I’ve experienced few things like it…the traditional Basque cider house owners yelling “txotx,” signaling patrons to line-up and catch fresh jets of aerated cider with their ready glasses! Basque Country is an ‘island’ in mainland Europe – the independent spirit of the Basque people and the passionate pride they have in their unique culture, food, sports and traditions in unparalleled. The colorful coastal villages, the Belle Époque jewel of San Sebastian and vibrant mountain markets are gateways to this amazing culinary culture.
After years of exploring the Basque Country, I can open doors for my travelers to often-unseen worlds: rare entrees inside a Basque txoko (private gastronomic society), cook and chat with local members; shop the lively markets with a chef, then create a market-driven lunch together…in his art gallery kitchen. Meet a heritage pig breeder at his 17th Century farmstead and his autochthonous pigs; walk walnut and chestnut-forested mountain paths and share a generous home-hosted meal cooked on his family’s hearth, accompanied by some of the most sublime Jamón on the planet!
Outside of Basque Country, my travelers love exploring Catalonia in my style – kayak along the stunning, craggy coastline of the Cap de Creus and finish with a beach-side tasting of prized regional wines; hunt for mushroom in the pine covered foothills of the Pyrenees with a botanist and forager for one of the world’s top restaurants; take a private cooking class in historic Girona where you’ll make the most flavorful Spanish tortilla you’ve ever tasted.
Right after graduating from university – just six months after the fall of the Berlin Wall – I was first exposed to the transformational power of travel as I backpacked through Eastern Europe. I then biked solo through Ireland, and traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, Australasia and South America in the mid 90’s. All these experiences were influential in shaping my world view, but, perhaps more than anything, it was my time living in Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Spain and France that most shaped the philosophy of travel I use today to craft adventures for my clients. I came to understand the importance of relationships, respect and reciprocity as three keys to fostering access and engagement and to making a lasting positive impact. Because of this, I can provide my travelers with rare access based upon unparalleled local relationships, especially in the world of food: step into the kitchens of some of the world’s most renowned chefs, meet artisan producers and family winemakers, forage with botanists and learn side-by-side with food scientists. Plus, I can score reservations, often publicly unavailable, at some of the world’s most coveted tables in the region.Based in: US
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