Eskerne Falcon is not a chef, but she has become a familiar face in Basque Country’s gastronomic scene.
The award-winning tour guide is best known for her gastronomic excursions around San Sebastian. It is this, along with a passion for food, that led the 47-year-old to develop deep connections with the many bars and restaurants around the region.
Now, for the first time ever, Falcon is sharing an authentic taste of Basque cuisine outside San Sebastian. In Singapore, Falcon will play host to The Pintxo Exchange, recreating pintxos (read: a small snack held together with a toothpick) with blessings from the city’s top eateries.
At the TXA Pintxo Bar in the newly-revamped Alkaff Mansion, Falcon is working with authentic recipes. Two dishes — bacalao fish topped with green beans and pan-seared scallop with ajoblanco– come from the three-generation eatery Casa Urola. Another, the Pintxo de Foie, was conceptualised by chef Ander Esarte from the famed Txuleta Bar & Restaurant.
Pintxos, for Falcon, are just a small part of social-cultural traditions in Basque Country. “Locals would go on txikiteo, which is the act of going bar to bar drinking txikito (wine) and having a pintxo or two,” she shares. “It is part of our tradition we enjoy with family and friends.”
Such time-honoured culinary rituals are also telling of the storied history that has made what Basque cuisine is today. “It’s created through traditions of cooking the best produce from the sea and mountains,” Falcon says.
“Our gastronomic scene has always been evolving. That is probably the reason we are known and recognized worldwide,” she adds. “There are Michelin-starred restaurants, but also worth looking out is the local products and the regular creation of new pintxos by new chefs.”
While Falcon gets things in order for The Pintxo Exchange, she recommends (with much difficulty) five worthy eats to try around Basque Country.