The Goods from ¿CóMO? Tapería
Vancouver, BC | Felicidades are in-order for Rafael Racela, who was recently promoted to executive chef at Mount Pleasant’s award-winning and Restaurants from Spain-certified tapas hotspot ¿CóMO? Tapería (201 E 7th Ave).
“Rafael has grown with our team since 2021, starting out as sous chef, and we are so excited for him to now lead the kitchen at ¿CóMO?,” says Shaun Layton, who co-owns ¿CóMO? Tapería with Frankie Harrington. “He has such an energy about him that encourages everyone to do their best every day. He’s also a team player. Raf has already started putting his flair into feature dishes recently. We can’t wait to see even more creativity from him.”
Born in the Philippines and raised in East Vancouver, Racela spent the past decade honing his skills in the hospitality industry. He started out as a dishwasher at a local Earls, where he soon discovered his love for cooking. He then worked at several Vancouver eateries, before landing at Crosstown’s perennial cooking school The Dirty Apron for two years. Hoping to further his culinary repertoire, he soon travelled to Sydney, Australia and worked at the celebrated Continental Deli Bar & Bistro before returning to Vancouver as pasta chef at now one Michelin star Kissa Tanto.
Racela’s name may also be familiar to those who have enjoyed his popular Filipino cuisine pop-up dinner series called Tayo, where he celebrates his roots.
“I love this team – ¿CóMO? Tapería is exactly where I want to be,” adds Racela, who still sometimes moonlights at The Dirty Apron, teaching homecooks a thing or two about his craft. “Every night, I’m inspired by the amazing service our front-of-house and back-of-house puts on. We get to put on a performance for the ultimate guest experience, and almost literally, with our open-concept kitchen. It’s fun and high-energy, and why I call ¿CóMO? the liveliest restaurant in the city.”
And, Racela has been busy in the kitchen since taking the reins as executive chef. Guests may have already tried a couple of his new creations, such as the Roasted Cabbage with salsa verde, chili butter, and migas; BBQ Octopus with crispy potato, smoked pimentón, and aioli; and 18oz Ribeye with anchovy butter and mojama. Many more are on the way.
¿CóMO? Tapería is currently open daily from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. with Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Limited dinner reservations are available online via Resy. For more information, please visit www.comotaperia.com.