Profile of a Spanish Chef: Rafa Zafra
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Throughout Spain, many restaurants are preparing dishes that bring food to life. Through gastronomy, Spanish chefs are creating a cuisine unique and original in nature. Often times this food tells a story, and if you look beyond the dishes themselves it explains much more.
Rafa Zafra is the executive chef at Estimar in Barcelona. His knowledge of food is what makes him such a successful chef, a journey that began in his early childhood. Growing up, Zafra started cooking at the age of 16 alongside his family in Seville. He learned the basic art of cooking by experimenting with Andalusian cuisine. This homage to his roots allowed him to assist his mentor, Rafa Morales, in bringing an Andalusian flare to the La Hacienda Benazuza.
Throughout his career, Zafra has worked in some of Spain’s top restaurants, including Tristán, Arzak, and Calima, and must notably with Ferran Adria at El Bulli at it's absolute height of fame. He continued to create new and inventive dishes by becoming an Oasis Hotel gastronomic consultant in 2011. His time spent with the hotel expanded his talent as a chef in both Cancun and Spain. This extensive experience in gastronomic cooking is evident at Estimar, his personal project in Barcelona. As a chef, he uses food as a platform to express his love for the sea. The dishes are a reflection of his roots and love for the Mediterranean.
Estimar is quickly becoming a local favorite and it is highly recommended for any food inclined visitor to Barcelona to try this intimate and innovative restaurant.