FOURty Seconds with Eneko Atxa

30 Sep 2016
2 min read
Basque-born Eneko Atxa, claims his greatest influences, food wise, are his Mother and Grandmother. FOUR finds out more from the Three Michelin-starred chef embarks on his latest project at One Aldwych, London.

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

I’ve always had a great passion for cooking and because of the Basque culture, almost everything revolves around the pleasure of sitting in front of a good meal.

What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

The most inspiring thing for me is my homeland. I am surrounded by the sea and the mountains, marked seasons that gives us our diverse climate, and traditional and inspiring recipes.

Describe your culinary style…

I think it’s a style with a lot of strength and flavour and at the same time, it’s a style that aims to be elegant and subtle.

What would you say is the main focus/concept for the menu at One Aldwych?

It is a casual, intimate concept which aims to demonstrate to Londoners honest and simple cooking with a strong Basque inspiration.

What do you think makes a restaurant or menu sosuccessful?

A successful restaurant or menu is achieved when the cooking makes the customer feel enjoyment and pleasure.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

I don’t have an indispensable ingredient as such as I think it is the human aspect of cooking, someone who can prepare the ingredients well, that is the most essential.

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?

I aim to give guests an insight into our culture. I want every bite to offer an experience of traveling around the Basque country.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

The day I got three Michelin stars.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?

The same as always; persist, be consistent and very hard working, and listen to customers.

What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?

For now, stay focused in Bilbao and London.

What is your guilty pleasure?

salted anchovies with some Txakoli wine.

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

I have many, for example Kikunoi in Kyoto.

Find out more about Eneko Atxa’s culinary career