Basque barbecue master cooks up a meat feast in the countryside
What makes it special: Nestled beneath mountains in a sleepy village an hour’s drive from San Sebastian, the old stone building that houses Asador Etxebarri is a destination in its own right. So peaceful are the surroundings that the chimes of church bells and the odd bleat of an animal are the only sounds to be heard.
The chef: Victor Arguinzoniz was born in the village, just moments away from the restaurant, and worked in a flag factory for many years before buying the restaurant with his father and uncle. He taught himself to cook and built his own kitchen full of manual grilling contraptions using multiple types of wood. Known for his devotion to the barbecue, he is rarely seen out of the kitchen.
On the menu: Etxebarri’s tasting menu takes in enormous juicy Palamós prawns, homemade chorizo tartare and finally a huge tomahawk steak before dessert. Customers can also order à la carte, with the speciality being Arguinzoniz’s personal favourite - grilled eel.
Bonus point: Arguinzoniz’s produce is so fresh that some of it comes from his own back garden, yards from the restaurant. He recently purchased eight buffalo, which graze in a field overlooking the village, alongside chickens and homemade chorizo that hangs outside his house. He produces fresh buffalo mozzarella daily, to serve alongside goat’s milk butter and other snacks.