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Basque chefs leave Boise after a successful week of culinary events and Basque 'txakolina' wine tastings


Pete Cenarrusa, former Idaho Secretary of State
Pete Cenarrusa, former Idaho Secretary of State


Four award-winning chefs and a Sommelier from Bizkaia, Basque Country, were in Boise last week for six days full of culinary events. The Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture and the Bizkaia Department of Culture engaged in talks during last summer’s Jaialdi to organize this delicious cultural exchange. Among the events that took place during “An Introduction to Basque Cuisine” were two wine-pairing events, cooking classes on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and a five-course dinner on Saturday night at the Basque Center.
Boise, USA. On Tuesday and Thursday nights famous Basque sommelier, Mikel Garaizabal Pildain, presented a teaching and sampling session of Basque Txakolina wine. Garaizabal spoke in Basque throughout the night, making it an authentic event for the guests. Boise’s long-time resident, Chertudi, translated the content into English for the audience.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Basque Cuisine Instruction Classes took place at the CWI Culinary Arts Institute on the BSU Campus. Wednesday session was more geared towards home cooking, with easy to prepare recipes and techniques, while Thursday night focused on the vacuum-sealed cooking technique that chefs often use at their restaurant. KTVB Channel 7 was there to record the event, which aired that same night on Boise’s local TV station.

The chefs also cooked lunch during the week for the Boise Fire Department. So far, an idea has come from this gathering to have an exchange between firefighters from Boise and firefighters from the Basque Country.

The week culminated with a five-course dinner at Boise’s Basque Center last Saturday, June 11th. Guests learned about each course as well as taste a wine paired specifically for it.

Cenarrusa Foundation board member and the organizer of the event, Gloria Totoricaguena, says the foundation is already planning other cultural events and hopes each brings with it the exchange of ideas.

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