By Juan Pablo Cardenal • Jon Sarabia
Bittor Arginzoniz has achieved world fame as a grill genius with his restaurant Etxebarri, located in the farming community of Axpe, a tiny village nestled beneath mountains an hour’s drive southeast of Bilbao. When he bought the restaurant building in the centre of the village more than twenty-five years ago, he and his family rebuilt it entirely themselves. He is self-taught and has only ever worked in one kitchen – his own – where he designed and built his famous adjustable-height grills. With no other reference than the oldest culinary technique in the world ̶ fire ̶ he grills using utensils designed by himself, uses specific woods and has an obsessive search for the best product, Arginzoniz has revolutionized the way people roast meat, fish or vegetables. He cooks everything over a grill ̶ even dessert ̶ so everything has a unique taste to it. Michelin awarded Asador Etxebarri a Michelin star in 2010, describing the food as ‘an unadulterated pleasure for lovers of simply grilled and roasted dishes…’ and he is ranked number 6 in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.
He rarely leaves the restaurant except to tend to his farm animals, which supply many of the raw ingredients for his tasting menu. This book describes the man, his kitchen and his recipes in words and stunning photography.
I started editing most of the reviews in 2016 because my PhD in English (a humblebrag if you’ve ever seen one) has to be put to use somehow. So I know “the about” all the books and how good they are, which is super cool in general but also terrible for my budget. And I’m the one insisting on the Oxford comma. It’s the hill I’ll die on. I would kidnap Lily the office dog if a) I didn’t have three cats, b) I don’t also love Heidi and Ross and would never hurt them, and c) I didn’t just make a public record of intent to commit a crime. I also help with posting articles to the websites and doing book round-up articles.