The Faces of Culture : Edorta Lamo, A Fuego Negro

edorta lamo

Edorta Lamo is a familiar face around these parts.  Edorta Lamo is one of San Sebastián’s shining culinary stars, and with reason—from his bar A Fuego Negro (which he opened with his sister, Amaia) in the Old Town of San Sebastián, to the Beltza vermouth he makes, to the playful cookbooks he has written and executed along with his longtime partners. The awards that have followed recognizing his special brand of haute cuisine, playful and linked with tradition, are numerous, including Best Pintxo Bar in Spain.  He also founded and serves as president ofSUKATALDE, an association for young cooks in the province.

*Current gig:  sukaldari, or cook
*Instagram: @afuegonegro
*Twitter: @A_Fuego_Negro
*I’m reading: PATIENCE by Daniel Clowes (a graphic novel)
*I’m listening to: Blundetto, among others.

Where are you from?
I’m from Kanpezu-Campezo, a small village in the Araba mountains on the border of Navarra.

How long have you lived in San Sebastián?
Thirteen years.

San Sebastián in one word: Agreeable and open.

What is your favorite way to experience the culture of San Sebastián?
Festivals (Jazz, terror, cine & Gastronomika), concerts and shows in Dabadaba and exhibits in San Telmo.

What is the café/bar/restaurant you find yourself in most often?
There are a few…. Paco Bueno, Ganbara, Urola, Kokotxa, Gerald's, Errota Txiki, Etxeberria, Ensanche, etc,…

What’s your perfect Saturday plan in San Sebastián?
Take an early stroll with my partner and son along the port and Paseo Nuevo. Have a vermouth with them in the old town and eat in the bars. At night, cook in A Fuego Negro and have a good beer afterwards with the staff in Akerbeltz.  If there's an interesting concert or a DJ session in Dabadaba, I run off right after work to be able to see it.

What is your favorite pintxo?
The GILDA… it is God!

The best spot for a selfie in San Sebastián?
Urgull, the Muelle or the Montaña Suiza in Igeldo..

What changes do you see happening here in the next 10 years?
More than changes, I hope to see the city rethink its identity and the path it wants to take. Especially in the two areas it's most comfortable: tourism and food.

What is the thing you hope never changes?
The food culture.

It’s January 20th, the day of San Sebastián. What are you doing?
If I’m not working, I lock myself in my house with some good movies.

In your opinion, what makes San Sebastián stand out, what makes it different?
For me the important and differentiating factor is that in Donosti you can take a walk or go out alone in the city, without the need to be accompanied by anyone.

What is the moment you have felt most proud to be donostiarra?
It's well-known that I am from humble potato origins (from Álava) but Donosti has given us opportunities that no other city would have allowed—to open a hole in the wall like A Fuego Negro. I am convinced that there are very few cities in the world that would have allowed such a concept to survive the ten years that we are turning. In this sense, Donostia makes me proud as an open city.

If San Sebastián were your best friend, what advice would you give her?
Be yourself. Take care of yourself.

If you were a foreigner, what would the ‘insider’ tip that you would like to know about San Sebastián?
The diversity of the people, the bars, and the possibilities that there are in its neighborhoods: the old town, Gros and Egia above all.

The most overrated thing about San Sebastián:

A typical day for you:
In general, in the mornings I work either in the office with the bar management or, if not, in the kitchen. Our schedule (we don't give lunch service on weekdays) allows me to go to the market, eat, and cook with my family, which is what makes me feel alive.  After, a nap with Lehoi (my son) watching The Simpsons. Then, in the afternoon, I put on my chef's jacket and I cook. At night, when I get home, I try to read or let my mind wander before I go to sleep.

That's it! Hope you enjoyed this revival of the Faces of Culture post. If there’s anyone you’re dying to hear from, leave a comment below. Read the rest of the features from 2016 here.