Chef-opedia Chefs Rafael Palomino Bio
Cooking Style: California Cuisine
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Rafael Palomino's professional life began when he was just sixteen years old. He found an after school job at Larry Forgione's River Café in Brooklyn, New York, that 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, at the age of twenty, 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, the restaurant that is credited with introducing New Yorkers to the highly popular California cuisine of the 1980s.

From 1987 to 1995, Palomino was executive chef of the famous Metropolis Café. It was there that he began to experiment with a cuisine that reflected his own heritage and education. In 1998, Chef 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.

In 2000, Chef Palomino brought his cuisine to Westchester County, and opened Sonora in Port Chester, New York. The New York Times gave Sonora an "excellent" rating in August, 2004. In September 2003, Chef Palomino opened Pacifico, also in Port Chester where he created a Nuevo Latino seafood house. A new Pacifico, in New Haven, Connecticut opened in February 2005.

In April of 2007, Chef Rafael opens his namesake; PÄLOMINO in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Chef Palomino has also been quite active outside the kitchen. His first cookbook, Bistro Latino, (William Morrow, 1998), introduced home cooks to his brand of Nuevo Latino cooking. Viva la Vida: Festive Recipes for Entertaining Latin Style, Palomino's second cookbook (Chronicle Books, 2002) features easy to follow recipes for entertaining Latin style. His third book, Nueva Salsa, contains 65 accessible and exciting salsa recipes (Chronicle Books, 2003). Chef Palomino latest cookbook, Fiesta Latina: Fabulous Food for Sizzling Parties was published by Chronicle Books in 2006.

Chef Palomino was selected as spokesperson for the Avocado Association in 2003 and has been a spokesperson for both Goya and Hoffman La Roche.

Another very important aspect of Palomino's career is his commitment to community. He founded the Spanish Speaking Chef's Association of America, whose goal is supporting young Latin Americans interested in pursuing careers in culinary arts.

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