Arzak restaurant (San Sebastián)

Juan Mari Arzak

Born in 1942, he is the father of Spanish contemporary cuisine. As the creator and alma mater of the movement known as New Basque Cuisine in the 1970s, his culinary and social influence has been decisive. He has worked with Bocusse, Troisgros, Senderens…

Just to mention a few of his many prizes: National Gastronomy Award for Best Chef (1974), three Michelin stars, Club de Gourmets Best Chef and Best Restaurant, Grand Prix for Culinary Arts for Best European Chef from the European Academy of Culinary Arts (1992), National Gastronomy Award for Best Restaurant, Gold and Silver medal for Merit in Tourism, Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the French Ministry of Culture (1993), Gold Medal of the city of Donostia, awarded by the Town Hall as an expression of the people of San Sebastian’s recognition and gratitude for the professionalism shown in his extraordinary services he has performed for the city (1994), Gold Medal of Guipúzcoa…

It has three Michelin stars and is the 53rd best restaurant in the world in the 50 Best Guide.

His restaurant, located in the old house where the family business was run, which dates back to the late 19th century, it is a Mecca for all lovers of contemporary cuisine thanks to how its cooking has evolved. It is now in its fourth generation and run by Juan Mari’s daughter, Elena.

He is a consultant at a restaurant with one Michelin star in London, the Ametsa.



Elena Arzak

She studied at the Schweizerische Hotelfachschule in Lucerne in Switzerland (1988-91). She has worked at: International Hotel in Zurich; National Hotel in Lucerne; La Gavroche in London; Hotel Château Gütsch in Lucerne (89); Troisgros de Roanne; Carré des Feuillants in Paris; Le Vivarois in Paris; Louis XV in Monte Carlo; Antica Ostería del  Ponte in Cassinetta di Lugagnano; El Bulli in Rosas and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris.

Among her great many prizes and awards: Chef of the Future 2000; National Gastronomy Award for best Head Chef 2010; Eckart Witzigman International Award (2010) and Veuve Clicquot Award for Best Chef in the world 2012.

She currently runs the restaurant and consultancy work with her father as a tandem. She also continues to broaden her professional knowledge by working in other restaurants for brief seasons. In 2012 she was named best female chef in the world in the 50 Best List.