Day 16 :Sept 26
Basque Culinary Center and Narru
The day was organized by Salva at Basque Culinary Center. The institution was founded by chefs of San Sebastian in 2009 and is the second of its type in Europe. San Sebastian having the concentration of Michelin star restaurants that it has, there is no place better for aspiring culinary students to learn the fine art of culinary and cooking.
After a tour of the center and walk through the kitchens we were at the dining room for lunch prepared by students. Cod salad with beetroot, roasted mushrooms with spinach cream and spirulina, duck with peaches and chocolate curd was the lunch fare.
After this we were at one of the demo theaters where we witnessed a master class in baking. Chefs Eduardo Jimnez, Javier Amilbia and Edorta Salvador kept us thoroughly engaged with fine art of baking.
Science behind ‘W’ factor or strength of flour was explained well. `W’ or strength factor for flour is an important indicator for professional bakers. Higher strength flour has ability to retain the carbon dioxide and hence softer bread. Weak flours are traditionally used for biscuits and cookies as it does not require retaining the carbon dioxide as compared to breads.
Varieties of bread were made, displayed, tasted, and analyzed in the master class. The end of the class was followed by now familiar recognition of chefs by SICA for one final time on the tour.
We were back at the beautiful city of San Sebastian and another round of shopping at Zara and walk around the Bay of Biscay followed. The dinner was at Naaru by the Bay of Biscay. Hake (fish) was the highlight of the dinner. Another specialty was the non spicy Spanish Chilies-‘Padron Peppers’.
While we were happily munching the chilies we were gently reminded in jest that one odd chilly in the batch may surprisingly be hot and the persons who has bitten in to that usually settles the restaurant bill for the group ! A round of toast for Salva, Sandeep and Andoni was followed by Chef Jugesh Arora summing up the tour and thank all who supported the tour.
The bus ride back to hotel saw bit of somber mood as the tour was coming to an end. Chef Soundararjan and Chef Sheetharam Prasad addressed the chefs and spoke eloquently about the entire tour. For one last time on tour was Chef Himashu Sahoo too was there with his emotional connect talk.