Olaia Fernández de la Cuadra, chef
“In Portuondo we always have grilled fish from local ports”
There are many different things about Portuondo. Above all, it is a great restaurant with a cuisine on a par with the best terrace to be found in Urdaibai. That is saying a lot. And it is also a brewery and a campsite, built around a farmhouse whose history dates back to the 16th century.
Since 1960, three generations have seen and participated in the growth of Urdaibai as a holiday destination. Campers, crowds of surfers, holidaymakers and, more recently, foodies have all arrived.
Olaia Fernández de la Cuadra, 25 years old, is the kitchen’s master chef. “Our menu is based on tradition, but with a modern twist, and what is never lacking is good grilled fish from nearby ports”, says the young chef, trained at the Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Bilbao and trained at Eneko Atxa’s prestigious ‘Azurmendi’.
Portuondo is located in the center of two of the great fishing centers of the Bay of Biscay: Bermeo and Ondarroa. “We also offer stewed boletus, marinated red tuna or grilled octopus”, he adds, as if to set the appetite on edge.
She is joined by her brother Iker, sommelier and head waiter. “We were lucky enough to be born here, to grow up helping in the catering business and to be attracted to different areas of the restaurant business”, Olaia points out.
Anyone who comes to Portuondo should “take the opportunity to visit San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, towards Bakio, or thehermitage of San Pedro de Atxarre, in Ibarrangelu”. These are two exceptional viewpoints. “The boat trip from Bermeo is also highly recommended”, adds the chef. When she is free, she visits “Laida beach bar or the bars in the port of Mundaka”. Take her word for it, Olaia was born and raised in Urdaibai.
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