"To know how to eat is to know enough."-- Old Basque Saying Nestled among the Pyrenees, on both sides of the French-Spanish border, the Basque country is renowned as much for its fine culinary traditions as for its rugged terrain and the independent spirit of its people. Basque cooks are widely considered among the best in Europe, combining their love of fresh, simple ingredients with time-honored techniques. The joy of cooking and eating are central to Basque culture. In San Sebastián and throughout the region, men belong to cooking clubs, dedicated to the preservation of their outstanding cultural and culinary heritage. Outside the cooking societies, simple family meals turn into feasts of mammoth proportions, and everywhere conversation invariably turns to good food and the pursuit of it. The Basque Kitchen, lusciously illustrated with photographs of the Basque region as well as its famous dishes, is the first major cookbook to explore Basque cooking on both sides of the border. Basque native Gerald Hirigoyen, named one of America s best chefs by Food & Wine magazine, celebrates the food and memories of his beloved homeland. He shares recipes for his favorite Basque specialties, from traditional renditions of Salt Cod "al Pil-Pil" and Pipérade to sumptuous soups, salads, meat, poultry, game, and of course, more seafood, all built on a bounty of fresh ingredients and carefully presented for the home cook. Hirigoyen's splendid interpretations have made his two San Francisco restaurants, Fringale and Pastis, critical favorites.