José Pizarro

Spanish guest chef, José Pizarro, will join the 2022 line up to discuss his culinary career, passion for simple Spanish ingredients and views on the future of food.
Exchange Chef, José Pizarro.

His pathway to the kitchen is an interesting one, as believe it or not, he was torn between studying dentistry or food. José completed his studies as a Dental Technician but started cooking while waiting for a job.

Thankfully, his love of food was just too strong, and he left his passion for dentistry at the kitchen door.

Originally from a beautiful village, Talavån in Cåceres, Extremadura, José has lived in London for over 20 years, and is often described as the Godfather of Spanish cooking in the UK. He spent his early years training in the top restaurants in Spain, before becoming Head Chef at a Michelin Star restaurant.

After JosĂ© landed on UK soil, he worked at some of London’s most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Brindisa and Gaudi. In 2011, JosĂ© opened his first solo venture, JosĂ© Tapas Bar on Bermondsey Street. JosĂ© Tapas Bar is a small and cosy venue, inspired by the bustling tapas bars of Barcelona.

Today, José has six venues in the greater London area and his passion for his native cuisine and its amazing range of ingredients has created a huge following, giving us an understanding of Spanish flavours, simple recipes and seasonal flavours.

A mantra of simplicity along with José’s charm, enthusiasm and passion for Spanish food has led to JosĂ© appearing on popular foodie TV programmes. A regular on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, JosĂ© has also appeared on Sunday Brunch, This Morning on ITV, Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose, Rick Stein’s Christmas, Food Network’s ‘The Big Eat’ and James Martin's Saturday Morning.

José has penned six books and his latest, The Spanish Home Kitchen: Simple, Seasonal Recipes and Memories from My Home, is testament to his love of cookery and the emotions it evokes. Dedicated to his mother, Isabel, her role as his culinary muse is evident. Recipes and their associated memories are brought to life with superb photography.