This article has links to products and services we recommend, which we may make a commission from.
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.
Overview of 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
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.
Spanish Potato Omelet or Tortilla Española
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Watch Our San Sebastian Cooking Class #Shorts
Make sure to subscribe on Youtube for our latest videos
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.
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 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
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.
Have you ever taken cooking classes in San Sebastian Spain? Please let us know in the comments below.
Savor the Adventure!
More Local Food Experiences and Recipes
Love This Cooking Class in San Sebastian? Pin It!
Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
Find out more about Authentic Food Quest