[Spain: Larrabetzu] 3* Azurmendi - Cook a Better Future with Sustainability
Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ (5/5)
Of course when I was in Basque Country back in May, I had to return to 3* Azurmendi - one of my favorite restaurants in the world! This time I also got to learn about Chef and Owner Eneko Atxa's sustainability project JAKI(N) whose goal is to “cook” a better future. I was super impressed with many initiatives including the restaurant’s sustainable building, working with local farmers, providing work life balance for its own staff, creating recipes with doctors for particular illnesses and many more - it was no wonder that they won The Sustainable Restaurant Award from The World's 50 Best Restaurants this year! Congratulations Eneko and team on the well-deserved award!
Besides the gastronomy restaurant, Eneko also owns the buildings right beneath it which houses his more casual brand 1* ENEKO Restaurant, the Gorka Izagirre winery as well as a wedding and event space.
Even his business card is biodegradable and embedded with seeds so that when it's chucked away, it will help the environment. It may not sound like a lot but it's the little things that add up in the long run.
We then continued our experience in The Kitchen with a glass of Mushroom and Sherry Broth.
As we were sipping on the broth, Eneko personally prepared his signature Truffled Egg dish for us by taking the fresh egg yolk out and injecting hot truffle broth back in to cook the remaining yolk inside out!
We were then led to The Greenhouse where we enjoyed a few more snacks including Fermented Apple, Spices Cornetto, Herb Quark and Kaipiritxa.
Roquette with apple and pickles
The Tear Peas with Iberian gel and crispy corn bread was deliciously sweet and seriously one of the best things I ate on this trip.
Vine Shoot grilled Asparagus "pil-pil"
The roasted and peeled Lobster with juice, coffee butter and purple onion from Zalla is one of my favorite dishes ever by Eneko! For this dish, he's using a purple onion from a small local farmer. By doing this, he's supporting local community of course and also helps to ensure that these unique local produce will continued to be grown by the farmers.
The Beans and assorted meat was a surprisingly nice dish considering I'm not a big fan of beans in the first place. Things were not what they seem here as the beans were actually the sauce and the meat was in the form of the "beans".
The Red Mullet in three services was another highlight of the meal:
- Fritter of interiors and caviar
- Flame roasted red mullet
- Red mullet in tempura with red peppers juice roasted on charcoal and spirulina
Not only was the plating gorgeous, the execution was flawless and I enjoyed the many different flavors and textures of the red mullet here.
Eneko's pigeon dish never disappoints and this Pigeon with tuber and carrot was no exception.
Stewed Pig Tail and anchovies from Bermeo
We then started the dessert portion with Honey and Pollen where we were told to smell a spoonful of pollen while we enjoyed the honey dessert.
Avocado and Mango
Coconut, rum and ginger
The Black Olives with sheep's milk and cocoa was my personal favorite and the most interesting dessert of the meal.
Thank you so much Eneko and team for the amazing experience always at Azurmendi!
Corredor del Txorierri Salida 25, Larrabetzu, Bizkaia, Spain
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