The best time to visit Elkano is in April or May when wild Atlantic turbot is at the peak of its season, and hear Aitor’s passionating stories about the fishing season and the work they do with the local fishermen.
In Getaria, a small fishing village on the Bay of Biscay 15 miles west of San Sebastián, there is a most acclaimed family restaurant, named Elkano.
‘Seasonal’, ‘head-to-tail’ and ‘sustainable’ are used by all chefs today, but at Elkano these words just describe the way cooking has been done there since Pedro Arregui opened the restaurant in 1964. Today, on the parrillas outside, you can still see whole fish grilling, caught by the local fishermen.
The highlight of the menu is a whole turbot, cooked on the charcoal grill and served on the bone, particularly the soft and tender flesh around the throat area, called the cheeks (kokotxas in Basque). This is a favourite with the locals and is served in different ways. The latter is the most traditional method of preparation, served with pil pil sauce made from olive oil, garlic and small local chillies.
Those delicacies are more than a souvenir of the culture and traditions of Getaria: they represent the whole Arregui family history.
Herrerieta Kalea 2, 20808 Getaria, Spain