People think what they want when it comes to good food, but do they really know the difference (?) If you are blessed to try Asador Etxebarri, in a small remote location, you can easily recognize chef Bittor’s way of life, his smile and one the greatest gastronomic adventures you’ll ever experience. In fact, I can only think of a handful of restaurants where the food is as good, no kidding.
But food is a state of mind, what and how do we rate our culinary treasures; is it when we have a perfect experience and everything goes as planned, no let down? I am not sure if that is what it takes, and even if it helps, I know when someone puts quality and technique under my nose.
The lunch begins with a broth of local mushrooms, it is smooth, aromatic and perfectly balanced. Chef Bittor has his wife Patri on the restaurant’s floor and Mohamed head sommelier, a well seasoned veteran who worked at Mugaritz, he makes the difference.
Simplicity at Asador Etxebarri can and will blow your mind. The idea of taking the purest raw materials and not disturbing them, just guiding them to a perfect gastronomical balance. This is something few chefs can achieve and if you doubt it, go there and see for yourself.
I sit there as an amateur cook and take myself through each step the chef uses. I watch him in his kitchen grilling and he has complete control. He reminds me of a chef/restaurant named Florilège **Michelin in Tokyo where the chef works the grill, and is not at the pass. He has total control over his station, and he is glued there.
And, the meat used here is 10 year old dairy cow something unheard of in any other country. This is a significant difference when you taste the beef it is just mind-boggling and it’s not about being soft it’s about the taste.
Then the shrimp, it looks like an average red shrimp but watch out !!! This is a taste of enormity, red juicy succulent-smokey hints and seashores of Palamós. These red shrimps are something you’ll never forget. The heads are filled with flavor, the body’s shell is soft and it oozes with flavor.
Then the pièce de résistance, a lobster cooked with a style you’ll only find here. The body is filled with the eggs, stomach, coral and meat. Now imagine the greatest lobster on planet earth, and cooking technique second to none. This is just %$*! incredible, I cannot believe the purity, the integrity and the texture-taste.
The desert is fabolous *no more said when it comes to a creamy Soufflé and this is something !!!
The custard is a classic and it speaks for itself….no more to say….except
“Live once and it you do it right once is enough” *thank you Bittor and Patri, and a special thanks to my friend Mohamed, a gentle soul who is passionate and skillful at all times.