I was sitting in a bar in the port of San Sebastian in October 2010 during one of my many trips to Spain, looking for new ingredients and dishes for my new restaurants. I was enjoying a glass of txacoli, the local zesty dry white wine, while thinking about the theme for my new book. I churned over ideas about what it should be about: ingredients, the regions, the history, the producers and how I could bring this all together. I was getting more and more confused because there are just so many things to say about Spain. I think that Spain is like seventeen different countries all rolled into one. With the second glass of txacoli, things started to become clearer. It seemed logical to me that the regions of Spain, with their unique historical and climatic influences and their best – known ingredients, should form the basis if the book. Spain is a very large country and so it seemed simplest just to divide into the north, the east, the centre, the south and the islands.

So here it is!