“Cooking is like surfing: you forget the world”


Resembling his father, the legendary Karlos Arguiñano, he follows in his footsteps on television, in the kitchen and in books: he now publishes Cocina con Joseba Arguiñano (Planeta), a compendium of 92 doable recipes, many of which have already been pre-cooked the cameras. Joseba is thrown, “and my father puts my feet on the ground”: his confectionery JA in Zarautz serves the best baked goods and the best breads in the area. On Basque television, ETB is popular for Historias a bocados and Sukalerrian, programs devoted to Basque gastronomy and culture. The compliment that pleases him the most: “You’re like on TV” (“but on TV, with fewer swear words,” he adds). From the bottom of my heart: “Bad people who want to make others feel bad annoy me. I want a friendly world, we’re all fine with that. More love and less war!”

How is Aita?

In shape, spirited, at the foot of his kitchen and his set.

All one star.

people love him.

Are you following in his footsteps?

Yes, with my pastry shop and my TV show Sukalerrian.

What does that mean?

The city of chefs.

Basques and cuisine: give me the secret key.

We like to eat, and every farmhouse had its bread oven, its vegetable garden, its animals…

attached to the floor.

And to the sea: I fish, I grew up on the beach at Zarautz, with the waves.

You have the best culinary product in the world at your fingertips.

And we respect it. We always cook the fish to the point and grill everything: nothing more natural!

And in their gastronomic societies.

When I announce in my WhatsApp group that I’ve caught a ten-kilo bonito, twenty come to eat. This is my star dish!

Yes? And how do you cook so beautifully?

The Morrillo, stewed; the fillets, raw; the tuna belly, grilled and in tataki and in sahimi… I make all the preparations for it! And a txakoli wine. And everyone freaks out.

you know how to live

Week yes, week no, we stay.

And the women?

Until twenty years ago this sign hung in the Txoko kitchen: “Women, we know that you cook well, but make it at home”. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

What is the genome of Basque cuisine?

Cod, small squid, stews, broths, stocks, garlic soup, fish soup, slaughter, offal, Idiazábal cheese…

brake, brake

They come from all over the world to study Basque cuisine.

His first gastronomic memory is…

Before we went to the restaurant for work, Amá prepared dinner for us: scrambled eggs with firm whites and runny yolks with poached onions and baked potatoes…

But you went to the candy.

It must be because of the thousands of chocolate cat tongues my brothers and I stole from Aunt Eva. It was my teacher.

What did you learn from your father?

Ever since I was little, he gave me little knives: for cleaning and gutting fish. In this I am virtuous. Oh, and always having a very clean kitchen.

It’s true, he’s obsessed with it.

What we cook goes in someone’s mouth. Either you are clean or you are dirty. Either you are orderly or you are messy.

What advice did your father give you when watching TV?

Be yourself, be natural, pretending would tire you. And he adds: “Either you entertain or you bore!”.

Is he at home the same as on TV?

Yes, including your jokes.

There are sharp ones: Does your mother scold you?

My mother is cured of terror. His father admonished him: “What nonsense you say.”

do you tell jokes

No, that’s an art that this generation has learned in long after-dinner conversations without cellphones, with Bertsolaris and pranksters.

What is the difference between your father’s kitchen and yours?

Aita is very traditional. I have traveled and brought other dishes and spices with me. I can’t find any ginger in the farmhouse.

And as a pastry chef, what is your best creation?

A flaky multigrain croissant, a bread dough made from mixed flours… Thanks to the ingenuity of Christian Escribà, I learned the art of nougats and pralines.

How do you teach your children to eat?

Eating together: today borage and loin; morning lentils; the other, paella, fish round and round, broth with chickpeas….

All healthy.

A neighboring farmer brings us his basket of organic vegetables every Monday, from which we grow all week.

was you raised like this

Yes, the brothers together, fight and learn that everyone has their stuff. Today we all work together in the family restaurant.

If you hadn’t been a chef, what would you have done?

surfboards. I grew up on the beach at Zarautz between the waves. I like to slide: I surf and ski. I built surfboards for a few years.

why did you leave it

Because it was difficult to combine workshop and kitchen. Now I’m giving myself the pleasure of making a board for a year to give to someone.

How are cooking and surfing the same?

When cooking or surfing, you enter a cloud and forget the world there.

If you went bankrupt what would you do?

Give me a small knife and an iron, I’ll clean a fish and feed you.