Who + What: As the Basque people say, “The carnival is coming!”
La Tamborrada is a festival held annually on January 20, in San Sebastián, Spain. At midnight, the town gathers in Konstituzio Plaza in Old Town to watch the mayor raise the San Sebastián flag to officially commence the 24-hour festival. From midnight to midnight, the streets come alive with Donostiarras, or the people of San Sebastian, who dress as cooks and soldiers and march in drumming groups across various parts of the city. Known as one of Spain’s loudest parties, la Tamborrada takes over the city with echoes of the “March of San Sebastián” song that drummers beat all day until the celebration finishes the following midnight and the flag is lowered.
In addition to drums, la Tamborrada is a festival that honors San Sebastián’s distinctive food culture. The drummers dressed in chef uniforms pay tribute to the city’s culinary clubs, known as sociedades gastronómicas. At Cooks & Soldiers, guests are invited to celebrate with Basque specialties presented by executive chef Landon Thompson. For $40 per person, guests will enjoy unlimited pintxos and bites from various stations throughout the space, each highlighting different flavors of Basque country such as talo on the plancha tortilla and chuletón, as well as other signature menu items including bikinis and “chistorra in a blanket.” Guests can pay an additional $20 for unlimited txakoli, beer and cider, or opt for a la carte cider, txakoli, gin and tonics and beer by the glass for $5 each.
When + Where: On Wednesday, January 20, Cooks & Soldiers will halt regular service to pay homage to its Basque namesake by hosting a Tamborrada celebration. From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., guests at Cooks & Soldiers will be transported to the lively streets of San Sebastián to honor the occasion with Tamborrada traditions and Basque specialties. Throughout the evening, Cooks & Soldiers will entertain guests with Tamborrada rituals including chef processions through the dining room; Basque-style dancing and drumming; and a live stream projection of the celebration in San Sebastián. The event will conclude with a complimentary, passed brandy and churro toast at midnight.