Top Cooking Class in San Sebastian to Taste Basque Flavors

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The seasonal and delightful flavors from sea to mountains come to life when you take a cooking class in San Sebastian.

Basque cooking in northern Spain is one of the most celebrated cuisines in all of Spain.

Learning how to cook the traditional dishes was one of the highlights of our culinary travels to the Basque Country.

If you want to dive into Basque culture and cooking while visiting the region, consider taking a San Sebastian cooking class.

Learn about our Basque cooking class in San Sebastian as well as two alternative cooking classes to consider.

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Overview of Our Cooking Class in San Sebastian

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Ready to dive deep into our cooking class in San Sebastian

Beyond pintxos, we wanted to dive deeper into Basque cuisine and learn the secrets and recipes of this world-famous gastronomy.

Seeking an immersive experience, we teamed up with Devour Tours for an authentic Basque cooking class in San Sebastian.

We were attracted to this cooking class for two main reasons. First, the focus is on the traditional and most iconic Basque dishes.

And, secondly, the location. The cooking class takes place in a “Basque Gastronomy Society” a sort of secret food society known as “Txokos.”

Leading our 3-hour cooking class was Carlos, a trained chef accompanied by Chef Saul, in the kitchen.

In total, we learned to make four traditional Basque dishes including a starter and a dessert.

The Basque dishes were paired with traditional Basque drinks, and we had fun cooking together with our small group of ten.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: This authentic Basque cooking class in San Sebastian is a hands-on class with a focus on the most iconic Basque dishes. The class starts at 5:00 pm, and for 3 hours you’ll have fun learning the techniques to prepare four delectable dishes. Taking place in the professional kitchens of a historic gastronomy society and former restaurant kitchen, the class is fun, informative, and a delicious experience.

Highlights of Our Cooking Class in San Sebastian

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Chef Saul preparing the potatoes

In the professional kitchen of the cooking club in San Sebastian’s Old Town, Carlos described the dishes and the traditional ingredients.

The four dishes we made were Spanish omelet, bacalao al pil pil or salted cod pil-pil style, txuleta or beef steak with piquillo pepper, and San Sebastian cheesecake.

This is a hands-on cooking class where you learn the techniques and the secrets for how to prepare each Basque dish.

Starting with the San Sebastian cheesecake, which needed the most time, we had a lot of fun learning about Basque cuisine from our friendly chefs.

RELATED: Unleash Your Inner Chef By Taking a Cooking Class on Your Travels

Spanish Potato Omelet or Tortilla Española

Flipping Omelette San Sebastian Cooking Class by Authentic Food Quest
Learning the art of making Spanish omelet

Spanish potato omelet is one of the dishes we were most excited to learn to make. It’s one of the most popular Spanish dishes and a personal favorite as well.

Consisting of only three ingredients plus salt, making it very simple. The trick with the Spanish omelet is learning how to flip it like a pro.

After mixing our cooked potatoes with eggs, we watched our chefs demonstrate the proper techniques for flipping the omelet in a small round pan.

It is necessary to turn over the heavy egg and potato omelet so that the other side can cook .

Over the hot stove top, I attempted to replicate the flipping technique the chef had demonstrated with such ease. 

While it looked easy, in reality, it was much more difficult, especially over a hot stove. 

Omelette Cooking Classes San Sebastian by Authentic Food Quest
Spanish potato omelet, a beloved classic

With a few handy tips, myself, and everyone in our class managed to successfully flip over their tortilla.

With everyone beaming with pride we all eagerly continued forward to make the next dishes.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Pintxos in San Sebastián is a gastronomic specialty and also worth exploring while in the Basque region. We took a fascinating pintxos food tour and highly recommend the experience. Read more about Pintxos Paradise: The Most Epic San Sebastian Pintxos Tour To Take 

Beef Steak or Txuleta With Piquillo Peppers

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Premium beef soon to be a delicious steak

Txuleta or T-Bone steak with red peppers is a culinary tradition in the Basque Country.  

Traditionally, the beef came from an ancient breed of cows native to the mountains in the Basque region.

As we learned about Basque culture and cooking traditions, we also learned about the specific cut of beef for this beloved dish.

Peppers, while not native to the region, have been a part of Basque cooking for hundreds of years.

Txuleta San Sebastian Cooking School by Authentic Food Quest
A true treat for meat lovers

Generally, Txuleta also spelled Chuleta in Spanish, is always served rare. But, in this San Sebastian cooking class, we each had a choice of how we wanted our meat cooked.

Opting for the traditional “rare” Basque-style steaks, we each cooked our individual pieces on the hot stove stop in the professional kitchen.

Served with a delicious glass of Spanish Rioja wine, the pairing was divine. Meat lovers will especially love this part of the San Sebastian cooking class.

San Sebastian Cheesecake

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Baking the cheesecake

Learning how to make the famous San Sebastian cheesecake was another one of our favorite highlights from cooking class.

Caramelized with a delicious creamy interior, we had fallen in love with this cheesecake when we had it on a San Sebastian food tour.

To make this traditional cheesecake, also known as Basque cheesecake, we used a local cheese from the Basque Country.

Idiazabal cheese is an exquisite cheese made from sheep milk from the Latxa sheep breed native to the Basque Region.

San Sebastian Cheese Cake Cooking Classes In San Sebastian by Authentic Food Quest
Ending on a sweet treat

Once all the cheesecake ingredients were mixed and blended, we put the mixture into molds and left them to cook in the oven.

The cheesecake we learned, cooks at two different temperatures. The first part is to cook the cheesecake and the second part is to give the cheesecake a burnt or caramelized finish.

We ended our fun cooking with each of us decorating our plates and enjoying our cheesecake with a surprising yet delightful Basque Ice Cider. 

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Idiazabal is one of the most celebrated Basque cheeses. It’s a white unpasteurized cheese made from sheep’s milk. Try it at home when you order it online. 

Overall Impressions of this San Sebastian Cooking Class

What We Loved

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Savoring Basque delights and wines

Taking a cooking class in San Sebastián is a delicious way to learn about Basque cuisine. We enjoyed our San Sebastian cooking class for a variety of reasons.

  • Insightful and hands-on cooking class – Our wonderful chefs were very knowledgeable and extremely personable. As we learned to make each Basque dish, we also learned about its history and culinary traditions. The combination of cooking and teaching made for an immersive and well-rounded experience.
  • Beautiful pairing with Basque wines and ciders – Each dish was an opportunity to learn about a different Basque traditional drink. We tried different local wines, including sparkling wine and different types of Basque cider. Local drinks enhance the food, and the wonderful pairing elevates the flavors.
  • Well paced class – Instead of waiting to eat the meal at the end of the cooking experience, we enjoyed eating while cooking. Each time you finish making a dish, you eat it right away and then move on to make the next one.
  • Go hungry – Be prepared to eat a full dinner. The generous portion sizes and tasty flavors will leave you wonderfully satiated at the end of the cooking class.

What Could Be Improved on this San Sebastian Cooking Class

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Be sure to wear comfortable shoes

We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class in San Sebastian. Overall, there is not to say that is negative, as the cooking workshop was well organized and a lot fun.

The only thing worth noting is,

  • You are on your feet a lot –  The cooking experience takes place standing up, and there is limited seated in the kitchen. As you’ll be on your feet for a long time, plan to wear comfortable shoes.

How to Book Your Cooking Class

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Eat well in this San Sebastian cooking class

This authentic Basque cooking class in San Sebastian, Spain is one of the tastiest ways to dive into Basque cuisine and culinary traditions.

In the company of expert chefs, you’ll spend 3 hours in a small group learning the recipes of one of the world’s top cuisines.

Cooking in a professional kitchen, you’ll enjoy the cooking course from starters to dessert.

While in Spain’s gastronomy capital,  get more from your trip with this authentic Basque cooking class in San Sebastian.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Make your culinary travels worry-free! With the right travel insurance, you’ll enjoy a delicious experience. From medical emergencies, flight cancelations, car rental protection, or tour cancelations, a good travel insurance has got you covered. Check out our travel insurance review for food lovers to get started.

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Alternatives Cooking Classes in San Sebastian to Consider

If you are looking to explore the local market as part of a cooking experience or you want to learn how to make pintxos, see our recommended classes below.

Basque Cuisine Cooking Class With Market Visit

Basque Cuisine Cooking Class San Sebastian by Authentic Food Quest
Beautiful ambiance for a cooking class – Photo credit: Kookin Donosti on Facebook

For visits to local markets to understand the ingredients that define Basque cuisine, this is one of the best cooking classes to take.

Spending about 4-hours with a local chef, the cooking class experience starts with visits to the market stalls of farmers, fish mongers, and butchers.

Back in the kitchen, you’ll learn the techniques to make iconic Basque dishes in a hands-on manner from your expert chef.

All the dishes are paired with local beverages, and you’ll leave not only with the recipes but a keepsake apron as well. 

What to Expect From This Basque Cooking Class with Market Visit

Some of the key highlights from this cooking class are:

  • Visits to farmers, fishmongers, and butchers at the local market
  • Learn to make traditional Basque dishes from a local chef
  • Step by step personalized cooking instruction
  • Intimate group size with a maximum of eight people

What People Say

Travelers describe this San Sebastián cooking class with a market visit as a “great experience.”  and a “highlight of their trip.”

“The market visit was very educational and learned a lot about buying fish.”

“The class was fun, and you made us feel like professional chefs.”

Pintxos Cooking Class San Sebastian With Local Market

Pintxos San Sebastian Cooking Class by Authentic Food Quest
Immerse yourself in the world of pintxos – Photo credit: Mimo Food on Facebook

Pintxos are the Basque specialty from San Sebastián or Donostia. In this cooking class, you’ll learn how to make pintxos as well as their history and why they are so famous in San Sebastian.

This pintxos cooking class starts with a visit to the local market to pick up the ingredients for the little bites. 

On the way back to start the cooking course, you’ll stop at a local pintxos bar to have a taste of the experience in an authentic setting.

Back in the professional kitchen, your local chef will guide you through the process of making several more delicious pintxos.

The class lasts for 5 hours and starts at 10:00 am.

What to Expect From This Cooking Class

Some of the key highlights from this cooking class are:

  • Local market visit
  • Pintxos focused cooking experience
  • Hands-on instruction from fun and knowledgeable chefs

What People Say

Travelers to San Sebastián describe their pintxos cooking class with local market visit as a “great experience.”

“We enjoyed an educational tour of the market and excellent pintxos. The cooking class was fun, and work, and It really gives you an appreciation as to what goes into making pintxos.”

“Best culinary experience in San Sebastián. I would choose this over any Michelin starred restaurants. We loved starting with an informative market tour, followed by pintxos and stories before returning to the kitchen. We made some of the best pintxos while sipping top wines. We enjoyed everything about the experience.”

FAQ’s – Cooking Classes in San Sebastian

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Rosemary perfecting her culinary skills

What Food Is San Sebastian Known For?

San Sebastián is a top gastronomy destination known for exceptional cuisine and high-quality produce. Pintxos and a high concentration of Michelin Starred restaurants are some of the unmissable gastronomic experiences.

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Have you ever taken cooking classes in San Sebastian Spain?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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