Mahaia Kolektiboa, the stoves of the new Basque cuisine

Mahaia Kolektiboa is a collective of chefs committed to the evolution of Basque cuisine, supported by Basque Culinary Center. In April 2021 they presented “Sutondoan”, a book linked to the local products, region and gastronomic culture. 40 years after the explosion of what became known as new Basque cuisine, this collective takes a step forward to perpetuate the legacy received.

A book in the age of digital communication and social networks? That’s right, because at Mantala we like both traditional and innovative things, as is the case with the book “Sutondoan”, which combines both visions of Basque cuisine: the more traditional and the more modern.

40 years after the foundation of the new Basque cuisine, the Mahaia collective, formed by 16 chefs, is here to update the legacy received from the great masters and take a leap forward. One step further. “Local products are our group’s defining feature, as well as being open, because we are not closed to anyone”, they state.

The book “Sutondoan” is the Mahaia collective’s declaration of intent, so to speak. In it, they show the group’s link to the product, the region and the local gastronomic culture. “It’s a book that brings together the tradition and innovation of Basque cuisine, acknowledging the work of small producers, preserving the knowledge of a generation under an innovative perspective”, they say.

This work is one of the first dishes to come out of the kitchen of Mahaia Kolektiboa, a collective formed by 16 restaurateurs, the children of a hybrid generation who are already highly renowned. In the book the producers, farmers or fishers are the main characters. Because without people there’s no gastronomy, but of course without a product there isn’t any either.

These 16 restaurant industry professionals have received an important legacy from their predecessors, but they have also contributed their own innovative vision in their dishes and creations.  Put differently, it’s like someone who learned to make their grandmother’s croquettes, but who sometimes also likes to prepare a sushi dish in the purest Japanese style.

Members of the collective include Aitor Arregi, Igor Arregi, Pili Manterola, Gorka Txapartegi, Jon Ayala, Iñigo Lavado, Xabier Gorrotxategi, Enrique Fleischmann, Roberto Ruiz, Pablo Loureiro, Rubén Trincado, Ander González, Dani López, Ismael Iglesias, Aizpea Oihaneder and Xabier Díez.

The Mahaia collective emerges from the legacy of great chefs such as Irizar, Arzak and Subijana to guarantee the evolution of Basque cuisine. To do so, they support activities that promote sustainability, quality, innovation and the sector’s development.

Sutondoan is available via Basque Culinary Center’s online shop and is “a letter written with both hands”, focusing on Basque culture and traditions as an “important asset to innovate in products and preparations”.

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