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World's Greatest Restaurants
03

El Celler de Can Roca has consistantly been doing well and it is possibly the least well-known restaurant to have ever held the much-vaunted number-two spot on the list, a quirk which, far from being a hindrance, has allowed the three brothers Roca to get on with what they do best. Their 'emotional cuisine' with different ingredients and combinations can trigger childhood memories or take you back to a specific place in your past.

Founded in 1986, El Celler de Can Roca gives new meaning to the term “family restaurant.” The place is run by three brothers [Joan Roca heads up the kitchen, Josep Roca is the maitre d’ and head sommelier, and Jordi Roca is the pastry chef], but the food is far from homey, and the space is decidedly modern.

In 2007, the restaurant relocated a hundred meters from the original grounds. Here, the chefs work in a state-of-the-art kitchen cum lab, while the sommelier manages a wine cellar that offers customers an audio-visual journey through five key wine regions.

Awards:
2010 Best Sommelier (Josep Roca) National Gastronomy Award
2006 Best Wine List National Gastronomy Award
2005 Best Sommelier Gouremtour Guide (Josep Roca)
2004 Best Maitre National Gastronomy Award (Josep Roca)

HelenGraves has a great review and I put some of it here:

You know you’ve had an intense eating experience when mid-way through a meal you wonder if you can actually go on; when your friend decides he can’t and has to leave the table 3 times to be physically sick and then, when it’s over and you’ve made it through, you’ve eaten so much that a button pops off your dress. This is what happened during the 12 course ‘Feast Menu’ at 3 Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Gerona. The restaurant is run by 3 brothers – Joan (Roca) the savoury chef, Jordi the pastry chef and Josep the somellier. We were booked in for dinner on the last night of our holiday, to make sure we went out with a bang. It was one of the most intense meals of my life.

There were moments of true brilliance at El Celler de Can Roca; it was a rollercoaster of excitement, confusion, fun, relief and truly amazing cooking. I had a blast, I’d do it again and it’s definitely worth the money. It’s also a hell of a lot easier to get a table here than at El Bulli and according to my friend, there are many similarities. I just wish the whole thing had been a bit more comfortable.


Gastronomyblog also has a fantastic review:

After The Astronomer and I left the sunny shores of Valencia, we hopped a train to Girona, where our only order of business was to dine at El Celler De Can Roca. Even though this was our third three-star Michelin meal in the span of two weeks, I eagerly anticipated it as if it were the first.

From beginning to end, El Celler De Can Roca delivered a thoughtful and delicious meal with just enough punches to keep me excited. It provided the perfect ending for my tour of Spanish molecular gastronomy temples [See also: Akelarre and Arzak]. It will be exciting to see in the future which of Spain’s cutting-edge techniques and philosophies will make its way across the Atlantic and into America’s dining rooms.


Can Sunyer, 48
17007 Girona, EspaƱa
Phone: 972 222 157

Master Chef Professional in episode 22 visited the amazing El Celler de Can Roca Restaurant.

In the final Week only three exceptional chefs remain to battle it out for the title. Michel Roux Jr and Gregg Wallace did turn the heat up to boiling point. The three finalists hit the culinary fast lane cooking at San Pellegrino's second best restaurant in the world: El Celler de Can Roca, in Catalonia and it was a great episode

Double Michelin starred Michel Roux Jr and MasterChef Judge Gregg Wallace challenge the three finalists to make the leap into the gastronomic top league and prove they can cook with the best in the world. The chefs travel to Catalonia in northern Spain to the three Michelin starred El Celler de Can Roca where they are in for the biggest culinary treat of their lives.

Working alongside the creative geniuses - the formidable Roca brothers - they will see the masters at work in all areas of the kitchen, from pastry to wine, before being given the petrifying opportunity of preparing their own dishes for them. Using ingredients from the restaurant's larder and some fresh local produce, they need to embrace El Celler de Can Roca's philosophy of emotional cooking and make the dishes mean more than the sum of their parts. It's a tense time for the chefs who want to prove their worth to the brothers and put everything into their dishes. 

Next, the finalists must embrace another tidal wave of pressure: cooking the restaurant's three Michelin star six course tasting menu in service. They have to step up to the Roca brothers' extraordinary level of culinary wizardry, delivering the menu for regulars of El Celler. Mastering cuisine at this level will push their ambitions and nerves to the limit. They have to stay focussed to recreate exquisite dishes that dazzle in their craftsmanship, the likes of which is Baby Squid on Mashed Potato with Paprika served on Cling-film over a bowl of smoke as well a complex dessert paying homage to the region's sheep's milk with seven different elements.

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