A week in the Basque Country with the “Two Bordelais”, Jean Pierre and Denise Moullé, this september was a delight for everyone on the tour. With François Bartaburu’s B&B in St Palais as our home base we rode though and trekked the hills and valleys of the Basque country visiting the local artisans and farmers: walking sticks and table linens as well as fresh smoked trout, black pig hams and aged ewe cheeses…everything was even more delicious after our walks. Having lived for many years in the Pays Basque I was happy to share my adopted “pays” and friends with everyone.

As Denise wrote on their website:  http://www.twobordelais.com/

“When one thinks of France what comes to mind is not necessarily the diversity of cultures that make up our small country. The Pays Basque is certainly one of the most striking example. Its persistence to keep alive its unique culture in a country that has long wanted a unified idea behind the word ‘France’ and in a world that seems to be more and more homogeneous, the Pays Basque makes us respect the differences it has been able to cultivate.

We want you to meet the local people and invite you inside private homes. We want you to learn how they live with their past history, share their passions of today and their dreams for the future.”

With Jean Pierre, chef at Chez Pannise in Berkeley, CA ,our meals were delicious with the local produce and his expert hand…in hand with his daughter, Elsa, an accomplished chef herself.

Among other local foods Michel Goicoechea’s  smoked trout,

“les Truites de Banka”,  was one of our favorites.

The trout, raised in almost their own natural stream bed,

take up to five years before they are caught and smoked.


for information on the 2012 tour check the web site: http://www.twobordelais.com/

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