My kitchen Care­fully cho­sen in­gre­di­ents and kit are the stars of Span­ish chef José Pizarro’s space

The Guardian - Cook - - A Cook’s Kitchen - José Pizarro is a Lon­don­based chef and restau­ra­teur, and the au­thor of four cook­books. His lat­est, Cat­alo­nia, is avail­able now;

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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