This 3-star chef has been astonishing the culinary world for a long time. He is known for his quest for ultimate perfection and the resulting technical talents he has acquired along the way. How far he is willing to take this obsession becomes clear once you look behind the scenes and into his 400-m2 (4300 ft2) kitchen. Here, you will find 50 chefs had at work for 40 seats in the restaurant! His mother and aunt once ran a modest restaurant in San Sebastian whilst his father was a butcher. Martín joined them in the kitchen at age 13 and moved to France to attend the famous National School of Yssingeaux to learn pâtisserie five years later. After that, he worked as an apprentice in a butcher’s shop and a bakery, going on to become a chef in a restaurant. His career took an interesting turn when he met Michel Guérard’s right-hand-man in Granada, Didier Oudill. Didier became a godfather to Martín and he went on to take over the family restaurant. He was soon awarded his first star and opened his own restaurant in 2001 in the Basque Country. Today, Martín is a celebrity, an owner of several restaurants and guest on numerous Spanish cookery programmes. His cuisine may look simple, but it is the result of thousands of different techniques. When we asked him about veal, his answer was short yet sweet: “Veal has become quite important in the Basque Country in a very short amount of time. For me, it really is a culinary treasure: one that is refined, elegant and subtle. Veal as a product is the most beautiful example of authenticity.”
Wash and brunoise the vegetables and sweat in half of the oil. Season the veal cheeks with salt and pepper and sear well in the rest of the oil. Flambé with the cognac and deglaze with the port and the wine. Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and add to the pan with the finely-chopped pineapple. Put the vegetables on top and cover with the bouillon. Simmer on a low heat until the meat is cooked. Remove the meat from the liquid and leave to cool. Cut the meat into triangles and put to one side. Remove the vanilla pod from the liquid and blend until smooth, and then pass it through a fine-mesh sieve. To make the sauce, mix the required amount of the liquid from the veal cheeks with black sesame seeds until smooth and simmer for 15 minutes. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and pour over the veal cheeks. Dress the meat on a plate with the sauce. Add the parsley and sugar to the yoghurt so that it turns green and drizzle over the top. Finish with some olive oil and chervil leaves.
olive oil, freshly-picked chervil.
For the veal cheeks
2 good-quality veal cheeks (400g each), 100ml vegetable oil, 2 onions, 2 leeks, 2 shallots, 2 carrots, 100ml cognac, 250ml red port, 500ml red wine, 25g fresh pineapple, 1 vanilla pod, 750ml veal bouillon.
For the black sesame sauce
200g liquid from the veal cheeks, 80g black sesame seeds.
For the green yoghurt
100g yoghurt, 15g sugar, 10g parsley puree.
Mix ingredients for the mojo to a smooth paste in a blender and set to one side. For the bouillon, bring the poultry stock to the boil with the passion fruit juice and sherry. Add the semolina and cook for 5 minutes more. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and thicken with xanthan gum. For the sauce, bring some more of the stock to the boil, add the semolina and then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the olive oil. For the marinated nuts, chop the tigernuts and marinate in soy sauce. For the coloured skins, place the sheets of obulato paper tightly next to each other on silicon mat. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sprinkle with isomaltose and bake in an oven for 1 minute at 190°C/375°F. Sprinkle tarragon, paprika flakes and colouring agents on the individual sheets separately, and bake for another 10 seconds in the oven. Put to one side to cool. Season the meat with salt and pepper and coat generously with the mojo. Grill both sides on a charcoal barbecue then cut each of the pieces of meat into three parts. Arrange the meat on a plate with a sheet of each of the coloured obulato papers in between, then garnish with the sauce and the buttered nuts.
4 portions of veal tenderloin (90g each).
For the mojo
50g millet (boiled), 50g deep-fried bread, 1 small grilled tomato, 10g olive oil, 15g hazelnut paste, 7g balsamic vinegar, 15g oyster sauce, 20g water.
For the bouillon
250g poultry stock, 1g xanthan gum, 40g P.X. sherry, 20g passion fruit juice, 50g semolina.
For the sauce
50g blanched semolina, 150g stock (see recipe above), 2 dstspn olive oil.
For the coloured skins
36 sheets of obulato paper 6 x 2cm, 50g isomaltose powder, 10g ground tarragon, 10g paprika flakes, 5g safflower, 5g red colouring (from cochineal).
For the marinated nuts
10g soaked tigernuts (chufas), 50g soy sauce.
Mix the ingredients for the mojo sauce to a smooth paste and season with fleur de sel and freshly-ground pepper and ginger. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper shortly before serving and rub on the mojo sauce. Fry on the plancha until golden brown. For the mango sauce, slice the meat finely and sear in olive oil, then add the chopped vegetables. Cover with water and reduce slowly. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve and season with olive oil, chopped chives and the mango just before serving. For the jam, cook the leaves for 2 hours in water, drain off the liquid and add the sugar. Then thicken with the xanthan gum. Mix the ingredients for the sour coulis and put to one side. For the sweet coulis, mix all of the ingredients except the grapes, and bring to the boil. Then add the grapes and leave to cool. For the spicy coulis, mix all of the ingredients and bring them to the boil. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Arrange all of the elements harmoniously on a plate.
4 portions of veal tenderloin (90g each), fresh mint, juniper berries.
For the mojo sauce
1/2 poached onion, 50g red wine, 1 deep-fried clove of garlic, 15g Brazil nut praline, 15g roasted almonds, fleur de sel, freshly-ground black pepper, fresh ginger.
For the mango sauce
200g veal rib, 3 onions, 4 leeks, 1 bouquet garni, 200ml olive oil, chopped chives, 15g mango (peeled).
For the hibiscus jam
50g hibiscus leaves, 1l water, 125g sugar, xanthan gum (1g xanthan gum per 250g liquid).
For the sour coulis
125g hibiscus bouillon (see hibiscus jam), 35g sugar, 0.5g xanthan gum.
For the sweet coulis
50g chopped grapes, 50g red wine, 25g sugar, 0.5g xanthan gum.
For the spicy coulis
100g centrifuged pimento, 50g centrifuged chives, 0.5g xanthan gum, sugar.