Three brothers and a quarter (of a century)

Soon the Roca brothers will put in a book twenty-five years of history. Here is a preview

05-03-2013
Left to right, Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca, the thr

Left to right, Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca, the three brothers who have ensured the fortunes of the last 25 years of the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (Spain). A book divided into 16 chapters will soon sum up their journey. The photo was taken from the Celler's website

It’s not only too easy to say that El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain) stands out among the stars of the Spanish Michelin guide and is considered the second best restaurant in the world according to the World's 50 Best, the list edited by the English magazine Restaurant. It is also reductive.

Twenty-five years ago, at the centre of the Roca brothers’ restaurant, one would notice a foosball, a time-killing device among the distressingly empty tables. Joan, the eldest, was in the kitchen, Josep in the dining room and Jordi was still attending primary school. The kitchen was minuscule, the heating system was precarious, and the best wine in the cellar was a magnum bottle of Mouton Rothschild. The fourth generation of this family of chefs has been characterised by dreams and envies, but most of all by an extraordinary want to work. Their watchword is certainly "determination".

The forefather. Chef Joan Roca and the R in Respect, Identità 2013’s leitmotiv (photo Brambilla/Serrani)(foto Brambilla/Serrani)

The forefather. Chef Joan Roca and the R in Respect, Identità 2013’s leitmotiv (photo Brambilla/Serrani)(foto Brambilla/Serrani)

With their efforts, they have conquered the summit of the world culinary scene and they don’t know the meaning of improvisation. Their cuisine is profoundly thought-out: it manages to unite great passion, impeccable technique and admirable intelligence. Sometimes you feel you don’t have enough adjectives to describe the anti-conformist experience offered by the triumviri, committed to the road of creativity and to the constant confrontation with raw material on one side, and science on the other.

In less than two months time, El Celler de Can Roca will publish its ultimate work, which will completely unveil the creative processes, the values on which their journeys are based, the most important recipes in the past quarter of a century. In this book, the three Roca brothers will personally explain the secrets of an exceptional restaurant. They will accompany the reader on a 16 chapter long stroll, among their sources of inspiration: Tradition, Memory, Classicism, Product, Landscape, Wine, Chromatisms, Sugar, Multi-disciplinary Nature, Aroma, Innovation, Poetry, Freedom, Audacity, Magic and Sense of Humour. They will demonstrate it is possible to offer a vanguard cuisine starting from ancestral recipes and from the chef’s personal biography. The history of Celler is authentic and, perhaps, this is why it is so special.


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