Master gardener of the Mugaritz restaurant

Leire Etxaide

Leire is from Hondarribia. After completing her academic training at Cebank (School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality), she began her professional career in 2002 at the Mugaritz restaurant (Renteria, Gipuzkoa) in the desserts section.

Mugaritz has always been a pioneer in the use of plants and flowers in its cutting-edge kitchen. In 2005, the restaurant decided to create the Garden division, putting in place its own production of plants and edible flowers. This represented a turning point in moving from the daily collection on the mountain, to its own garden produce. Leire has been in charge of this section since the beginning.

The Hondarribian is part of the restaurant’s creative team. The garden now has 120 varieties of flowers and plants grown from seed to ensure traceability and sustainable cultivation.

Since 2009, Leire has worked with the Galician company ‘Porto-Muiños’ (sea vegetables) on a project to develop coastal plants for culinary use.

Mugaritz restaurant has 2 Michelin stars, 3 Repsol soles (suns) and has always been rated among the top 5 restaurants in the world on the British list of “The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants”. Mugaritz also boasts its own gourmet publishing division and various titles have been published on botany with Leire’s collaboration.

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