Chef Rafael Palomino, born in Bogotá, Colombia and raised in Queens, New York – current resident of Bedford, New York – is in the midst of expanding his restaurant empire!

Since the beginning, Chef Palomino's restaurants have been a hit. In 1998, he opened his sophisticated midtown Manhattan restaurant, Sonora, (222 East 39th street); it 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, followed by Pacifico, also in Port Chester. Today Chef Palomino's roster of restaurants includes: Greenwich Tavern, in Greenwich Connecticut; Pacifico in Center Valley, Pennsylvania; Tapas on Main in Historic Bethlehem, PA; and his latest creation: Bistro Latino, in Tuckahoe, NY. Bistro Latino offers authentic Spanish Bistro fare fused with a latino flair, resulting in a truly original cuisine utilizing only the best ingredients, emphasizing farm to table. Chef Palomino, who has worked with such culinary greats as Larry Forgione, Charlie Palmer at the River Cafe in Brooklyn, New York, and Michel Guard in Eugnie-les-Bains, France, has plans to open in several other locations. Prior to that, he was selected as spokesperson for the Avocado Association in 2003, and has done the same for both Goya and Hoffman La Roche. In September 2009, Chef Palomino was the celebrity chef at the American Diabetes Association New York based Feria de Salud, an outdoor community event that is intended to reach thousands of local Latinos with the important message that they may be at risk for diabetes.

Though he travels Chef Palomino has also been quite active at the keyboard – and will soon have his fifth cookbook published! His first cookbook, Bistro Latino, (William Morrow, 1998), presented home cooks with his brand of Nuevo Latino cooking. Since then, he has written several books that embrace his brand of cooking – and love of entertaining. These include, Viva la Vida, Nueva Salsa, Fiesta Latina, and the newest of his books, Latin Grill, a tutorial on grilling food over fire, all published by Chronicle Books, and with co-author Arlen Gargagliano.

When hes not in the kitchen or at the keyboard, Chef Palomino can most likely be found on the soccer field – with one or both of his two children, and his wife, in Bedford, New York.