Juan Mari Arzak

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Juan Mari Arzak
Con Juan Mari y Elena Arzak.jpg
circa 2010
Juan Mari Arzak Arratibel

(1942-07-31) 31 July 1942 (age 80)
Culinary career
Cooking styleNew Basque cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
Award(s) won
  • Universal Basque, 2008

Juan Mari Arzak Arratibel (born July 31, 1942)[1] is a Spanish chef, the owner and chef for Arzak restaurant.[2] He is considered to be one of the great masters of New Basque cuisine. He describes his cooking as "signature cuisine, Basque cuisine that's evolutionary, investigatory, and avant-garde."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Arzak was an only child born to Juan Ramon Arzak and Francisca Arratibel in San Sebastián, Spain.[2][3] He spent much of his childhood in his grandparents' restaurant. Later, Juan Mari Arzak's parents took over control of the restaurant. Juan Mari Arzak's father died in 1951, after which time his mother continued to run the restaurant until he took over control of the restaurant. Juan Mari Arzak has two daughters, Marta and Elena, with Maite Espina.[2]

Professional life[edit]

Arzak said that his interest in cooking began at birth, and that in his childhood he would help in his family's restaurant. However, his real interest in cuisine didn't begin until his time at a hotel management school in Madrid.[3] After Arzak's mandatory time in the military, he returned to his family's restaurant and began training as a chef, during which time he was responsible for roasting meat. Since he took over the restaurant, the restaurant has garnered much praise, and received 3 Michelin stars in 1989.[2] In 2008 Arzak received the "Universal Basque" award for "adapting gastronomy, one of the most important traditions of the Basque Country, to the new times and making of it one of the most innovative of the world".[4] He trained his daughter Elena Arzak (1969-), who has won the "Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef" at the "World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards",[5] to take over the restaurant.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Juan María Arzak - Juan María Arzak -". Archived from the original on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e "ARZAK". Archived from the original on 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  3. ^ a b c Ruta del Vino de Rioja Alavesa. (2009, Winter) En los fogones con... Juan Mari Arzak. Rioja Alavesa Magazine, 0(2), 16-23.
  4. ^ "Noticias última hora de hoy | EITB Noticias".
  5. ^ "Elena Arzak: Head chef at Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian".