The Celler de Can Roca. It is a free style restaurant, with free cooking, committed to the creative avant-garde, without giving up the memory of generations of family ancestors dedicated to feeding people.
The commitment to cuisine and the avant-garde, in addition to its link with academicism, has led to a defense of permanent dialogue with producers and scientists, to total dialogue.
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- 1 Story
- 2 The Roca brothers
- 3 Curiosities
- 4 gourmet ice creams
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Sources
Although the neighborhood of Taialà, in Girona , Spain , has been the location of El Celler de Can Roca since its opening in 1986 , the history of the current world leader in gastronomy begins at an inn in San Martín de Llémena, in the region of La Garrotxa. In 1920 the marriage of Joan and Angeleta opened a shop called Can Reixach in this town of 600 people to sell homemade food such as roast chicken . It is no less than the grandparents of the brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (Girona, 1964 , 1966 and 1978 .
To the culinary heritage of the grandparents was added that of the parents, Montserrat and Josep, who in 1967 opened Can Roca in the Taialà district . Upstairs, it was where the three children grew up in a breeding ground that soon differentiated their vocations: the ordered Joan went to the kitchen, the philosopher Josep “Pitu” opted for the liquid offer and the room (he defines himself as ” wine waiter ” ) and the creative Jordi chose the pastry.
In 1986 , a few bold and twentysomethings Joan and Josep, already trained in the hospitality school and with several trips to France behind them, raised at home their plan to open a fine cuisine restaurant. His parents, however, made a condition: his Celler would be a business outside of Can Roca, which would continue to function as a food house.
“It was our dream and it was our parents who put the prudence” , remembers Pitu Roca.
The Celler de Can Roca opened in a room located next to the parents’ food house. Over the years, its haute cuisine proposal was receiving the influence of the culinary avant-garde generated in elBulli, from where Spain gained ground year after year to France and where Joan Roca spent a few months working in 1989 .
The first dish that came out to that room was hake with garlic and rosemary vinaigrette. In parallel, Pitu Roca was building the winery that today totals 30,000 bottles, with 3,360 references, in addition to the language of the room. After a few years, his younger brother, Jordi, joined the business, finally specializing in sweet cuisine, an area where two years ago he was named the best pastry chef in the world. With a know-how based on a threefold differentiated vocation and with a rare balance in other hotel sagas, the clientele was filling the tables of a restaurant conceived almost from the beginning with an added business to guarantee its profitability: the events to which, later, the consultancies developed by the Roca were added.
In 1995 , the saga bought Can Sunyer , a tower opposite Can Roca and El Celler , which was used for catering and events for years. Finally in 2007 it was the space chosen as the new location for the haute cuisine space: a few thousand square meters, with interior design signed by the prestigious Sandra Tarruella. The banquet line then moved to Mas Marroch, on the outskirts of Girona, and the paternal bar won meters from the old Celler, where it continues to offer its menu of the day for 11 euros (about $ 300) to between 150 and 200 faithful diners for service.
The Roca brothers
The passion for cooking that the Roca brothers feel began to be forged in Can Roca, the establishment that their parents. There they grew up, amid the bustle of dishes, pots and customers. The bar was her living room, the landscape where they played, did their homework, watched television, … while at the same time, aromas arose from the stews that her mother prepared generously, simply and honestly.
Three brothers with different vocations and a family linked to the kitchen:
49-year-old El Celler’s kitchen man; Moderate, thoughtful and restless, at the age of nine his mother ordered him a chef’s jacket that he still has. It was a premonition.
47, the conductor of El Celler; the man in the room ( “I’m a waiter, what I like is being a waiter and I’ll die as a waiter” ). Pitu is the most sensitive vertex of the trio. When he was a child, he filled the wine jars from his parents’ restaurant and tasted it whenever possible. Today he is the best sommelier in Spain . And it has achieved the perfect symbiosis of wine with the menu.
35 years old, the sage of desserts and, with three lustrums less than his brothers, the source of creation of the trio. He was the most reluctant to join the family business. He was out of the game. He hesitated between the kitchen and the service. He did not have the vocation of his brothers. And he was more partying. He takes his first steps in restaurant patisserie under the influence of the British Damian Allshop at the beginning of the renowned Celler de Can Roca, from Girona. Today the contribution of the smallest of the Roca brothers to the galactic stardom of this restaurant is beyond doubt, with various lines of research that have set trends, such as chromatherapy and perfumes. He also has a solid base in ice cream that he has acquired with Angelo Corvitto .
All this has led him to place the desserts of El Celler de Can Roca at the top. He is also responsible for the innovative Rocambolesc ice cream parlor in Girona, where he offers a range of soft ice creams inspired by El Celler’s desserts and even some of the legendary desserts on the restaurant’s menu in a “kit” format to take home. . Jordi Roca has obtained the title “Best Pastry Chef” awarded for the first time by San Pellegrino in its ranking of the World’s 50 Best in 2014 .
Since mid- 2011 , El Celler de Can Roca has no menu and works with two tasting menus for 170 and 195 euros without including drinks ($ 4,700 and $ 5,400), which vary each year and reflect the creative capacity of the three brothers in salty, sweet and liquid cuisine. With 40 seats, the establishment serves some 21,000 diners a year from around the world, supported by a team of 70 professionals.
In 2014 , the Roca family allocated US $ 450,000 to investment in technology and some 12,000 hours to research to create 58 dishes, according to the book El Celler de Can Roca: Generating value in service companies, by Carles Cabrera, CEO of the Institut Cerdà. With three Repsol Guide suns and three Michelin stars, the Girona restaurant makes every foodie’s dream come true: their tables are reserved on the first day of each month and are sold out in minutes. And that is done eleven months in advance.
Gourmet ice cream
The Roca business group brings together some more businesses and activities:
Rocambolesc ice cream
Rocambolesc, Jordi Roca’s ice cream parlor (with offices in Girona , Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Madrid ), and La Masía , as the space (next to the restaurant’s car park) dedicated to research and team building. There they sell six different types of ice cream in a cone or basket, “combined with up to 34 fun toppings so that each one can configure the ice cream to their liking,” they explain on their website. The other star product of the premises is a kit to make at home, which includes, as explained:
A complete package with the bearded potato, the guava , the dulce de leche , the sheep’s yogurt and the sheep’s milk ice cream of the Ripollese breed ”.
The Somni, documentary-banquet-opera developed between 2013 and 2014 . Added to this is the world tour with BBVA , with which the Roca and their team dedicate their summer vacation month to travel to other countries, as an internationalization strategy.