Top 10 Restaurants in Bermondsey
June 13, 2017
Pizarro has been listed as one of the Top 10 recommended restaurants in Bermondsey as chosen by TRAVELMAG – we couldn’t ask for more!
Describing our menu as “a sound selection of seasonal starters and mains enhanced with meticulously-sourced ingredients handled by the chef’s creativity” there is something for everyone.
Book a table to see what the fuss is about & see the full article here
Meet the team: Joe Nixon
May 30, 2017
Joe Nixon: Operations Director
Studying Art and Design but brought up in a pub, what else was I supposed to do?
I started my path in hospitality at my parents’ pub ’The Bell at Ramsbury’ in Wiltshire, giving me the passion for the foodie world. I moved to London in the late 90’s and was part of the opening team at Bluebird restaurant on the Kings Road, part of Terrance Conran’s food emporium. I then opened a local restaurant as Assistant Manager at ‘Parade’ with restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas & the former Sous chef of ‘Chez Bruce’.
For the next 12 years I worked alongside John Torode on a number of projects including Smiths of Smithfield & The LUXE where I was General Manager.
From then I had a short stint with the brilliant Theodore Kyriakou at The Greek Larder in King’s Cross before moving to the group at the end of 2016 as Operations Director.
I have a passion for food & wine – in my spare time have been known to take people on wild food foraging excursions (that’s how I landed my nickname – Forager Joe)
Taste of London
May 21, 2017
We’re BACK! It’s that time of year again where we set-up camp for the week in Regent’s Park for the annual Taste of London Festival. This year, we’re going to be there as Little José, our new restaurant at Giant Robot in Canary Wharf. Exciting!
We’ll be serving our restaurant favourites from 14th-18th June. Expect 5J Jamón Ibérico (it’s a must have!), as well as squid ink croquetas & 5J Pluma Ibérica with piquillo aioli. On the dessert menu there’s something new from us – you can indulge on Manchego cheesecake with strawberries & rosemary crumble.
Tickets are available here. Use the code DINE at checkout for a special discount. See you in June!
Seafood (& eat it….!)
May 16, 2017
During the summer, it’s very common for those who live in large cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, to go on weekend trips to escape the hustle & bustle of the city. Many of them have houses by the beach or in smaller & less crowded towns.
One of the many popular destinations is La Costa Brava, in the region of Catalonia, where fresh fish & seafood is aplenty – you’ll find squid, cuttlefish, prawns, langoustine, lobster, & many more. Fishing has been celebrated for many years & last year one of the region’s fishing ports, the fleet of Palamos, brought in around 1,500 tonnes of fish & seafood & they even have a fish museum to raise awareness of the industry & local gastronomy.
But you don’t have to travel to La Costa Brava to have a taste – our menu offers a wide range of fish & seafood all year around, such as octopus, bacalao a la Llauna, or baby cuttlefish, amongst many others. Jose’s new book will be released later this year & is based on Catalonia, so you will also be able to re-create La Costa Brava at home.
Recipe Corner: Sardines marinated in cider or Txakoli vinegar
May 12, 2017
“My love of sardines goes back as far as I can remember. My mum used to come home from the market every Tuesday with sardines in her bag. The simplest way to prepare sardines is to remove the scales, fillet them, then eat them raw. I wanted to give some extra flavour to this dish, as not many people will eat them raw. This marinade is very quick, which means you will keep almost all of the flavour as well as the freshness of the fish”
1 bulb garlic
500ml Txakoli or cider vinegar
1 small French shallot, finely chopped
5 black peppercorns & 5 pink peppercorns
1 bay leaf
few sprigs of tarragon
25g caster sugar
8 super-fresh sardines, filleted
toasted baguette to serve
extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas mark 3). Drizzle the garlic with oil & roast for 30–40 minutes until really tender. Squeeze the pulp from the skins and mash into a paste. Set aside.
Gently heat the vinegar with the shallot, peppercorns, herbs & sugar until the sugar has dissolved, but not until it boils. Lay the sardines skin side down in a dish & pour over the hot vinegar. Leave for a couple of minutes, then drain.
Spread the toasted baguette with some of the garlic paste. Top with the marinated sardines, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil & sprinkle with the flaky sea salt.
May 3, 2017
Spain is known for having certain traditions in the afternoon that can sometimes seem strange for people from other countries, such as the “siesta” or closing businesses between 1 & 5 pm to take a mid-day break, but that the Spanish absolutely love and practice every day.
Another one of these customs and that is not as widely known for non-Spaniards is the “sobremesa”, an essential part of every Spanish home life, where the family gathers around the table, generally right after lunch, & have a conversation. This is something that the whole family enjoys, and in the weekend the “sobremesa” can sometimes include more than 10 people, depending on the size of the family. This is the time where they can get together and talk about anything & everything!
La “sobremesa” does not follow an agenda; anything can come up. Although, it usually involves topics involving the career aims of the younger family members, family news such as marriages happening that year, who’s getting divorced and if someone is pregnant or not. Because Spanish families are typically so extended there is never a shortage of subjects and there are always lots of gossip opportunities available.
Nowadays, the “sobremesa” does not always occur within family; it is not unusual to see friends at a coffee place’s terrace having a “cortado” (short coffee) after lunch and talk about topics similar to the ones mentioned above. What they talk about is often referred to as “arreglar el mundo” (fix the world) or “descubrir America” (discover America) as an inside joke, since what is talked about is never too important.
But the most important thing about the “sobremesa” and the main reason why Spanish do it is to “disfrutar de la vida”, a very common phrase which means that they just take a break to enjoy life, something that indeed reflects the Spanish attitude to life. Our restaurants are a constant hub of ‘sobresamas’ – come by for a sherry!
INGREDIENTS – #joséstories
May 1, 2017
When José was asked to choose what his favourite British-grown ingredient is, it was not difficult for him to point one out straight away – asparagus.
Whilst Spain has good-quality asparagus, José truly believes that there is something special about British asparagus; the perfect crunchiness, the flavour, & the smell when you have just pan-fried them with some Spanish olive oil…
With asparagus season starting now, José has been busy in the kitchen designing new dishes for his restaurant menus, our twitter @JosePizarroRest will be first to announce…
Recipe Corner: Roasted Chicken Wings with Roast Potatoes, Parsley & Garlic
April 27, 2017
“Every time I go to the restaurant Bodegón Donostiarra, I have the chicken wings. But I have to say that the last time I went, they were better than ever. Maybe it was because I was sitting outside on the terrace on a gorgeous July day with a really cold beer…” This recipe is from his Basque book which is available to buy here (link). If they are good enough for José….
24 chicken wings
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons pimentón
good pinch of chilli flakes
10 sprigs of oregano, leaves stripped
750 g (1 lb 10 oz) floury potatoes, cut into smallish chunks
freshly ground black pepper
Put the chicken wings in a dish. Mix half of the chopped garlic cloves with the pimentón, chilli flakes, half the oregano & a good glug of olive oil. Spread all over the wings and leave to marinate for at least 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Put the potatoes into a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil & simmer for a couple of minutes. Drain, return to the pan over a low heat & toss to fluff up the edges.
Heat a food glug of oil in a roasting tin in the oven, then toss in the potatoes. Put the chicken wings on top and roast for 45-50 minutes until it is all crispy and golden. Season with lots of salt & pepper & add the rest of the garlic & oregano.
San Jordi Festival
April 24, 2017
Whilst the rest of the world celebrates World Book Day on the 23rd of April, Catalonia celebrates the day of their patron saint of love, San Jordi. In a romantic festivity where books, roses & couples fill up the streets of the Spanish region, San Jordi is a mixture of Catalonian traditions from different time periods & centuries.
Mainly starting from the fact that San Jordi has been the patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th century, this Spring festivity is one of the most original celebrations in Catalonia, combining culture & romanticism. Traditionally every year couples exchange gifts: women receive a rose & men receive a book. During this day, the streets of Barcelona are filled up with book & flower stalls with people walking around looking for a rose or a book for their loved ones.
The book stalls not only offer books, but often have book-signings of some of the most well-known authors in Spain, such as Arturo Pérez-Reverte or Carlos Ruiz Zafón. San Jordi is also the perfect day to visit the Government Palace as it’s an open day full of activities such as a traditional carillon concert, an official mass in the Chapel of San Jordi & the blessing of roses in the Gothic quarter.
We’re excited to announce that Pizarro’s new book is all about Catalonia, and will be out in the Autumn #cookingcatalonia
Little José is here!
April 21, 2017
Modern twists on classic tapas dishes alongside sensational sherry & “gintonicas” – that’s right, Little José is finally here! Located at Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf, Little José is José’s fourth restaurant, but this time with a twist.
A tiny tapas bar serving up killer bites such as a Cinco Jotas Ibérico pork meatball sub with manchego, our sellout Spicy Prawn Fritters with Lime Mayo, and of course – side dishes of Patatas Bravas, Padrón Peppers & a daily-changing Tortilla. José explains how he wants to “take over the traditionally boring lunchtime ‘sandwich’ & give it a 21st century makeover.”
Little José will be open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner, serving moreish bites & lovely cava, wines, sherries plus his perfect Gin & Tonic, all to be supped on the terrace as the sun goes down.
Our twitter account @JosePizarroRest is providing updates – so get yourself over there!
Closest Tube: Canary Wharf
Upper Level, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AR