I remember it as if it were yesterday. My parents had sent me to Spain to turn me into the worst lawyer in history. I took a train to San Sebastian and booked for dinner at Arzak. There I was, alone, 19 years old, in Spain's most famous three-Michelin-star restaurant, sweating over whether I'd have enough money to pay the bill. There was scorpion fish encased in light pastry; prawns served over crunchy noodles—at the time, avant-garde treatments of local ingredients. These dishes celebrated Basque seafood and cooking traditions while carrying them into the future. Then the chef, Juan Mari Arzak, appeared, smiling and talking with all the tables, attentively listening, speaking with pride of his town, his region, his fellow chefs. I knew, then and there, that I would turn my dream of being a chef into a reality.