Dentistry or food? Yes, believe it or not, Spanish chef, José Pizarro considered both career paths, but thankfully his love of food was just too strong and he had no choice but to leave his passion for dentistry at the kitchen door. Originally from Cáceres, José, has now lived in London for over 18 years, and is often described as the Godfather of Spanish cooking in the UK. In that time, he has worked at some of London’s most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Brindisa and Gaudi.
In 2011, Londoners were delighted when José opened his first solo venture, José Tapas Bar on Bermondsey Street, and has since gone on to open two further restaurants in the Capital: Pizarro, just a few yards from José Tapas, and José Pizarro at Broadgate Circle.
José is a popular face on TV too! A regular on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, José has also appeared on Sunday Brunch, Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose and Rick Stein’s Christmas. Most recently he was part of the debut series of The Wine Show, where he championed two of his favourite things, sherry & clams! José’s first two books, Seasonal Spanish Food (Kyle Books, 2009) and Spanish Flavours (Kyle Books, 2012) launched to great critical acclaim. His third book, Basque, published by Hardie Grant last year, has been his most exciting work to date. In May 2014 José was voted one of ‘100 españoles’ – a hugely prestigious award which showcases the top influencial 100 Spaniards around the world. José loves nothing more than flying the flag for his homeland, so this award was particularly close to his heart.
José is a regular on the food festival scene, and was most recently found at the stoves at some of his favourite events, including The Big Feastival and Taste of London. José believes that tapas is for all, and that home cooks don’t have to be scared off by the idea of cooking lots of dishes!
José is kicking off 2017 in style with a collaboration with Tonkotsu and being part of this year’s Who’s Cooking Dinner? with a host of London’s best chefs. He’s also excited to be working on his 4th book, all about the food of Catalonia, which is due for release in October. He’ll also be off to Spain to film as part of a new series with AOL.
José can’t wait to be back on the main stage at The Big Feastival!