Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles This is San Sebastian, also know as the Basque. It's the capital of Gipuzkoa, one of the three regions and it is also home to some of the best chefs in Spain. We had eaten a lot of truly delicious food on our trip around the Basque country. And now we were on our way to meet the Godfather of Basque Pretty excited to meet Martin Berasategui today. He is the only seven star Michelin chef in Spain, and apparently he's the shit. When Berasategui began his career in the mid '70s, there were no Michelin star restaurants in the Basque country whatsoever. But along with the other founders of Bas Novel cuisine he's put the regions cooking on the map and has opened top notch restaurants all over the world. I have focused my entire existence on the art of gastronomy. I started out in my family's restaurant. And now it's 2014 and I have seven Michelin stars in Spain. I'm the chef with the most Michelin starts in Spanish history. I have a great team, all of them are Martin Berasategui. They fight for Martin and they would die defending Martin. Always wanting to please me as I teach them all I know. In my creative test lab, we tried out different fish scales. I found that red mullet scales could be crystallised. So here you see these scales all facing this way, right? So what I do is run my thumb across here and, as you see, gently massage the scales. We then place it here. The technique is to pour piping hot olive oil over the scales so they turn into crystals. This is a natural reaction. Now we add a pinch of salt and the red mullet is done. These are wild mushrooms in a red wine jus made with a reduction of red mullet bones and livers. I bring it to the boil and then add small cubes of bluefish but only after it's boiled. This is a celery and turnip sauce, some rocks made of beetroot, and this is an ale foam. So that's our latest creation with the edible crystal scales technique. I have a crush on this dish right now. Take this away, it's collapsed. This has collapsed, the foam has collapsed. You have to eat it straight away. Ok but, leave it there. It may not look good but... I said no. Then put it in a Tupperware. I said no. But please, Martin. No, we made it quickly for the cameras. But can I eat that one now? I said no. You just do what I say. Okay, it's your kitchen so I'll do what you say but understand my pain. If you come at two I'll give it to you. Ok. He won't let me do this. If I make the ale foam for you now, it'll be too bitter for my customers. Martin, for fuck's sake. I've been eating shitty home cooked pasta for months. And now you want to take this away from me? What cruelty is this? Give her the red mullet. OK, I'll give you the red mullet. It took some balls, but I wasn't going to leave kitchen without trying that red mullet dish, and it was well worth it. My favourite dish from Basque cuisine, it's such a simple dish, but whoever thought of it was incredibly innovative. It's hake kokotxas with pil pil sauce. Everywhere we went in the Basque country. People were talking about this weird little piece of fish. It wasn't just Martin's favorite, Kokotxa's are an institution. Who better to explain this phenomenon than Michelin Star Chef, Danny Lopes. The first time I take kokotxas was at home, like most people here. When you are a kid you don't really like the gelatinous texture but after that you start loving it because it's a classic Basque taste. So, what is this bit? It's this part here, of the underside of the hake. It used to be discarded. They'd cut the head off and chuck it. Until some sailors tried them and found them delicious. So we're going to prepare them in the most traditional way. Pil-pil is a gelatinous sauce produced by the kokotxa itself and is the most traditional one. Let's start. First, we put a bit of garlic in here, okay? Okay. Now grab some salt and toss it all over while you turn them with your other hand. Touching fish, touching fish, how I love to touch fish. While you turn them with your other hand. When the garlic starts to dance around it's time to take it off the stove. What's the worst thing you can do to ruin the kokotxas? Overcooking them, as they'll just melt. We're going to use the kokotxa's natural gelatine. We're going to use the kokotxa's natural gelatine. Now move the pan like this, in circles. We add a couple drops of water. When you add the cold water, the kokotxa reacts and produces more gelatine. The plan is that as it's moved around, the oil binds and emulsifies. That's the one. Wahey! This is harder than it looks. If we add any more oil it will split so we add a bit more water. It's all chemistry. This really is something else. Now we add the parsley. Looking good already! We heat it up again on a low flame. Keep an eye out for them, OK? When you see they're starting to. What do I need to watch out for Dani? Don't let it boil. We're good. I'll be with you in a second. Fried garlic, red chili, and we finish it off with parsley. Perfect. Here we have our kokotxas. How was that? Great, you did a great job. See how delicate they are? This is delicious. You see how lightly cooked, how gelatinous it is, but not too gelatinous, right? There is just enough gelatine not to taste weird or unpleasant. It's just complementing the oil, it sort of lingers in your mouth. I love it. I've arranged to meet a few friends and we've prepared something for you. We're taking you out for pintxos in the old town of San Sebastian. We'll taste a bit of everything and we're going to have a good time. I'm in your hands! Yes, don't you worry! Looking forward. Little did we know that Dani's friends would turn out to be Michelin star chef's Gorka Txapartegi and Joxe Mari Arbelaitz. These three guys have won every gastronomical war between them. But the prospect of and local wine still lured them out of their kitchens. This is delicious. It has a powerful first wave with the wildflower honey and then the gin leaves you nice and warm inside, just how we like it. Especially on a rainy day like today, it's a really good drink. At this rate we're gonna crawl out of here. What is this rain? The weather is always lovely here. What would the green Basque Country be without the rain? The change of seasons means a change of ingredients. You feel again the excitement with the season's first produce: our dear artichokes arrive again, asparagus, each product has its time so for that we need these seasonal shifts. Going for pintxos means to enjoy. And it's a way of understanding our Basque gastronomy. We're not just going to one bar. We go to one, two, three, four or five bars. Depending on what your body tells you and how much money you have. We're in Gandarias, another classic bar in the old town, and as you can see they have lots of different kinds of pintxos. I recommend the grilled sirloin steak pintxo with a bit of green pepper and Maldon salt. That's nice. And the mushrooms with garlic oil which are also delicious. So we share a bit, right? Yeah, let's share. Sharing is part of the pintxos spirit. Coming through! I like this one. Eat it in one go. No, no. Oh my! Thanks guys. It stopped raining, no more umbrellas. Over here we have a lot of bars to choose from. The one we're going to now has been open for a really long time and back in the day it always won the 'best pintxo' competitions and it would always be down to their anchovies. OK, here we are, Txepetxa. Manu, how's it going? Dani, what's up? We've come to eat some pintxos as I've told them that we can't miss trying your anchovies. Which do you recommend? You can choose something sweet or savory... Sea urchin, olive urchin, olive pate, salmon, blueberries, spider crab crema, papaya, coconut... All sorts! All sorts! I think I'm going to try them all. This is black olive pate on top of a couple of anchovies with a bit of onion. Tasty. This is salmon. These are anchovies with trout caviar on toast. So good. Com on Jozemari, leave some for me. This is the one that caught my attention. It's a cut of tropical fruit, papaya. It works. To achieve top flavours with just two ingredients is not easy. Simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve. Masterfully executed and I'm not going to share any more with you. This one is for me. The anchovy is a very fine fish. It has a very delicate taste. She's drunk. We're at one of the most typical bars. It's called La Cepa. It has some of the best you can find around here. What have you ordered? Want some Txakoli? Of course, a little Txakoli to kick things off.