Barrafina head chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho and group general manager Josè Etura are to leave Barrafina to concentrate on a new project together.
Mohacho (pictured with Jason Atherton) has been head chef at the three-strong collection of restaurants owned by Sam and Eddie Hart since it launched nearly ten years ago, winning a Michelin star at Barrafina Soho outpost in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2015, which the restaurant has held ever since.
She began working at the Hart Brothers' Fino as sous chef when it opened in 2003 and was promoted to head chef four years later.
In 2008, she took on the executive head chef role at Barrafina with the Soho site in Frith Street opening first ahead of two more restaurants both in Covent Garden. Barrafina Frith Street recently moved to Dean Street, where it has been rehoused within Quo Vadis.
Etura came to London in 2007 and has worked for the brothers at Barrafina ever since, becoming group general manager of Barrafina in 2009.
Sam Hart said: "Nieves and Josè have been an integral part of what has made Barrafina the success it is today, and it has been a true pleasure watching them both develop over several years to a point where they are ready to pursue new projects. We will miss them here enormously but I'm looking forward to following their next steps with excitement and pride."
Taking the lead as Mohacho and Etura depart will be the three head chefs from the respective Barrafinas; Carlos Manuel Miranda Gomes, Gisela Fernandez Moles and Javier Duarte Campos, along with Aurelija Sovaite, the current general manager at Barrafina Adelaide Street.
Pictured, left to right: Sam Hart, Carlos Manuel Miranda Gomes, Aurelija Sovaite, Javier Duarte Campos, Eddie Hart, Gisela Fernandez Moles
Sam Hart added: "It's also a hugely exciting new era for Barrafina, as three incredibly talented chefs step into the limelight with a greater degree of creative rein and responsibility at their respective restaurants. Eddie and I will be working with them closely and I'm looking forward to seeing the restaurants evolve whilst staying true to the initial vision for relaxed, authentic tapas and the uncompromising standards that our guests expect."
Mohaco will mentor the head chefs for one day a week for the next five months as they develop in their new roles.
Carlos Manuel Miranda Gomes hails from Porto, Portugal, and worked in the country's revered Japanese restaurant, Gosho, before moving to London in 2011 and taking a job at Koya. In September 2013 he joined Barrafina Frith Street as junior sous, and then sous chef. He has been head chef at Barrafina Dean Street since May 2016.
Gisela Fernandez Moles comes from Barcelona, where she was working as a chef de partie, before coming to London five years ago. She worked for Sam and Eddie at Fino before a stint at Andina and then joining Barrafina Adelaide street as head chef.
Javier Duarte Campos also grew up in Barcelona after a stage at El Celler de Can Roca he worked as senior sous chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. He joined Barrafina Drury Lane as head chef in August 2016.
Taking over Etura's role will be Aurelija Sovaite, currently general manager of Barrafina Adelaide Street. Prior to this Sovaite was at Sam and Eddie's father Tim Hart's restaurant, Hart's in Nottingham, before moving to Barrafina Frith Street 2009 and moving to Adelaide Street in 2014 as restaurant manager.
Mohacho said: "It has been an incredible honour to be at the head of this special restaurant for all these years. We've achieved a crazy amount together and I'll miss the teams and all the customers so much. I can't express enough my gratitude to Sam and Eddie Hart for the opportunity they gave me here and continue to be inspired by their vision and guidance. Carlos, Gisela and Javier are all amazing talents and I'm so excited to see how the restaurants shine under their leadership."
Etura added: "I am going to miss the theatre of service at Barrafina a lot, it's so unique having the kitchen and front of house team interacting directly with the customer over the bar and it has made every day a joy. Aurelija is more than ready to take on the role I vacate and I can't wait to come in and experience Barrafina from the other side of the counter."