Former El Bulli Head Chef Rafa Zafra is joining forces with the heritage hotel El Palace Barcelona on a new dining destination.

The chef, who also heads up the kitchen at the buzzy clubbing and dining venue Heart Ibiza, will launch the new Catalan venture in the first part of 2022. The year will also mark El Palace Barcelona’s 103rd birthday.

The new restaurant will feature an innovative gastronomic experience that incorporates both history and modernity. It promises to offer diners “interesting dialogues between the heritage of the building and the dynamism of a space celebrated for its creativity of the past and present”. 

According to a statement, Zafra is aiming to “contribute honest cuisine, based on the quality of the product” with the new venture, providing a “casual and relaxed touch to a luxurious and elegant setting”. The culinary star will draw on his expertise and passion for the sea for his menu, using the finest fresh seafood, treated with respect. 

Sevillian chef Zafra built his stellar career working in the kitchens of great chefs, with venues including Tristán in Mallorca and Arzak in San Sebastián. He first worked with the award-winning Ferrán and Albert Adrià brothers at the Ell Bulli hotel Hacienda Benazuza, earning and retaining Michelin stars and two suns in the Repsol guide at the age of 26. In 2010, he collaborated with the Adriàs to open and develop their new premises in Barcelona. Zafra currently directs Estimar – his most personal project – in both Barcelona and Madrid, as well as Casa Jondal in Ibiza.

A member of Leading Hotels of the World, El Palace Barcelona first opened its doors in 1919, becoming Barcelona’s inaugural five-star hotel.