Ever since Luis was a child, the memories of his grandmothers have been engraved on his heart. His grandmother Balbina was from Riaño, León. When they visited her, they would gather around the ‘hornera’, a tiny kitchen where chorizos, morcillas and other products where hung, with a small wood fire so they could be dried and smoked, which enhanced their flavour.
His other grandmother, Crescencia, was from Fuentespina, Burgos. Her family were bakers who worked with wood-fired ovens, a tradition that goes back seven generations. Life took place at the bakery.
The opportunity to create a project arose in 2014. We would open a restaurant in the Gourmet Experience area at El Corte Inglés in Málaga, which would be ready to serve in the summer of 2015. There was much to think about and many challenges to face. In just 45 metres square, we would not only have to cook haute cuisine, but in that same space we would also have to sit down the clients and place the cash register — we would not go far without charging — as well as the dish-washing station, the drinks and beverages, and… it was a jigsaw puzzle. However, it was very clear for us that we wanted our clients to feel part of our team and experience the same feeling Luis remembered from when he was a child and spent time with his grandmothers in the best place of the house… the kitchen.
That is where the motto of the first Txoko (which is closed nowadays) came from:
“El Txoko, a small place… a gathering place… the power of fire… the heat of the kitchen… the values of tradition… friendship, memories… innovation.”
The Cuisine From North to South
We wanted to offer the best products of the land, cooked with mastery and on the spot, and we wanted that the client could experience what a busy kitchen during lunch or dinner service was like, too. We were not afraid. When you have the best products and you can show them, what is stopping you from sharingthat knowledge with your diners? The only problem in that situation is that if something went wrong it would be due to human factor, and on top of that, it would happen right in front of the client, who would be observing you at close quarters.
When we managed to give shape to the project, we realised that our concept had no name. As with many things in life, by chance, someone said: “It looks like a txoko”. Let’s see… Txoko is a Basque word that means a small place, but also a private bar and gathering place with restricted access, limited to friends or members of the club… That was it, we had a name!
As time and experience went by, we realised that that name put a label on us. Labels are precisely something we have always tried to avoid, so we took into account our values and what we could offer to create a new name. Since Luis is a strong and sturdy lad from the North, and Teresa, a Córdoba born-and-raised woman, from the South; since in the North txoko is a place for just friends or members of a club, whereas in Andalucía choco is the word used for cuttlefish… we came up with a new name, mixing both terms: EL TXOCO, THE CUISINE FROM NORTH TO SOUTH.
El Txoco… the cuisine from North to South… a gathering place… the power of fire… the heat of the memories… our values… our tradition… our products… innovation.
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Friday and Saturday
12am – 23:00pm
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(+34) 952 25 07 15
(+34) 616 64 16 15
Paseo Javier López, Plaza Marina Banús, Bloque 2 Local 3. Puerto Banús 29660, Marbella (Málaga)