Young, talented Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy is creating a buzz within the UK food scene and has much to celebrate. The owner of the critically acclaimed restaurant chain Tapas Revolution, he also published a hugely successful cookbook, also called ‘Tapas Revolution’, which became the fastest selling Spanish cookbook of 2013, leading to the second book ‘Spanish Made Simple’ which was published by Quadrille in September 2016. Both have been #1 in Amazon Spanish Food Books.
His illustrious career has been accompanied by several appearances on popular television, including Sunday Brunch, The One Show, This Morning, Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen, Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds, and Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen. He is also one of the most popular chefs on YouTube channel ‘Jamie’s Food Tube’.
Born in Madrid and trained by the legendary Ferran Adria of El Bulli, Omar arrived in the UK in 2008 to take over the reins at El Pirata Detapas in West London, quickly establishing it as one of London’s best tapas restaurants and winning excellent reviews. Whilst there, he was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurant’, and Omar’s reputation as the ‘Antonio Banderas of cooking’ was born.
Before starting out on his own Omar decided to put Tapas on the map, literally daubing a T for Tapas on the map of England, before setting out on his motorbike for two weeks and cooking for everyone he met along the way. The trip was a great success, causing nothing short of a sensation back in Spain, where they called him a ‘crusader for Spanish food and culture’. In the UK, the trip showed Omar that people around the country loved his simple and easy style of Spanish cooking and he came back with a new determination to keep bringing Tapas to the people.
In 2010 he opened his first Tapas Revolution at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush to rave reviews; John Lanchester saying ‘I can’t recommend Tapas Revolution highly enough’ and Tom Parker Bowles describing it as ‘a step above’ in the Mail on Sunday. Matthew Norman from the Daily Telegraph said: “Muy autentico, delicious, better than in Andalusia”
Within a year he had opened a second restaurant at Bluewater in Kent, and by early 2015 Omar decided that London was ready for its first stand-alone Tapas Revolution, bringing his interpretation of the lively and bustling Tapas bars of Madrid to Shoreditch. In September the revolution had begun to spread outside of London with the opening of the fourth restaurant at Grand Central Birmingham, Meadowhall Sheffield in March 2016, followed by Newcastle’s Eldon Square and South Gate in Bath in 2017.
Omar’s simple food and flair for Spanish cuisine has awarded him recognition within the industry. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the OFM Young Chef of the Year Awards, going on to win Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award for ‘Rising Star’ in 2012, and British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Young Entrepreneur 2015. London Lifestyle Awards shortlisted Tapas Revolution for ‘Best Restaurant.