At Vojo we’ve always said that there are as many reasons for pilgrimage as there are people who do el Camino, and because of this, we wanted to follow and support a tasty initiative started by Ana Fernández and Juan Cabanzón, two young chefs from the Basque Culinary Center who are convinced that good cooking can be found beyond big cities and Michelin Star restaurants. They’ve started el Camino del Norte planning to visit all the places that, as they say, “have the real magic of cooking, where tomatoes ripen in the sunlight or in coastal towns where the fish that is served comes directly from the sea”.
From now, until the end of their gastronomic journey, these partners and friends will share all the places they visit and all the products and dishes they taste, with the hope of making us able to see their particular view of the world of cooking (a world that, for many of us, ends as soon as we fry an egg, haha). To do this, we are introducing a new section of our magazine that will be called, “A Journey You Can Eat.” We hope that you enjoy it and that this interesting point of view brings you closer to el Camino.
I thought that I was going to this university to become a great chef, but after three years of studying, I have completely ruled out that idea.
Like many other young people, this 20 year old from Seville faced a dilemma after finishing her bachelor’s degree. Moved by impulse and influenced by the idea set by society that says that we should study this or that so that we can enter into the workforce with a guarantee of success, Ana ruled out studying professional cooking until, one day, by coincidence, she learned of the existence of Basque Culinary, which at the time was the only educational institution in Spain that offered a degree in gastronomy.
Once there, Ana saw how her idea of becoming a great chef had evolved to point that she abandoned it completely so that she could focus on other aspects of gastronomy like, bread making, agriculture, oenology, or the entrepreneurial sector of gastronomy. Definitely betting on local, artisanal, and sustainable produced products.
It only took me one intensive cooking course and a first quarter of algebra for me to realize that my place wasn’t between generators and electromagnets.
Juan was sure what he wanted to study after finishing high school, or at least he thought he was. Following his plan, he started studying industrial engineering in Madrid, and he is being literal when he says that it only took one intensive cooking course and one quarter of algebra for him to realize that he belonged in cooking. So, he went to Basque Culinary Center, where more than just developing, he has also been able to understand the many jobs there are left to be done in the food sector in Spain.
In this three years of studying he developed what he calls his “small obsession” for the search for the best products and the people behind them. An obsession that intensified after his time in various kitchens and an Spanish wine importer in the UK. This will be his third Camino, but the first in which his fascination with cooking and el Camino will unite.
Don’t miss their articles; I’m sure they’ll increase your appetite and desire to begin el Camino!.