The opening of Amelia in early 2017 was viewed upon with equal wonder and surprise as no expat had opened a restaurant of this calibre before in San Sebastián; the for decades globally praised food destination and one of the most Michelin-accoladed areas in the world per capita, filled with world-celebrated restaurants that draw one headliner after another; Mugaritz, Martin Berasategui, Arzak and Akelare, to name a few.

But typical for the Basque warmth then the local community welcomed Chef Paulo Airaudo’s bold move as a welcomed addition to the future culinary growth of the majestic town tucked into the lagoon shores of the Bay of Biscay.

There are a lot of reasons to love Amelia already. We picked out ten.


1. Basque gastronomy is internationally recognised, especially the Donostia-one. With their feet well anchored in traditional Basque cuisine local chefs still manages to put themselves at the forefront of innovate world gastronomy.

The Basque Country is one of the places with the most varied and complete gastronomy in the world, and the most prestigious international restaurant guide – Guide Michelin – corroborates this statement. Specifically, the Basque Country has no less than 28 stars in 19 restaurants of the three Basque provinces. San Sebastián alone has 13 Michelin stars divided on 6 restaurants,

Amelia is located in Zona Romantica, the charming neighbourhood of San Sebastián filled with fine Parisian style architecture and ornate street lamps.

See also: Amelia, the new kid on the block in the heart of San Sebastián.


2. “Product is used in its season, everything has its time and place! Everything changes, everything evolves!” – Paulo Airaudo.

The known secret behind the exquisite cuisine of San Sebastián is the caring, the knowhow; but above all it is the quality of raw materials. The production and consumption of quality food is a hallmark of Gipuzkoa and much of the success to the gastronomy lies in seasonal products, which emphasise the excellence of seafood and other raw materials.

Dig into: Amelia: The ‘caretaker’ of Basque products.


3. At Amelia you can choose between large or medium tasting menus. With no other choices Amelia is able to offer the best options according to season, day and ideas. Ensuring quality products and correct preparations for the day of your visit, the menu at the same time varies according to the product that Chef Paulo Airaudo finds on the day in the market or by change of season. 

The menu blends knowledge and skills developed during the nomadic chef’s extensive culinary endeavours through Spain, England, Scotland, Italy and Switzerland, and before this in various countries of the Latin American region.


4. The 42-seat restaurant includes 14 seats inside an open and beautiful kitchen – the beating heart of the restaurant. This space has received the same importance as the dining room regarding design and decoration and you’ll live the experience to the full when sitting in the middle of the “battle”.


5. With him to the Basque capital Paulo Airaudo brought additional culinary expats including an Italian Maître d’ and sommelier.

Let’s be honest; Amelia’s wine selection is peculiar. Mario, the sommelier, moves away from the common but he makes a remarkable match with each dish. Although Amelia have local options then biodynamic Italian selections predominate. Selections which Mario masters with talent. Some might criticise it beforehand, but when you try it you can’t help both admire and love it.


6. Paulo Airaudo was born in Córdoba, Argentina. A place where meat, grill and Chimichurri command. This strong influence can’t be missed in the menus, and in a slightly informal way the Argentinean chef takes guests back to his roots with the best quality meat and jars of delicious homemade salsas.


7. In the dining room gray tones and natural materials such as wood stand out and is characterised by its minimalist, almost Nordic approach and flavoured with comics art, small Mario Bros figures, Star Wars paintings and gadgets that refer to Pop Art culture and the early 90’s when Paulo grew up. 

Play with: Paulo Airaudo: The Super Mario of Fine Dining.

8. Great technique, with local product. Spring onion & black garlic sauce. Simplicity perfectly executed.


9.  Just after having opened Amelia the fearless Chef Airaudo instigated San Sebastián Dinner Series; six collaboration dinners extraordinaire a year, each of two days, inviting a diverse range of interesting chefs to the majestic and heavily Michelin-accoladed Basque town tucked into the lagoons of Bay of Biscay.

Put your fork into: The latest edition of San Sebastián Dinner Series.

10. With the same quality, care and affection shown in the dishes, the menu is finalised with creative petit fours that make the experience great until the last minute. Fruits, Stormtrooper-chocolate and perfect made Canelees filled with Dulce de Leche. How’s that for indulgement.


Bonus. “My family loves San Sebastián. I love San Sebastián. We’re happy here which is the main reason to build this restaurant. At the same time this magical town has the eye of chefs and foodies globally upon it, which in a way makes it possible for me to offer my food to the world.” – Paulo Airaudo.

After 14 years of cooking and seeking culinary excellence all over the world, the nomad chef has finally found his home – even naming the ambitious endeavour after his 2-year-old daughter, Amelia, which means this time he’s here to stay.

This time it’s personal.

Feast upon: Paulo Airaudo on the opening of Amelia in San Sebastián.

Chef Paulo Airaudo exclusively offers his excellence to lectures, food festivals, consultancy and tantalising dinner parties.

In case of interest or/and press, please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:



Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.


Hungry for more? Have a look at Behind the Scenes

Photos: David Egui, Mikel Marín, Alex Teuscher.