Nieves Barragan, head chef at London’s all-conquering Barrafina tapas bars, is leaving the group where she has run the kitchens since the first Barrafina opened in Soho. Group general manager José Etura (pictured) is also leaving to work with her on a new project.
Barragan joined the Hart Brothers’ restaurant Fino in 2003, and was appointed executive head chef when the original Barrafina opened in Frith Street in 2008. It moved to nearby Dean Street last year to share premises with Quo Vadis, by which time two further Barrafinas had opened, in Adelaide Street and Drury Lane.
Departing on the best of terms with Sam and Eddie Hart, Barragan said: “We’ve achieved a crazy amount together.” She will mentor the three Barrafina head chefs as they settle into their new roles for the next five months — Carlos Manuel Miranda Gomes at Dean Street, Gisela Fernandez Moles at Adelaide Street and Javier Duarte Campos at Drury Lane. Aurelija Sovaite, currently manager at Adelaide Street, steps up to become group general manager
All three Barrafinas are praised in the latest Harden’s Survey for their “utterly brilliant” tapas – “better even than in Barcelona”.
Barragan and Etura have yet to make their plans public.
The Hart Borhters, still clearly have the Midas touch as restaurateurs. Their latest venture, the Mexican tacqueria El Pastor, opened in Borough Market last month to critical acclaim and long queues.