Rafael Palomino, Chef and Principal
Whether he’s in the kitchen, penning his cookbooks—or working the stove in one of his several establishments, Rafael Palomino is the consummate creator, and astute businessman. Keenly aware of flavors people love and crave; his menus represent the culmination of his artistry and business savvy – he knows food, and he knows how people relish their dining experiences. He is very actively involved in the operations of his various restaurant concepts spanning three states. These include Palomino and Sonora in New York, Pacífico and Bistro Latino in Connecticut, as well as Mesa Modern Mexican and Tapas on Main in Pennsylvania. Palomino now brings his passion and culinary innovation to serve as executive chef for B Square Burgers & Booze in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A native of Colombia, Chef Palomino draws from his childhood in Bogotá, his younger years in New York City. His career began at a young age when he got an after-school job at Larry Forgione’s River Café in Brooklyn, New York, which sparked the beginning of a soaring culinary career. At nineteen, Palomino traveled to France, where he spent a year working hard and studying under the guidance of celebrated chef Michel Guèrard in Eugènie-les-Bains.
In 1983, Palomino returned to work for Larry Forgione, this time at his critically acclaimed An American Place, where he spent three enriching years. He moved on to become sous chef to Jonathan Waxman at Jams and also served as executive chef of the famous Metropolis Café. Palomino opened his sophisticated midtown Manhattan restaurant, Sonora which was immediately proclaimed by New York Magazine as one of the best places to eat in New York in 1999.
Palomino currently has five published cookbooks; Bistro Latino, Viva la Vida, Nueva Salsa, Fiesta Latina and Latin Grill, and also spends time teaching cooking classes. Chef Palomino was selected as spokesperson for the Avocado Growers Association in 2003 and in the past he has been a spokesperson for Goya and Hoffman La Roche.