The perfect day of one of the loveliest chefs – Elena Arzak’s favorites around the world

Elena Arzak, one of the most successful chefs of Spain, lives and works in San Sebastian. We’d have a hard time deciding who we like more, her or Anne-Sophie Pic. But we have to admit that her combination of talent, charm, and ability is pretty cool. Elena told 1843 about the meals she eats on a perfect day.


She starts her day with coffee and leftovers bread she got from the Arzak restaurant. She toasts the bread then spread some extra virgin olive oil on it (she doesn’t use any butter). Before or after she goes shopping to the market she goes to Bar Ganbara for a pintxos (skewered meat and vegetables) and a crab or mushroom tart. “I remember the first time I stepped into the restaurant and I smelled the aroma of steamed crab. It was like a perfume for me!” – she reminisces.


She’d prefer the Test Kitchen in Capetown, a restaurant she visited recently for the first time and left with positive impressions. One of her favourites was snoek, a fish that’s similar to tuna. The chef was impressed by the casual and homely atmosphere as well as the berry fruits and dry white wine.


“I’d go the D’O, the restaurant of Davide Oldani, which is located just outside of Milano in San Pietro All’Olmo. I’d eat rice with Marsala and black pepper sauce. They serve it with Grana Padano and an egg yolk which you have to mix in with your rice. It’s like a carbonara but different. The rice is cooked to perfection, it’s fantastic, creamy and the taste is exquisite. I’ll never forget that dish.” Another possibility would be a food truck in New York. She likes these very much even though there aren’t any in San Sebastian. “One day you crave a little Indian food, then the other day you’d like some Asian then a little vegetarian. This is what keeps these cities alive and the food closely linked to city life.”


The trout served at Tetsuya of Sidney was a big surprise for the chef. She never thought this fish could have such intensive flavours. She’d also go to the fish market once she’s in Sydney again. She likes Tasmanian oysters which are smaller but more flavorful than she’s used to. “I can’t describe it. Less salty but more succulent. I love Sydney because it’s next to the sea and food is really important for them. It’s similar to San Sebastian where everything is about food from the day you’re born to the day you die.”





Bar Ganbara in San Sebastian, Test Kitchen of Capetown, rice dish at D’O, the fish market of Sidney
(Photo:, Facebook, Flickr // Cindy Andrie)

The opening picture was taken from the Facebook page of the Arzak restaurant.

Write a comment