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BASQUE COUNTRY
A MICHELIN-STARRED CULINARY EXPERIENCE
by CÚRATE & FÉLIX MEANA

2018 September 04 - 11
*****
SPECIAL EDITION | SOLD OUT

From America to Spain, learning
authentic Spanish food



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CÚRATE THE TRIP, BASED ON A TRUE STORY

At CÚRATE Trip: The Basque Country we curate truly authentic experiences to celebrate one of the world’s most-desired gourmet destinations, the Basque Country. To us luxury goes far beyond opulence; it means living transformative moments and experiencing each destination in full. Welcome to a meaningful expedition that embraces the essence of the Basque whose lives enshrine every aspect of its culinary repertoire and a feeling of connection to a singular collectiveness, all through the personal attention of Katie Button and Félix Meana. 

 

This new trip personally guided by Félix – one of the most influential people in the Spanish food scene – uncovers first-hand the real northern Basque region through the authentic Spanish food, living some of the most fascinating experiences accessible to a very few. Get priceless insider access, connections, and a tantalizing insight into the culinary essence of the country.

 

CÚRATE not only brings Spanish cuisine to Asheville, NC in the United States, but invites you to accompany them across Spain to get the real feel of the authentic Spain in a new sui generis 8-day trip from September 4 to 11 2018. Learn more about CÚRATE here.

 

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ITINERARY

CÚRATE has joined forces once again with the specialist food and wine tour operator Paladar y Tomar to provide the most seamless journey that only two in-the-know insiders can assure.

It’s time to discover this signature 8-day program across the Basque Country through enjoyable and comprehensive show-cooking sessions and intimate visits, and only-well-connected experiences under the expert purview of Katie Button and Félix Meana and the most illustrious local cooks and professionals.

Félix leads a dream program that contains unimaginable visits all along with the valuable insight only locals can give, leaving you well versed in many foundations and techniques of Spanish gastronomic culture and the Mediterranean soul.



SEP 4

DAY 1

SAN SEBASTIAN PINTXOS, WHERE SMALL IS BIG

San Sebastián, this small but gorgeous seaside city boasts Belle Époque architecture, a profound cultural heritage and arguably the best cuisine in the Basque Region. It has the most Michelin-starred restaurants per capita in the world, but even the quality of the everyday food is sublime. A walking pintxos tour reveals the best of the local gastronomic essence. Be ready for the most genuine experience . We will tell you stories and explain the singularities of this way of eating. We will recommend the best pintxo at each place and the best wine to pair among our preferred bars.

ASADOR EXPERIENCE

Asadores are traditional grill houses in the Basque Country, with coal being the greatest taste-enhancer. Cooking over an open fire is now experiencing a new wave and it is the most ancestral cooking method too. You shouldn’t miss trying some good grill! This will be the icing on the cake of a first memorable day.

Meals included during the trip Lunch, Dinner

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*

SEP 5

DAY 2

SAN SEBASTIAN

Enjoy a lovely promenade across this fascinating small city. Shaped by the river Urumea and later up by the hills, the city expanded when the walls were demolished 1863. The first expansion of the old town stretched out to the river’s mouth, on the old quarter called Zurriola, which now shows a dynamic commercial activity, recently boosted by the presence of the Kursaal Congress Centre by the beach. The arcades of the Buen Pastor Square were fashioned after the ones of the Rue de Rivoli, with the Maria Cristina Bridge being inspired by the Pont Alexandre III that spans the Seine.

You will stroll across some of the most centrally located highlights and we’ll explore some of the historical food and wine shops.

ARZAK***

Awarded with three Michelin stars since 1989, Juan Mari Arzak shook up both the Basque and the Spanish cuisine in the late 1970’s. Influenced by his French neighbor friends Paul Bocuse and Raymond Olivier, Arzak developed a Basque nouvelle cuisine capable to establish the Basque Country as one of the worlds leading gastronomic regions.

Meals included during the trip Breakfast, lunch

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotelde Londres y de Inglaterra 4*

SEP 6

DAY 3

HONDARRIBIA

As stated by The New York Times in July 2010, “with its abundant variety of local produce, a daily influx of fresh seafood, and what has become a critical mass of new talent, the tiny town of Hondarribia has emerged as one of the best places to experience the region’s ambitious cuisine, and without the parading crowds of San Sebastian, just 13 miles away”. The castle is Hondarribia’s most notable monument. Built in the 10th century by the kings of Navarre, it provided strategic fortification against periodic incursions by the French.

After strolling around, our stomachs will feel hungry and it is time to get ready for an exceptional lunch.

SOCIEDAD GASTRONÓMICA

Access to one of the most persuasive experiences a gourmet could ever dream of: enjoying a meal at a Sociedad Gastronómica. These members-only clubs play an important role and serve as meeting places where people of all social classes, known as cuadrillas, go to cook, eat and socialize.

TRADITIONAL DINNER

Tonight relish yourself with a traditional Basque menu at one of the most renowned restaurants in the casco viejo (old city).

Meals included during the trip Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*

SEP 7

DAY 4

FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY

Let’s cross the border to discover the flavors of the neighboring French Basque Country in a full day dedicated to the best cuisine. In the morning depart towards the French coast. From Hendaia take the winding coast road -the Corniche- to the small town of Saint Jean de Luz, where we’ll visit its bustling and colorful market.

Stop by one of the best cheese makers, who serves Michelin star restaurants in the area and have a a chance to taste a wide variety of his exceptional products with a glass of wine. You won’t miss the first producer of the famous “French Macarron”, the cookie that became famous all over the world before heading to Biarritz and its famous market before continuing the serpentine roads towards Espelette, a little town swinging around small chili peppers.

ITHURRIA*

Xavier Isabal leads Ithurria’s cuisine, keeping the Michelin star for over 40 years. Located in Ainhoa, one of the most beautiful villages in France dotted with red and white houses, Ithurria is settled in a sublime house steeped in history.

Meals included during the trip Breakfast, lunch

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*

SEP 8

DAY 5

GETARIA

Home town of the prestigious couturier Balenciaga, this is the land of Txakolina, the bracing, refreshing, often fizzy white wine that is enjoyed throughout Basque Country. In restaurants and pintxos bars, on terraces overlooking the Cantabrian Sea or in dark, rustic wood-and-stone cellars, you can’t help but notice Txakolina everywhere. Wine production was a way of life for centuries in Basque country through the end of the 19th century but phylloxera wiped out the vines around the turn of the 20th century, and the industry was slow to recover. Now, with the food revolution in Basque Country, txakoli is living a survival process and quality prevails. Let’s visit a winery and enjoy it in full while overlooking the sea.

ELKANO*

Down, the legendary fishing town of Getaria is home of one of the best seafood cuisines. And undoubtedly the main attraction is the whole chargrilled fish – specially the turbot – which is grilled in special crafted metal fish baskets. This technique was conceived by Pedro Arregi from Elkano – who passed away in 2014 being the business now run by his son Aitor Arregi -. He pioneered the respect for the local produce and for his environment.

GUGGENHEIM BILBAO

Arrival to Bilbao and check-in before a private visit to the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Dinner today will unveil the best kept secrets from cod fish, a mythical fish for the Basque.

Meals included during the trip Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotel Miró, 4* Boutique 

 

 

SEP 9

DAY 6

RIOJA

La Rioja turns out what most people have in mind when they think of Spanish wines. Enjoy a great day among vineyards around one of the best wineries in an exclusive private-guided tour. The region produces wine since ancient Roman times. Taste terrific wines and discover small charming villages from Middle Ages. It’s no accident that when phylloxera hit Bordeaux in the late 19th century, French winemakers chose Rioja as a location to make wines for the French market.

Not only will you have a chance to access one of the most remarkable wineries in exclusivity, but also you will try astonishing new style wines that express a sense of place. Winemakers are making wines that reveal the terroir of the region, village, estate, and, increasingly, the vineyard. A pairing lunch is foreseen at the winery.

BILBAO

Bilbao’s cuisine has lived for too long and unfairly under the shadow of San Sebastian’s overwhelming international reputation. However, the capital of the Basque Country is home of a grand cuisine that has nothing to envy and it is basking in its moment as the  new capital of gastronomy. In 2018 Bilbao will host the World’s 50 Best awards. Today’s dinner will reveal some more local touches.

Meals included during the trip Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotel Miró, 4* Boutique 

SEP 10

DAY 7

LIVE COOKING

Visiting the Ribera Market is a must; it is a massive paradise of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, mushrooms, cheese, sausages, cured meats, and fresh meats and game in season. The space is located next to the river, in the Casco Viejo neighborhood, which is Bilbao’s oldest, medieval part of town. Enjoy strolling around and stop for some “potes” before entering a private kitchen atelier to start preparing the freshest and yummiest home meal!

STARRED FAREWELL DINNER

Be ready to enjoy a seductive and cozy last dinner in Boroa* a 15th century farmhouse  with scrupulous respect for its original architecture, where Jabier Gartzia – great defender of Bilbao’s cooking, awarded with a Michelin star since 1999 – follows the ancient lineage of a noble and bourgeois society from the 19th century that laid the foundation of the cocina vizcaína (Bilbao cuisine).

Meals included during the trip Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Selected hotels for the journey by Paladar y TomarHotel Miró, 4* Boutique 

SEP 11

DAY 8

END OF JOURNEY

Delight in a leisurely breakfast this morning. Be transferred to Bilbao Airport or continue your journey if you decided to extend your trip.

Meals included during the trip Breakfast

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KATIE & FÉLIX



KATIE BUTTON
The Chef
Chef Katie Button was born in the South, raised in the North, and educated in Europe. Now, she has returned to her roots as chef and owner of two unique restaurant concepts in Asheville, North Carolina: Cúrate Tapas Bar and Nightbell. Chef Button was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award from 2012-2014 and was a finalist in 2014, and also received a nomination for Best Chef Southeast in 2015. Chef Button was one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2015.
FÉLIX MEANA
The native
Originally from Roses, a small town on the Costa Brava in Catalunya, Spain, Felix Meana jumped in to the deep end of the hospitality industry at 19. Felix spent 5 years at elBulli before moving to America as service director for The Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. While working with Andrés, he met his wife Chef Katie Button and in 2010, Meana and Button founded the Heirloom Hospitality Group with Button’s parents and opened the awarded Catalonian-style tapas bar, Cúrate.
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8 REASONS TO JOIN FÉLIX AT THIS NEW TRANSFORMATIVE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

 

At CÚRATE, THE TRIP the excellence of the landscape’s cuisine along with its breathtaking natural surroundings, exceptional wine varieties, and tranquility of the hand-picked singular accommodations create a getaway unparalleled in value and authenticity.

 

6 MICHELIN STARS
6 MICHELIN STARS Arzak***, Ithurria*, Elkano* and Boroa* summarize some of the finest cuisine from both Basque Countries; Spain and France. This is an opportunity to celebrate San Sebastian has been named "The Best World's City for Food" and Bilbao rooted cuisine traditions are being internationally acclaimed.
ACCESS A SOCIEDAD GASTRONÓMICA
ACCESS A SOCIEDAD GASTRONÓMICA Stepping into a members-only eating club is not an easy task. For anyone the challenge is knowing somebody that is a member to be invited. You are in.
RIOJA WINES
RIOJA WINES Rioja has been at the top of Spanish wines for almost a century since this small region concentrates some of the best wines, terroirs and wine makers in the world. Immerse yourself in the heart of la Rioja Alavesa to uncover two of the best wineries in a unique and very personal experience.
AROUND THE FIRE: THE ART OF FISH GRILL
AROUND THE FIRE: THE ART OF FISH GRILL Not only Getaria is a charming coastal town between the Cantabrian Sea and the steepy mountains, one of the cradles of the crispy txakoli white wine, and home town of the admired haute couture designer Balenciaga, but its daily caught chargrilled turbot is worldwide lauded. Learn the secrets.
GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM
GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, opened twenty years ago, changed the history of Bilbao and transformed the city forever. Art played the role as an economic, social and cultural driver. Take this opportunity to spotlight both one of Europe's most iconic buildings, creator of the “Guggenheim” effect, and the museum's works on display.


A TASTE OF THE FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY
A TASTE OF THE FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY The Basque Country is made up of seven provinces, three of which are in southwestern France. Too often overshadowed by the fame of Spain, the local French are very proud to be Basque and even speak Euskera. You'll quickly feel its distinct architecture, a scenery dotted with red and white farms, and a different lifestyle easily recognizable in their schedules but sharing the passion and "savoir faire" for the good table.
INNER ACCESS, THE REAL LUXURY
INNER ACCESS, THE REAL LUXURY Live the most trascendent, immersive authentic experiences with the best connected people. "Real" experiences cannot be replicated. We're taking exclusivity to a whole new level.
WILD NATURE
WILD NATURE En route from Bilbao to San Sebastian, the meandering drive reveals an astonishing array of awe-inspiring natural landscape, from the greatness of its mountains to its stunning coast. Be seduced by the rugged coast and the captivating
Flysch formation, stopping at scenic coastal fishing ports and scenic outlooks, or explore the green "Basque Highands".
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HAND-PICKED ACCOMMODATIONS

CÚRATE Trips benefit from the expertise of Paladar y Tomar curating every hotel in search of the most unique nature of each location. This allows us to cater for every different type of personality and taste and have selected for this occasion singular hotels with immense value that enhance every moment. Our stories start from the moment you arrive.

 



Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, at CÚRATE Trips
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, 4* Superior
San Sebastian
From its exceptional position, Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra faces La Concha, one of the most beautiful urban beaches. In 1866 it was opened as a premier seaside accommodation in San Sebastian, affording guests unparalleled views of the famous shoreline. Soon after its opening, Hotel de Londres became the property of choice for royalty and artists alike.
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CÚRATE Trip Basque Country, Bilbao hotel
Hotel Miró, 4* Boutique
Bilbao
This artsy boutique hotel, conceived by the Spanish fashion designer Antonio Miró, has simple design-driven rooms that serve as a blank canvas for the real asset: the up-close view of Bilbao’s main attraction, the Guggenheim Museum. The 4 stars property is a real boutique concept hotel.
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REQUEST THE FULL PROGRAM HERE
Destinations

San Sebastian, France, Bilbao and Rioja

Explore Northeast Spain in a dream trip across the Basque Country.

While in Asheville CÚRATE brings to you daily the Spanish flavors, this journey represents the exaltation of the most acclaimed food region in Spain, the Basque Country. It is impossible to exaggerate to what extent gastronomy permeates almost every social activity and every social class. Time is valued over money. At the core of this adventure are the tenets of authenticity, exclusivity and personal enrichment brought all together by a team of passionate experts and the priceless company of Félix Meana.

Make your taste buds dance with the popular merluza en salsa verde – a yummy hake fish in “green” sauce -, the most incredible kokotxas de bacalao al pil-pil (cod fish cheeks in pil-pil sauce), a magic emulsion from the fish’s own jelly with with olive oil and garlic, not to mention the txuletón – beef steak -, in fact Basque are well known for their grilling techniques. And make your soul fly tasting some of the most exceptional reds and whites from Rioja or the coastal and slightly fizzy white wine Txakoli.

Katie Button and Félix Meana take you to their secret gems in this spectacular 8-day unique and therapeutic escape.

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What they say about us?


I will remember the trip for the rest of my life as one of the best I have ever experienced!
- A traveler -
The olives at Gabriela's place were the best I've ever had in my life. I would kill for that recipe. Also the ones in Sergio's "gildas". Please let me know how or where could I relive that experience!
- A traveler -
This trip was life-altering for me. As my first visit to Spain, I fell in love with the country!


- A traveler -
Gary and I are still talking about what a great time we had on the trip to Spain and how much we enjoyed meeting you, Fernando and Felix. You did an amazing job and we so appreciated seeing Spain's beautiful cities, historical treasures and of course the wonderful food, wine and people!
- M. H. -
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PRICE & DATES

FOR ANY QUESTION, CONTACT US



DATES:

  • SEPTEMBER 04 – 11, 2018 (7 nights / 8 days)

INCLUDED:

  • 7 Nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
  • 7 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Private deluxe transportation throughout
  • Private transfer in and out from Bilbao Airport

NOT INCLUDED:

  • International flight
  • Personal purchases and expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical insurance with international coverage
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses

 

EXTENSIONS:

If you are interested in a pre or post extension trip:

 Contact us for extra arrangements.

PRICE:

Total journey: 6.750 EUR

*Rates are per person, on double occupancy, in Euros


BOOKING DEPOSIT:

– At the time of reservation: 25% of journey cost per person

– 90 days before departure: Balance due


TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

– Payment method: Bank transfer or major credit cards are accepted (Visa, American Express, Mastercard)

 

See Small Groups General Booking Terms & Conditions

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GALLERY

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OTHER CÚRATE TRIPS IN 2018

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ENQUIRIES & BOOKINGS






Spain office
T. +34 93-220-1723

Calls From The US
T. +1 (646) 934-6676
E. bookings@curatetrips.com

Skype paladarytomar

Our Office Time
UTC +1 hour
We are 6 hours ahead of New York
We are 9 hours ahead of California

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