For the fans of our restaurant cookbook series, here's another review for you! Today we decided to share our thoughts about the Etxebarri Cookbook.
Asador Etxebarri is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the world. When the owner, Bittor Arginzoniz, and his family bought and rebuilt the restaurant, they had no experience at all. Yet Arginzoniz’s mastery of his adjustable-height grills has brought fame to the restaurant, not to mention a Michelin star and top rankings on the world’s best restaurant lists. Michelin described his cooking as “an unadulterated pleasure for lovers of simply grilled and roasted dishes,” and many believe he has revolutionized the way we grill.
Bitor 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 center of the village more than twenty-five years ago, he and his family rebuilt it entirely themselves. Arginzoniz 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.
Etxebarri Cookbook is packed with great content that will delight any restaurant cookbook enthusiast. The first two hundred or so pages of this 340+ page volume are devoted to the chef’s philosophy, the innovative equipment he has designed to fully exploit his fires, and the extraordinary lengths to which he goes in order to obtain his ingredients. The food itself is eye-opening. Arginzoniz cooks not only meat and vegetables, but rice, dairy products, sauces, stocks, and even desserts.
The dishes themselves are as remarkable as the techniques and equipment. Smoked goat butter is served as a dish in its own right. Chicken croquettes are cooked right over the flames. Cocoa beans are roasted over coals before being ground and incorporated into a meal-finishing shot.
This book shows what practice, finesse and culinary creativity can do to elevate food to a true art form.
The Etxebarri Cookbook is another good example of why we like restaurant books so much. Besides containing the recipes of some of the dishes served at the restaurant, this book has a lot of stories, which provides a great reading time for all those who like to know more about what goes on in the kitchen and in the mind of one of the world's best chefs. If you are a fan of restaurant books like us, we encourage you to take a look at the Etxebarri Cookbook.
Etxebarri is a fascinating book that covers the story of a restaurant, and of its creator, Bitor Arginzoniz. And it is a story about fire and grills, and one man's passion for cooking over wood.