We recently celebrated our 11th Txoko (Basque gastronomic society) For the uninitiated, a Txoko is a culinary-based gathering of men who collectively prepare an enormous meal and drink copious amounts of wine, beer and liquor.

We’re the only Txoko in the state of Texas. As with any good society, there are rules that must be followed: no women, no politics and no religion. We model our Txoko off the ancient social groups of Basque country and these rules must not be breeched.

Our most recent gathering saw a modest 7 courses trotted out of the kitchen. We’ve been known to go upwards of 15 but forbearance was the order of this day. At least we did manage to consume 18 bottles of wine amid the cocktails and beer drinking.

Below is the menu along with the wine pairings and intermezzo. All the men in the group pride themselves on being superb home cooks. We often ponder as to whether any group of people dine as well as we do during our quarterly gatherings.

I’m still haunted by that spit roasted chicken of all things. Sometimes the simplest dish of the entire evening wins out. Kila Cava 2009

Cheese & Cranberry Salsa Baked Goods

Segura Viudas Brut Rsv Rose

Arca Nova Vinho Verde 2011

Raats Orig Chenin Stellenbosch 08

Roasted marrow bones, chicken liver mousse, deconstructed gremolata and crostinis

T. Sant’ Antonio Scaia Rossa Corvina 2010

La Bella Vita Frappato 09

Frisee Salad with Julienne of Bacon and Poached Egg

Ch d’Oupia VDP Rouge Les Heretiques 2011

Beso de Vino 2010

Soup. – Smoked chicken and hot guts Gumbo

Lamargue Syrah Les Gr Cab 08

Prensa Real Red NV

Spanish mushrooms with garlic and parsley sauce.

Vina Borgia 09 ?, Tochuelo Red 09

Raywood Vineyards Merlot NV

Spit roasted chicken(s) with (subcutaneous) herb butter

Verdillac Rouge 2010

Wrongo Dongo 09

Montmartre Brut NV

Dessert: Spiced pumpkin cheesecake with brown sugar and bourbon creme

Uma Coleccion Torrontes 11

Chiarli 100yr Amabile NV

TRUE Prosecco di V. Pink NV

The power of the Txoko is not to be understated. I left a birthday party where 40 bottles of champagne sat on ice so that I could attend our most recent Basque gathering.

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