The chef who taught Spain how to cook on the small screen has already successor. Joseba Arguinano (Zarautz, 1985) was slow to assume the paternal heritage Carlos Arguinano: the love for cooking and a naturalness that explodes in two ETB programmes, ‘Sukalerrian’ and ‘Historias a bocados’. The latest is a recipe book published by Planeta.
He was born in 1985 and his father was already on television in 1989. He has always seen him on the small screen.
Ever since I can remember, Aita has been on TV with her business. At home, I remember the mother and the aunt with the children. We had to turn on the TV to see it, ha ha.
They are seven brothers, a big family of those who are no more.
30 years ago at the ikastola we were already the few. A marvel, we never had time to get bored.
He only sees advantages.
All. You learn a lot, my brothers gave me vitality not to be still at all times.
Is Karlos Arguiñano a father as excited as on TV?
Aita’s success is how natural he tried to be on screen like in real life. For his children, he was like an artist, he was not a father or a dictator boss, he always let us choose what we wanted. At home when you do something wrong, you are not told anything, a look is enough.
You didn’t want to be a cook when you were little.
I grew up in a restaurant, I saw the stress of summer, the working hours; when everyone else has red on the calendar, you have black. I wasn’t a very good student, I was good at arts and crafts and math, but I never liked letters. When I finished ESO, I joined the aita cooking school. I learned pastry in Barcelona, I went to Australia with the excuse of English and I was surfing…
He opens a bakery to supply his father’s restaurant.
Now I have three stores with 80 people. And then there is TV, where I also started out as a pastry chef. He suffered a lot alone, in front of four projectors, stuttering, nervous. I realized that I couldn’t speak Spanish. Another thing was visiting cities, chatting with people… I’m very wild.
Did comparisons with his father scare him?
Of course, especially when he was on set. But if you are a footballer and you are compared to Messi… Aita was a pioneer, a crack, what he did is a bit exorbitant. He advised me to go there myself; if it wasn’t worth it, then keep making croissants.
Thanks to his father, I know how to cut onions without getting on my fingers or how to get the smell of garlic off my hands.
He has been in every house, there is no one in Spain who does not know him. And they thank you.
Hey, haven’t we gone a little crazy with the cooks?
Without a doubt. Michelin stars are great, but you have to make sustainable and healthy food. My father always tried to teach cooking at home, long before those who put English terms on Instagram.
In ‘MasterChef’ do we learn cooking?
You learn, sure, but it’s a reality show. No need to go out of phase and switch to traditional cuisine. Spherifications and foams are not necessary for success.
He has two sons aged seven and four. The elder wants to follow in the footsteps of aitite and aita.
We’ll see. This one thinks that being a chef is like being a chef on TV… He’s like me: not very literary and very cunning.
What dish could you not forget from your childhood?
My mom’s scrambled eggs for dinner with baked potatoes and poached onions.