My kitchen Carefully chosen ingredients and kit are the stars of Spanish chef José Pizarro’s space
Ilive just south of the river in London, in an apartment over two floors. The kitchen and my office are upstairs, with great views: I have coffee looking at the Shard, the Tower of London and the City.
The kitchen isn’t as big as I’d like, but it’s a lovely space, full of light. I didn’t change anything when I moved in. But when I do, it’ll be a huge job. I am always hosting dinner parties and anyone who has been to one knows they are great fun. Cooking at home, for me, is all about entertaining, whether it’s for friends or business. Of course, dining in my restaurants is also fun. My restaurants are like my house. It’s why I have open kitchens – so that my customers feel like guests at my home. My dream is having two kitchens – one in London, which is my home, and one in Extremadura.
Right now, though, my kitchen is a plain space with white subway tiles, a plastic work surface and a table in the middle. All of my kitchens, whether at home or in the restaurants, are calm and tidy. It’s the only way to work.
This Le Creuset paella pan (1) is for four people, although for people like me it serves two at best. I got this copper frying pan (2) at Borough Kitchen in Borough Market a couple of years ago, and I use it for everything. I love how it looks and works – it’s like going back to proper cooking – but I don’t like having to clean it …
The granite pestle and mortar (3) is probably one of the first things I bought when I moved here 18 years ago. To me, blending flavours by hand works better than using a machine.
I always use Halen Môn salt (4)
– I met the producers last year at the Abergavenny food festival. I find that things always taste better when you meet the people who make them.
This olive oil (5) is from Extremadura, the region I come from. I grew up with it, so it’s the taste I love. The bottles are ugly, but the taste ... it’s unparalleled.
I prefer cooking with sherry over wine – I use fino as a white wine and palo cortado as a red. It gives a much deeper flavour.
I can’t live without pimentón (6).
It is so versatile. I started producing my own de la Vera variety three years ago. You can use it in stews, soups and salads. The smoky flavour is incredible and just lifts all flavours. This is my own label, in a beautiful tin with the Virgin Mary on it. I like being involved from the beginning in the production – the love that you put into the produce will be in the food that you make with it.
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