Evoking some of Spain’s most timeless institutions, Barrafina has become a contemporary classic in its own right, with a Michelin star and faultless tapas to rival the best of the Iberian peninsula. Leading the way has been the group’s Chef Director Angel Zapata Martin, who has been instrumental in the group’s growth and pushing the restaurant’s already exacting standards.
Now, in the first dinners of a new quarterly series, Zapata Martin of Barrafina will invite Spain’s best chefs to cook a special menu at Barrafina Borough Yards for two nights each. Entitled Barrafina Invita, each evening aims to showcase the breadth and quality of Spanish cooking from across Spain and the rest of the world. The first guest will be chef Xavier Pellicer on 7th and 8th March, whose eponymous restaurant in Barcelona is renowned for its focus on biodynamic, organic vegetables, and respect for ingredients and those who produce them.
Both Pellicer and Zapata Martin have a shared history as protégés of the legendary chef Santi Santamaria, a giant of Spanish gastronomy, at Can Fabes, Barcelona’s first three Michelin star restaurant. Pellicer later went on to cultivate a plant-forward cuisine at his restaurant that was awarded the Best Vegetable restaurant in the World in 2018. “What he does is very unique,” says Zapata Martin.
“Many restaurants do guest chef series, and for all of the reasons we’re doing it,” adds Barrafina’s MD Anna Watkins. “It’s exciting, it’s inspirational, and it’s great for customers to have a different perspective.”
For Zapata Martin, Barrafina Invita as a chance to get deeper into Spain’s diverse food scene. “We classify Spanish food as tapas or casual food, a lot of family-style or sharing food which is fine but there’s also a bigger culture of refined food. For a very long time, it’s nothing new, it’s since the ‘80s and ‘90s when it was more about French cuisine, but Spain for a very long time has had this diversity.”
Chef Xavier Pellicer will be cooking a special set menu at Barrafina Borough Yards on March 7th and March 8th at dinner only. Tickets are priced at £70. Read more about the series and what to expect here.