Tokyo Food Wonder Land｜Eneko Atxa Azurmendi＜ENEKO Tokyo＞No.1
Tokyo Food Wonderland
The Basque region of Spain is a gastronomic paradise for gourmets.
The coastal town of San Sebastian is a cradle of Spanish bar culture, with its variety of small shops, which are loved by the locals, and which include several Michelin starred restaurants.
In this town lives a three-starred Michelin chef who was born and raised in the Basque. His name is Eneko Atxa Azurmendi. He was trained exclusively in Basque restaurants. The Basque is a rich region for natural ingredients which are harvested from the sea and mountains and are used to produce traditional cuisines which have been loved by the locals for decades. Eneko has pride in the Basque cuisine.
‘We Basque people are literally born beside tables, and we always gather around tables, whenever we are happy or sad. Food means nothing other than blessing your life.’
Japanese food culture is another thing he respects alongside the Basque food culture. He visited Japan about 10 years ago and experienced a variety of Japanese food including Yakitori, Teppanyaki, Sushi and Kaiseki escorted by Mr. Yoshihiro Murata, the owner of Kikunoi, a famous high-class Japanese restaurant in Kyoto.
“Japanese people are lucky. They have different options every day and can enjoy whatever they want according to their feeling of the day. Especially here in Tokyo, from high-class restaurants to small ones in the town, there are a lot of restaurants which serve great food. I would describe Tokyo food culture as an ‘incredible language’.”
The way Eneko likens Tokyo food culture, which has variety and a high level, and also has deep understanding of ingredients, to language is very unique. Language is a tool to express each and every event. Perhaps he sees some similarities in Tokyo food culture which presents each and every flavor by using a great variety of ingredients.
His passion for Tokyo enabled him to open ENEKO Tokyo in 2017. His journey of further discoveries of Tokyo will continue here. Ranked as the number one chef in ‘The World Top 100 Restaurants’ in the American magazine “Elite Traveler”, what he is going to discover in Tokyo will certainly become an object of curiosity among people in the world. Keep an eye on a Basque chef, Eneko.
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