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Bilbao to Beijing

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-13 07:30
Eneko Atxa (right) leads a team of chefs from Spain to prepare for a gala dinner in Beijing as part of the ongoing Taste the World events. [Photo by Zhang Zefeng/China Daily]

Eneko Atxa is transporting the authentic flavors of his three-star Michelin restaurant in Spain to the Chinese capital - lock, stock and barrel.

Chef Eneko Atxa is carefully placing two petals on the fried pork to add the finishing touch to the plating, as his fellow chefs busy themselves with other preparations.

One chef is squeezing a herb sauce onto the blank plates before another paints the sauce with a knife. Two other chefs are taking over the work of placing the pork and drizzling it with meat broth.

Under the sous chef's supervision, each of the 60 ready-to-go plates are served.

This fluent teamwork is not being demonstrated at Atxa's own 3-star Michelin restaurant, Azurmendi, in Bilbao in northern Spain, but is actually taking place in Beijing.

To prepare for this gala dinner in Beijing, Atxa closed his three restaurants in Spain and the United Kingdom and flew his entire team, fresh ingredients and all, to the Chinese capital to serve up the authentic flavors of Spanish food and wine.

It's the opening night of a series of Taste the World events hosted by Wine & Wine, the Faustino Group and Atxa, which are aimed at uniting Spanish gastronomy with the country's flagship wine region. The event will continue in Spain and the UK over the coming months.

Born in 1977 in the Basque Country of Spain, Atxa started his culinary career at the Catering College of Leoia at the age of 15. He opened his own restaurant, Azurmendi, in Bilbao in 2005. Since then he has won dozens of awards, including several "best chef" titles from local, national and international culinary bodies.

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