Originally from Talaván in Cáceres, Extremadura, José Pizarro has lived in London for over 20 years, and is often described as the Godfather of Spanish cooking in the UK. José spent his early years here working at some of London’s most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Brindisa and Gaudi. In 2011, José opened his first solo venture, José Tapas Bar, inspired by the bustling tapas bars of Barcelona; followed quickly by the restaurant Pizarro that went on to earn numerous accolades including World Food Awards Restaurant of the Year, Best Mediterranean Establishment at The Food Awards London, The Rosette Awards for Culinary Excellence, Food and Travel Magazine’s Best Newcomer of the Year and Best Restaurant of the Year. Since then José has since gone on to launch two further openings in the Capital: José Pizarro at Broadgate Circle and pop-up restaurant Little José in Canary Wharf. José’s latest venture is taking over The Swan Inn in Esher.
A mantra of simplicity along with Jose’s charm, enthusiasm and passion for Spanish food has led to Jose appearing on many of our favourite foodie TV programmes. A regular on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, José has also appeared on Sunday Brunch, Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose, Rick Stein’s Christmas, Food Network’s The Big Eat and James Martin's Saturday Morning. Most recently he was part of the debut series of The Wine Show, where he championed two of his favourite things, sherry and clams!
In 2014, José was voted one of ‘100 Españoles’ – a hugely prestigious award which showcases the top 100 Spaniards around the world, based on how they have brought their talents to the masses and how they have shown their Spanish pride and love of the country through their work. José loves nothing more than flying the flag for his homeland, so this award was particularly close to his heart as well as Extremeños de Hoy and awards of Gatronomy 2017 by El Periódico and Extremadura Turismo.
His first three books launched to great critical acclaim: Seasonal Spanish Food (Kyle Books, 2009), Spanish Flavours (Kyle Books, 2012), Basque (Hardie Grant, 2016), and Catalonia (Hardie Grant, 2017). His latest book, Andalusia (Hardie Grant, 2019) is a marvellous journey showing off the amazing food of this region, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the senses!