco, her &ldquofondness&rdquo for seafood and her Basque heritage meant she was often assigned to prepare fish dishes.

Art on a plate

Arzak, who studied cooking in Switzerland, said being the daughter of a culinary giant has not been an issue.

&ldquoIt could have been a handicap that everyone compared me to him. But I was conscious of it,&rdquo she said.

While restaurant kitchens are usually male dominated, 70 percent of Arzak&rsquos staff are women.

&ldquoI am only interested in talent, gender does not matter,&rdquo she said.

After taking charge of the eatery, she changed the menu to include dishes with fewer ingredients.

&ldquoPeople eat faster, more vegetables, healthier,&rdquo said Arzak, who admits she&rsquos currently &ldquodevouring&rdquo vegan cooking magazines.

&ldquoPeople want more of an &lsquoexperience&rsquo,&rdquo she reflects.

Although the focus is on using local produce, Arzak has long been open to other cultures and has never shied away from new techniques, using photos to explain some of her more innovative dishes.

One, called &ldquoBaby squid tattoo&rdquo, features a small squid with a squid tartare in ink served on a plate decorated with an elegant sketch of an octopus drawn in parsley juice.

Another is mackerel in shio koji, a fermented Japanese marinade, served with pureed tomato and fish collagen, &ldquoa natural gelatin&rdquo.

And a dessert called &ldquoEnigma&rdquo features white-chocolate filled churros shaped into letters perched on two balls of fruit fibre &mdash a texture between mousse and jelly &mdash one almond-cherry flavour, the other orange, but coloured a vibrant fuchsia by using beetroot extract.

Her talent has been hailed by big names in gastronomy.

French chef Pierre Gagnaire, her supervisor when she worked at his Paris restaurant, said he appreciates &ldquoher reserve and modesty&rdquo.

&ldquoDelicate and joyful, she symbolises the Basque Country so much,&rdquo he told AFP.

Spanish chef Carme Ruscadella, whose Sant Pau restaurant in the northeastern Catalonia region that also had three stars before closing in 2018, described her as &ldquoa woman who doesn&rsquot tire&rdquo.

And close friend and top French chef Helene Darroze calls her a &ldquopioneer&rdquo.

Arzak, who has two teenagers, said the restaurant&rsquos three stars don&rsquot weigh on her.

&ldquoIf you don&rsquot have pressure, you accidentally relax,&rdquo she admitted.

Although the restaurant has been closed since December because of the region&rsquos ongoing nighttime curfew to curb virus cases, Arzak says she&rsquos gearing up to reopen.

&ldquoWe need to encourage people because we&rsquove all had a really difficult time.&rdquo


Watch the video: Elena Arzak y su pasión por la cocina. Euromaxx (June 2022).


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