If food is important in any aspect of life, it is even more at almost 5,000 meters of altitude, where we have installed our base camp. And, of course, for me it is essential the help of a great cook and friend who has accompanied me in 4 expeditions: Eneko Garamendi. Without him, everything would be much more complicated. I have been telling you things about these days but I think  the subject of food deserves its own chapter. May those lines thank Eneko, a great altitude chef

As you can imagine, it is not easy to cook in these circumstances. First, because we have to bring a lot of food to feed everybody  here. It is not the same to have to prepare food for 2 people or for a dozen (another day I will tell you who team members are). And, then, because having fresh food is impossible and that complicates everything a lot.

As good basque people we are, we love to eat (thanks to BM Supermarkets, which provided us with a lot of food for the expedition) and we give great importance to this aspect. If you want, ask my partner and friend Simone Moro. I quote the beautiful words he told Eneko: “of all the expeditions that I have been, this is, without a doubt, the one where I am eating the best. I dream of the menu you prepare ”. The truth is that after the beans he ate, I understand him. Anyone would have said the same. They were spectacular. 

Breakfast -coffee with omelette or boiled eggs and some cookies- is usually prepared by our Nepalese colleagues Ringi and Raju, the cooks working for the Sherpas with us. They always bring their own cooks because they don’t usually eat what we prepare. Normally, they eat dal baht, the typical Nepalese recipe. Eneko always offers them our food. They try it, they say thank you very politely, but that’s all. Everybody has its own traditions, I suppose. And I love seeing all this variety and mixture of cultures

After breakfast, sometimes we make our ‘hamaiketako’ (typical basque snack at around 11 in the morning) and we prepare for lunch. We eat everything and very varied: cod, lentils with knuckle, entrecote (thanks, Cárnicas Alejandro Goya!), chicken, chorizo (Palacios has helped us a lot), duck, paellas … As you can imagine, pasta is usually the elite dish, for all that it brings us. Eneko mixes it with everything, from minced meat to canned vegetables. Speaking about tinned food, we eat a lot of tuna, anchovies or sardines, provided by our sponsor Isabel.

As I was saying, it is impossible to have fresh food, it immediately freezes and then it doesn’t look so good. In this sense, it is very difficult for us to eat fruit, because it is very difficult to maintain it properly. But we cannot pretend to eat like at home, although we are very close since Eneko joined the team. After lunch, in the middle of the afternoon, we like to have coffee and cookies for a snack and, before going to bed, we have dinner. Most of the time soup, which with a couple of glasses provides us with half the daily water we need. 

We store meat and fish in drums outside the tents. There they are kept frozen. We have the rest distributed in every tent, always in a safe place. Eneko has everything under control (and guarded). He has everything so calculated that I think he thought about what we will eat on the 30th day of the expedition … but we need him to do it that way. Food, as I was saying, is essential in this type of adventure. Eskerrik asko sukaldari!