The Basque chef with the most Michelin stars to his name, seven across all his restaurants, continues to show the same passion for cooking as he did when he began nearly 40 years ago. Martín Berasategui (San Sebastián, 1960) masters the secrets of both Basque and French cuisine, having learnt his trade alongside such stellar chefs as Didier Oudil and the legendary Alain Ducasse. But Martín Berasategui’s personal style always goes one step further. His research and exquisite taste can be enjoyed in one of the many restaurants whose kitchens he heads, and of course in his flagship, Restaurante Martín Berasategui, located in Lasarte-Oria, Guipúzcoa. His brilliant career has garnered him numerous awards and titles, including Doctor Honoris Causa from Université François-Rabelais Tours, and L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2014. He has also published over a dozen books on gastronomy, from La joven cocina vasca (1996) to the more recent Más de 999 recetas sin bobadas (2012).

Martín Berasategi
I'm new to Euskadi. What's the first thing I should visit?

Well, what do you expect me to say? The first place you have to visit, without a doubt, is Donostia. If you walk from one end of the city to the other, your first encounter with Euskadi is guaranteed to delight.

The best Basque dish is...

It's hard because there are so many. But I guess I'd have to say baby squid in ink sauce and hake kokotxas in pil pil sauce.

What's your favourite pintxo? Maybe even one that you make at home?

I love the anchovy pintxos at the Txepetxa in San Sebastián's old town, especially the anchovy pintxo with crab cream. I also like any of the pintxos made by Alex Montiel at La Cuchara de San Telmo, also located in the old town.

Of the wide variety of Basque music, what is your favourite song and/or singer?

There are some exceptional Basque singer songwriters. Mikel Laboa and Benito Lertxundi are the most highly regarded.

What places in the world of art (churches, museums, sculpture…) should I be sure and see if I visit Euskadi?

Chillida’s sculpture, The Wind Comb (El Peine del Viento) and, of course, the Guggenheim Museum. Both are icons in Euskadi.

Name a place in Euskadi that is very special for you, a place you go to just wander and unwind.

The streets of the old town in San Sebastián, like I used to do as a kid.

If I go with children, where should I take them and what sorts of activities could I do with them?

A fantastic place is the San Sebastián Aquarium. Children just love the show they put on.

What advice would you give to somebody visiting Euskadi for the first time?

Enjoy the country’s beauty and rich cultural heritage. And if they can, raise their glass to every moment of life because in Euskadi we know how to live.

What do you miss the most when you are far from home?

My family, my friends and my city.

The most beautiful thing in the Basque Country to you is...

The fierce waters of the Cantabrian Sea, the special charm of the coast, and the warmth, culture and politeness of the people.

When friends come to visit from out of town, what do you always make sure and show them?

I try to make sure that they don't leave without seeing a sunrise and sunset from the Miramar Palace, and without having taken a walk along the harbour in Donostia.

Is Euskadi better to visit in spring, autumn, winter or summer?

Euskadi is fantastic year round. Every season has its own particular charm.

What is your favourite fiesta or event in Euskadi?

San Sebastián feast day, of course.