Activities

CULINARY ACTIVITIES FOR PROFESSIONALS

Over the past five years, the agricultural business sector and the town fisheries have maintained a schedule of meetings and ‘ad hoc’ conferences for improving the sector. The programmes are coordinated by the HAZI Foundation (Basque Government) to promote competitiveness and sustainability of the primary and food sectors, rural area and the Basque coast.

Since 2008, ‘Krea Bidasoa’ has been held, 2015 was its seventh year. It features one-day workshops for 300 entrepreneurs, businesses and institutional representatives to devise and promote new business initiatives especially in the sectors related to the culinary process.

In 2012 the ‘Mugabian’ workshop, ‘farming and cooking’ was born as a continuation of activities for the food industry organized by ‘Innov Mugabe’, a cross-border European project with France. Mugabian created concrete opportunities for collaboration between a group of 8 small production-transformation companies through rounds of visits overlooking their facilities followed by working sessions with the whole group in each company. The revitalization of the programme was conducted by the ‘Bidasoa Activa’ Development Agency.

Annually, and parallel to the Heritage Forum, a programme of workshops and professional meetings coordinated by the Hospitality Business Association of the city is held each March, since 2014. A workweek between Hondarribian cooks and three guest chefs takes place in each programme: Popayan in 2014 and Tsuruoka in 2015 including visits and technical meetings with the fishing and agri-food industry.

CULINARY ACTIVITIES 

LOCAL LEVEL

Hondarribia has an active annual calendar of traditional fairs related to gastronomy and also religious celebrations that usually have their own culinary traditions.

  1. Beginning with Easter: on Easter Monday a food fair is held near the Shrine of Guadalupe, with the exhibition and sale of fare from Mount Jaizkibel farms. On May 15 the fair of San Isidro of agricultural products and livestock is held in the same place. On April 25, the day of San Marcos, Opila Day is celebrated, the tradition being that godparents give a sponge cake called ‘Opila’ to their godchildren and carriy them to be blessed in the church before enjoying them with the family.

  2. On the second weekend of June, the Medieval Market of handicrafts and food is celebrated in the historic quarter. The nights of San Juan, around June 23, are celebrated with public tastings of Eusko Label products. Included as part of the hallmarks of the city are: San Pedro day, June 29, the feast of the Fisherman’s Guild of San Pedro as well as Carmen Day, on July 16. On July 25, the feast of St. James, the Fisherman’s Guild of San Pedro celebrates the ‘Kutxa’ forecasting future catches.

  3. The day of Santa Ana, July 26, is ‘Sagardo Eguna’, Cider Day, and is organized by gastronomic societies in the city.

  4. The first Sunday in August in the Town Square is filled with food products with traditional crafts in the ‘Herri Giroa’ exhibition.

  5. On August 15, the day of the Assumption, the Cod Pil-Pil contest of Hondarribia has been held since 2008.

  6. From 7th to September 11th, the Festival of Hondarribia is held where restaurants and pintxo bars strive to offer the best cuisine in the city. The 8th is the most important day, with the celebration of the parade of arms commemorating the two-month siege of the city in 1638 and fulfills the vow made to the Virgin of Guadalupe to whom victory day is attributed.

  7. The ‘Baserritar Eguna’, or Farmer and Rancher Day, is on September 11 and the Livestock and Vegetable Fair from the farms is celebrated. It coincides with ‘Arrantzale Eguna’, or Fisherman’s Day, with a festive program with outdoor public lunches.

  8. The Hondarribian Seaman’s Market with the town’s seafood cuisine has been organized since 2010 by the Nautical Club of Hondarribia in the last week of August.

  9. The Txakoli winery ‘Hiruzta’ celebrates the harvest festival on the first weekend of October.

  10. Another highlight is the St. Thomas fair, on December 21, an important agricultural fair held in ‘La Marina’, the Fisherman’s quarter.

INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

Hondarribia celebrates events of international interest for its citizens and visitors:

  1. Euskal Herria Pintxo Championship. Since 2006 it has been organized in October by the city’s Hospitality Association in collaboration with the City Council, Basque Government, Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and companies from the sector. It features the participation of the best chefs from the Basque Country, Navarra and the French Basque Country. It is held in the ‘Itsas Etxea’ Auditorium and has a show-cooking format, in which chefs prepare their pintxos in front of the public with a jury of prestigious professionals from the world of gastronomy. Throughout the rest of the year, different experiences around pintxo cuisine are organized under the Pintxos Experience concept in the network of National Paradores of Spain as well as wine pairing dinners in the city’s own restaurants.

    This contest inspired the Pintxos and Tapas Competition of the Medieval Medieval Towns and Villages network of Southern Europe of which Hondarribia is also a founder.

  2. Idiazabal Cheese Contest and Idiazabal Cheese and Farmhouse Product Fair, organized by the Hospitality Association of Hondarribia. A fair to taste one of the star products of Basque gastronomy, Idiazabal cheese has been produced in the Basque Country and Navarre for thousands of years. It is cured with a minimum maturity of two months, which is made by pressing exclusively with pure sheep’s milk ‘carranzana latxa’ and animal rennet.

  3. The Heritage Forum of Hondarribia has added a gastronomic agenda to its programme on heritage and urban design since its second edition in 2014. Each year it invites a UCCN city of gastronomy with 3 of their chefs to develop a culinary programme with city chefs in their restaurants as well as meetings and exchange visits and entrepreneurship (Popayan in 2014, Tsuruoka in 2015 and Florianópolis will be the guest city in 2016).

  4. ‘Experience Jai Alai & Gastronomy’ is held on Fridays in July and August. Dinner parties of the World Tour of the Basque sport of Jai Alai with meals offered with chefs, recipes and traditional products of the city. The Fisherman’s Guild of San Pedro gives free products for the dinners. The Hondarribian School of Basque Pelota gets its financial resources through this initiative and also has the sponsorship of the Town Hall.

  5. Since 2005, the Hondarribia Blues Festival and cuisine in the city in collaboration with HAZI with ‘Eusko Label’ product tasting.

CULINARY INITIATIVES WITH OTHER CITIES

In 2010, the city held a month of dining experiences with 3 Mexican cities: Merida, Oaxaca and Monterrey. A chef from each city worked with local chefs coordinated by the Hospitality Association.

Since 2006, noteworthy are the Basque-Japanese Gastronomy Days. Every two years, open both to the public and professional exchanges between cooks. Japan, specifically Tokyo and Osaka, has seen a new blossoming of the Basque-Japanese cuisine that is led by a new generation of chefs who have been trained in two notable locations: the Alameda restaurant in Hondarribia (1 Michelin star) and the Luis Irizar School.

In 2014, the Heritage Forum incorporated the gastronomic heritage. Colombia, with two chefs from Bogota and a chef from Popayan developed a culinary-cultural programme for the public. Thus was born the idea of the candidacy of Hondarribia for the Network. In the 2015 Forum, Tsuruoka was the guest city. In June 2015, Florianopolis visited us, which will be the culinary city of the 2016 Forum.   

Gastronomy

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