The entire nine-person staff of Boise’s Basque Market will travel to the Basque Country, Euskadi, on Feb. 13. The lucky crew will enjoy a a seven-day immersion in wine, food and culture.
Last summer, market owners Tony Eiguren and Tara McElhose-Eiguren were traveling there and got the idea to bring the entire staff on a future trip, said Shea Sutton, the market’s unofficial manager and “jack of all trades.”
The Eigurens pitched the idea that the staff pool all gratuities in a communal travel fund. The staff liked the idea. A little less than a year later, they’d saved thousands of dollars. That — plus an extra donation from the Eigurens — is paying for the trip, said Sutton.
“We’re all really excited. Several of us have never even had a passport before,” Sutton said.
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The aim of the trip is to tour wineries, cheesemakers, sagardotegi (cider houses) and historic sites, then bring that inspiration home for local diners.
“We’ll be eating a lot of interesting things and getting pincho (“small snack”) ideas to bring back,” Sutton said.
The market will be closed from Feb. 13-22, but will reopen on Feb. 23 and host a paella dinner that night at 6 p.m. The dinner will include treats inspired by the trip as well as a free wine tasting from 5-7 p.m.
Other special events inspired by the trip include a visit from Dayne Bower from the Euskadi winery Camino Alto on First Thursday, March 2. Hear his stories from the Basque Country and enjoy free wine tasting.
The Basque Market will also host the Camino Alto Winery five-course wine dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 3. Jake Arredondo, along with Bower, will guide diners through an authentic Basque dining experience. Market chefs will pair five courses with Basque wines. Reservations are required. $60 includes food and wine, gratuity not included.
Basque Market fans can also follow the crew’s adventures abroad via Facebook.