Writer, gastronomy expert, critic and scholar

Juan José Lapitz

Born in Hondarribia in 1934, he is a well-known writer, gastronomy expert, critic and scholar. Besides having written a score of books, he is a founding member of the Basque Academy of Gastronomy.

He started as a writer with the magazine “Ondarribi” back in the 1950s. He collaborated on newspapers, magazines and radio broadcasts. “Anecdotario ondarribitarra” (Hondarribian Anecdotes) was published in 1975 and relates stories of common characteristics of its people. In 1980 he published “El salmón del Bidasoa” (Bidasoa Salmon), about his private and public life in collaboration with J. M.ª Busca and José Iraundegui; thereafter followed by “Cantabric-Gascon Cuisine”, “Eating in the Basque Country”, “Roadside Eating”, “Manual of Butchery”, “Manual of mushrooms”, etc…

For over a year, he published his weekly column in the gastronomy section of Deia’s Sunday magazine. His culinary recipes were coordinated with a commentary by Dr. Julian Bereciartua under the title “From a medical viewpoint”.

Under the pseudonym of Kepa Kaizar, 1981, he published his ‘Corners of Euskadi’ in the newspaper ‘Deia’, dedicated to the lands of ‘Iparralde’ (French Basque Country) and the Navarre Pyrenees. In 1984 his work “Amar a Euskalerria conociéndola” (Loving the Basque Country and knowing her) appeared, printed in Hondarribia. His writings on Iparralde earned him the appointment of ‘Knight’ of the brotherhoods of ‘La angula de Hendaia’, ‘L’Operne’ Biarritz and ‘La Commanderie de Perigord’. He is a founder and grand archivist of the of the ‘Bidasoa Salmon’ fraternity.

In 1998 the Spanish Academy of Gastronomy awarded him the prize for the best journalistic work and in 2003 he was the winner of the ‘Busca Isusi’ gastronomy prize.

He received the Kalitatea Foundation ‘Eusko Label Award’ set up by the Basque Government in 2010. His book “2,000 Adages about Eating” with the collaboration of Ana Lorente, was awarded one of the highest honours by the International Academy of Gastronomy, the “Prix litteraire de la Gastronomie 2009”. Besides the popular sayings about cuisine, the book also includes related traditional recipes. It is a comprehensive compilation of 2,000 proverbs and rhymes linked to the world of the kitchen table, gastronomy and food. 

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