About Us — Leaders in Food Tours in San Sebastián

Hi there, nice to meet you!

KAIXO, or, hello in Basque! I’m Gregory, an international chef who has been living, eating, and drinking in San Sebastián for over 10 years.

I lead food tours and day trips, work as a culinary consultant, and host wine tastings and cooking classes.

I am extremely passionate about my adopted home in the Basque Country and love sharing its delicious side with visitors.

It’s this passion that inspired me to curate a diverse range of chef-led food tours in San Sebastián, La Rioja Wine Country Experiences, and other Basque Country tours.

My Background in the US and Europe

As a professional chef for over ten years, I spent the bulk of my tenure in California. I worked in restaurants, as a private chef for celebrity clients, and as an event producer all over California and the United States.

I was also active in the wine industry as both a sales rep and a winemaker’s apprentice at Peay Vineyards in Sonoma.

Back in the 2000s, I caught the eye of the Discovery Channel who tapped me to blog, produce, and host cooking shows for their network.

Being a TV chef was fun, but it wasn’t long before I was back in the kitchen training adult men and women fresh out of prison to get culinary jobs.

Through this experience, I won a James Beard Foundation Scholarship to attend Le Cordon Bleu Paris.

Falling for the Cuisine, Culture, Heritage, and Pintxo Bars in San Sebastián

After my studies, I worked at a traditional brasserie in the city before hitting the road for a year of sabbatical to work on organic farms throughout rural France & Spain. I lived & worked in Brittany, Provence, Lyon, Valencia & the Canary Islands. I learned about permaculture & how to make goat cheese, sourdough & olive oil. Throughout the course of my travels I kept hearing about a mythical town named San Sebastián & decided to make it my last stop. I never left!

When I landed in the Basque Country I was exposed to an ancient European culture absolutely obsessed with celebrating the seasons in communal kitchens, around dining room tables & in bars. I found home.

One of my favorite things here is the unique pintxo culture found in nearly all bars. Pintxos, think Basque tapas, are small plates that range from classic down-home cooking to exquisite works of art.

Locals love to form small groups and make a night, or a boozy lunch, out of a glorified bar-hop.

But visitors entering pintxo bars in San Sebastián are frequently left in the dark, not knowing how to order, what to eat, or what to drink.

As a self-proclaimed pintxo ambassador, I founded Basque Bites to share this dynamic culinary culture with friends and guests.

Another aspect of the culture that I love is the drinking. San Sebastián boasts incredible hard cider producers, award-winning craft beer makers, and is next door to several renowned wine appellations.

Through my extensive tours and tastings, it wasn’t long before I became a “garagiste”, or artisanal winemaker.

With our close proximity to La Rioja, Navarra, and Getariako Txakoli appellations, I have access to some of the best grapes in the world.

I specialize in producing natural organic wines in tiny batches that total around 10 cases a year—enough to make my friends and family extremely happy!

Having studied the Basque language (Euskara) for several years now, my personal connection and friendship with locals have deepened and grown. Basque is the native language of the region and speaking it is the only way to get truly local.

This, along with my active participation in cultural events, has endeared me to the fishmongers and butchers at the markets, the chefs and bartenders in the tabernas, and the grandparents putting around town—my adopted family.

I absolutely love San Sebastián and the Basque Country and cannot wait to share its culture, history, cuisine, and my insatiable passion for it all with you.

If you have any questions about my chef-led food tours in San Sebastián, Spain, or any other Basque Country tours I run, please feel free to get in touch.

Looking For Something a Little More Custom?

Contact Basque Bites today to begin your journey!