Celebrated Spanish chef and restaurateur José Pizarro will be opening two new restaurants in London this summer and moving to the Royal Academy Gallery in Mayfair. Pizarro opens a seating restaurant of the same name in the Dorfman Senate Room and a tapas-style bar in the current Poster Bar, now known as Poster Bar by José. Both restaurants will open on August 11, according to the gallery’s website, with the more formal known as José Pizarro in the RA.
Pizarro will stick with the classics for both openings, bringing along his most famous dishes from over a decade in the capital, such as strawberry gazpacho; Ibérico Presa; and leek with Romesco in the seating restaurant, according to a report in Hot Dinners. Galician empanadas await you in the tapas bar; Tortilla; a trendy truffle sandwich; and jamon. Both dishes will be familiar to guests of his London portfolio, which consists of two restaurants on Bermondsey Street and another on Broadgate Circle.
Ibérico presa with potatoes and caramelized red peppers José in the RA [Official Photo]
The London Art Gallery’s dining repertoire took a hit in 2020 when Rochelle Canteen – Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold’s revered, sleepy Shoreditch restaurant – closed its space at the ICA in Pall Mall, but Pizarro joins Townsend at the Whitechapel Gallery and that excellent Garden Café, which takes the dining options in London’s institutions beyond the monotony. The chef, perhaps secretly, mentioned the RA by name in a recent interview with SL Man and said that “I love both the RA building on Piccadilly and the works in it. As a Spaniard, I recognize the dynamic ‘golden triangle’ of galleries in Madrid as the best, but the RA compares to anywhere in the world. “
Pizarro also believes that the emotional responses produced by food and art are similar: “When you see art, it’s all about how you feel … your whole body reacts, it’s the same thing with food – well, good food anyway! ”He hopes his own restaurant will fall into this latter qualification.