eat. write. smile.

– three things I love to do. Come with!

Never Stop Learning…

It’s been an exciting week here in Pais Vasco: Elisha and I have started working in two new kitchens.

To allow us to explore more of the gastronomic culture here, the Sammic marketing team and the organizers of the scholarship have secured three new kitchens where we will work as stagiaires: TPT, a bakery in nearby Beasain (named for tanto por tanto, the Spanish name for simple syrup); Solana 4, a pintxos and wine bar in Tolosa; and the Fronton de Tolosa, a traditional Basque restaurant that specializes in alubias con morcilla (local reddish-black beans and blood sausage).

Alubias de Tolosa with blood sausage, cabbage and pickled guindilla peppers

With these additional experiences, we will have the opportunity to see alta cocina in a three Michelin star kitchen; a panaderia; a casual pintxos setting; and a traditional Basque restaurant. The combination of these stages means we get to see nearly every aspect of Basque gastronomy- from the everyday to the sublime.

Thus, in our last week at Martin Berasategui, we swapped recipes and contact information with friends and fellow stagiaires.

Farewell shot of the Pasteleria team

We savored each family meal knowing it would be our last bocadillo with the boys, or the last Wednesday morning set of fried eggs and bacon. I wanted to be sure to capture as much as I could from our MB experience, so I started taking pictures of everything, from the plating process to the type of silicone molds we use for almond-lemon financiers. Of course, I also snapped lots of photos with friends!

Asier, Josue, Pablo and Alvarin say goodbye...

Thank you to everyone at MB for the past three months. It has been a valuable experience for me, one that will inform my cooking for the rest of my life.

Next up:

I’m working in the TPT bakery in Beasain, about 45 minutes southwest of San Sebastian. So far, I’ve made bizcocho de naranja, an orange sponge cake with a chocolate variation that I can’t seem to stop taste-testing.

Individual orange and chocolate cakes baked in wooden baskets

We make sourdough bread with our own mother starter. I’m also learning more Euskera vocabulary, as the further into Gipuzkoa you go, the less Castellano you hear.

two loaves made with sourdough mother

Elisha is serving up pintxos and slicing jamon serrano at Solana 4, a gastrobar where the menu varies with the offerings in the open-air Tolosa market, right across the street.

Organic produce at Tolosa's market- "Bueno por naturaleza"

In the coming weeks, look for more shots from the market, recipes from the bakery, and anecdotes from our new kitchens.

Thanks again to everyone at Martin Berasategui for the last three months, and thanks to the BasqueStage team for setting up our next round of amazing learning experiences as Sammic scholars!

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One comment on “Never Stop Learning…

  1. marcobahena
    April 10, 2012

    very very cool! Im jealous, enjoy it chica!

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2012 by in BasqueStage, Berasategui, Culinary School and tagged , , , .
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