– three things I love to do. Come with!
After living the first half of 2012 in Pais Vasco, I have returned to California. I came home with excitement, ready to start in earnest my cooking career. I left with a twinge of sadness, though, because my time in Pais Vasco was so rewarding.
From a three Michelin-starred kitchen to a pintxos bar, from a cheese maker to cooking classes in gastronomic societies: Elisha Ben-Haim and I saw almost every facet of Basque food culture.
I know how to work in a stressful, demanding kitchen. I also learned how to operate some of the best kitchen equipment in the business. In terms of palate, I can now taste the nuances between different Idiazabals.
I learned how to make blood sausage with an elegant senora who has owned a butcher shop for fifty years. I picked sweet peas, lettuces and edible flowers on a hilltop farm in Getaria.
Most importantly, I met motivated, talented and generous people who value food and celebrate it in ways I admire. Thank you for welcoming me and teaching me.
It’s been a whirlwind getting back into life in the Golden State, but I’m finally settled with two exciting jobs:
Inspired by my baking stints in TPT Bakery and the dynamic pop-up The Loaf in Donostia, I’m working as a morning baker at artisan Mayfield Bakery. Sourdough mother starters, laminated doughs and chocolate tarts fill my mornings, and I’m learning that baking is damn hard work.
In the afternoons, I head outdoors as the new Garden Coordinator at Castilleja School. We are developing an Edible Schoolyard curriculum that grows vegetables in the school garden and teaches students how to cook them.
My schedule is full, but after the BasqueStage, I feel energized, prepared and motivated to continue my career and keep learning every day.
California, I’m so glad to be home. But Euskadi- I’ll be back as soon as I can!