Akelarre Restaurant: The Magic of San Sebastian, Spain

J.M. Towers

Chef Pedro Subijana's Akelarre Restaurant presents innovative and cutting edge cuisine that honors and respects Spanish gastronomic traditions.

Akelarre is located at the Monte Igueldo Mountain next to the Bay of Biscay in San Sebastian, Spain. It is a privileged place with beautiful views of the Cantabric Sea. Pedro Subijana, a world-renowned chef who has been recognized with the National Prize for Gastronomy of Spain and three stars in the Michelin guide is at the forefront of culinary excellence. For the past three decades, Subijana, along with fellow chef Jaun Mari Arzak, has been a definitive influence in the new wave of innovative Spanish cuisine, becoming the spiritual godfather of many excellent chefs that are now transforming the gastronomic scene of the Iberian nation.

Chef Pedro Subijana

Subijana’s vocation and passion for his craft have made him a household name. He is currently a professor at the cooking school in San Sebastian, the cooking school of the Basque Institute of New Professions and the Basque Culinary Centre of San Sebastian. No small feat if we consider that the chef has also taught courses in diverse American and European schools. He is the author of numerous cookbooks and stars in the Basque television program, “The Gastronomy of Pedro Subijana,” with 1,400 programs aired since 1992.

Simultaneously, inside Akelarre, there exists a small space called the Cooking Classroom, which serves as a culinary workshop. Subijana teaches and experiments with new dishes that eventually become part of the restaurant’s menu.

His innovative ideas break every mold, yet he is respectful of the Spanish tradition. His dishes manage (with tremendous dexterity) the flavors, textures and aromas of these traditions, while at the same time incorporating produce from his personal garden. One of the key exceptional qualities of his restaurant is the use of fresh and seasonal ingredients, along with high expertise shown by his talented staff, which always reaches for authenticity and excellence.

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The spacious and bright dining room is decorated with lightly infused tones. The ambience is cozy and welcoming as well as comfortable and modern. The large tables, conveniently separated, offer individual privacy, and the wine list is quite unique, featuring a selection of more than 600 vintages from around the world.

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Akelarre has three different menus, selected with a criterion that represents the chef’s latest novelties, in accordance with the seasons. Subijana recommends that his clients opt for the sampling menu. Some exquisite delicacies include Caldo Verde, Cigala and Smoked Rape, El Tonic en Plato, and Gatsatua with Red Fruits.

On your next visit to San Sebastian, don’t miss Akelarre to enjoy a tempting and surprising variety of appetizing dishes that become more refined with time; a singular experience that will leave you wanting more.

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