We recently got the chance to celebrate five years of José Pizarro’s restaurants in a sumptuous tapas feast. And we took the opportunity to get behind the scenes with the man himself…

Three words to describe your tapas bar and restaurants…

Fun vibes and happy, good times.

What inspired you to become a chef?

My love for food and people.

Who or what do you consider to be your biggest influences along your culinary journey?

Julio Reoyo, David Eyre and Arzak, the restaurant in San Sebastián.

We get behind the scenes with José Pizarro

We go behind the scenes with José Pizarro

Which regions of Spain do you love most for Spanish cooking and which dishes in particular?

Spain is 17 regions in one and I love all of them; they are all diverse and wonderful in their own way. I love the fish you get in Galicia, the paellas in València and the pork from Extremadura.

What does modern Spanish cooking and dining mean to you and how do you feel Spanish cuisine is evolving?

Spanish cuisine is enjoying its most favourable time in history – there’s so much creativity and energy in Spanish cooking right now. It’s great to see the big Spanish chefs going back to basics and cooking food from the heart rather than food they think that they should be serving.

What brought you to London and how has London influenced your cooking?

I just wanted to see something new and diverse compared to everything I was experiencing in Spain at that time. I needed fresh direction and influence.  I wanted to leave the small town and head to the big smoke. It’s now my home.

Five years is quite a milestone – is there anything new planned for the near future?

Yes, something else is coming up very soon. Keep an eye out!

What are your top three local London loves for food and drink?

Sexy Fish, Cambio de Tercio and Hutong.

José Pizarro | See website for locations 

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