Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise (Hardcover)
Winner, 2019 IACP Award, Best Book of the Year, International
Named one of the Best Cookbooks of the Year / Best Cookbooks to Gift by the New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, Rachael Ray Every Day, National Geographic, The Guardian and more
“Truly insider access, an authentic look at the traditions of one of the most incredible culinary regions of the world.”
Tucked away in the northwest corner of Spain, Basque Country not only boasts more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other region in the world, but its unique confluence of mountain and sea, values and tradition, informs every bite of its soulful cuisine, from pintxos to accompany a glass of wine to the elbows-on-the-table meals served in its legendary eating clubs.
Yet Basque Country is more than a little inaccessible—shielded by a unique language and a distinct culture, it’s an enigma to most outsiders. Until now. Marti Buckley, an American chef, journalist, and passionate Basque transplant, unlocks the mysteries of this culinary world by bringing together its intensely ingredient-driven recipes with stories of Basque customs and the Basque kitchen, and vivid photographs of both food and place. And surprise: this is food we both want to eat and can easily make. It’s not about exotic ingredients or flashy techniques. It’s about mind-set—how to start with that just-right fish or cut of meat or peak-of-ripeness tomato and coax forth its inherent depth of flavor. It’s the marriage of simplicity and refinement, and the joy of cooking for family and friends.
About the Author
Marti Buckley is an American journalist and cook from Alabama who has lived in San Sebastián for seven years. Her blog is travelcookeat.com, where she writes about food and Basque Country. Buckley also contributes on food and travel to countless media outlets, including Afar, National Geographic Traveler, and the Telegraph. She appears biweekly on the EITB Basque radio program Gastrosfera, talking about food and lifestyle trends. Buckley trained in the kitchen of the Southern chef Frank Stitt for two years, working her way up from garde-manger to pasta chef de partie. She coauthored the 2016 Wallpaper* City Guide Bilbao/San Sebastián. Follow her on Instagram @martibuckley.
“Buckley evokes the spirit of the Basque people through cultural insight and classic recipes.”
—National Geographic, Inspiring Books to Gift Travelers
“This book gives you a true taste of northern Spain, including an entire section devoted to pintxos, the snacks served at Basque Country bars. . . . The little bites are so good that they may inspire a New Year’s resolution: Throw more cocktail parties!
—Rachael Ray Every Day, The Best Cookbooks to Gift This Year
“Part cultural history and part recipe revelation. . . . Unfussy and seasoned with tradition.”
—Garden & Gun
“Both a guidebook and a cookbook. . . . Richly illustrated with photographs of the people and places, it provides a surprisingly thorough introduction to Basque history, language and food values, which in turn illuminate the wheres and whys of the traditional recipes [Buckley] shares, sometimes for the first time anywhere.”
“Delightful . . . a well-researched set of accessible Basque recipes.”
“Basque Country is one of the most heartfelt, exciting books on food I’ve seen; Marti Buckley makes you fall in love with the unique, real, and rustic flavors and textures of Basque Country, where the pursuit of something great to eat is given cult-like status. There is a purity and honesty to the writing and to these recipes. I will cook from and return to this book time and time again.”
—Frank Stitt, chef/owner of Highlands Bar & Grill
“This collection of recipes . . . whisk[s] us straight to our grandmother’s table and the dining societies, restaurants, bars, and grill houses of Basque Country.”
—from the foreword by Bittor Arginzoniz, chef/owner of Etxebarri
“Marti Buckley has uncovered the roots of Basque cooking in this thorough, beautiful book that honors the soul of our cuisine.”
—Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, chefs/owners of Restaurante Arzak
“Buckley compiles so many of my childhood favorite recipes to create a truly classic Basque repertoire. You’ll be transported to Sunday bar crawls, snowy-day bean stews, summer-day anchovy feasts, and Basque Country’s distinct seasons. It’s a thorough look at the Basque cooking philosophy as well as a true portrait of my ancient culture.”
—Aran Goyoaga, creator of Cannelle et Vanille and author of Small Plates & Sweet Treats