José Pizarro has lived in the UK for 16 years and in that time has worked at some of London’s most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Gaudí and Brindisa, where he set up and ran the tapas bars. In June 2011 he opened his first solo venture to great critical acclaim – José, a tapas and sherry bar – his proudest moment yet. The following November he opened Pizarro restaurant, a few yards from José.
José was planning to become a dental technician in Spain but when he finished his studies, he realised his love of food was bigger than his love of dentistry and completed one year of catering school in Cáceres before working in a restaurant local to his home town. In 1997 Pizarro moved to Madrid to the award-winning Meson de Doña Filo where he cooked nuevacocina and began his love affair with fresh, brightly flavoured dishes.
Jose appears regularly on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and has also appeared on UKTVFood’s Market Kitchen. He contributed to the last series of Rick Stein’s Spain and Rick Stein’s Christmas program. Recently he appears in Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose.
His first book Seasonal Spanish Food, published in Autumn 2009 by Kyle Cathie , was very well received. The book has been translated into Dutch and Spanish. A US edition has also been launched. He followed this up in 2012 with book about the food from the five regions of his homeland – Spanish Flavours published by Kyle Books – which garnered rave reviews from the British and Spanish press.
Last year he was shortlisted for an IACP award in the US, which recognises the best in cookbook talent. He has been voted ontrade personality of the year 2012 by Harpers Magazine. Pizarro restaurant has won the Food and Travel Magazine Awards (Restaurant of the Year & Newcomer of the year, 2012) and World Food Awards (Restaurant of the Year 2012).