They are authentic world-beaters: every dish arriving on the tables of the Celler brings a wave of future to the client. Something glacial, lucid and sharp; it gives an uncomfortable lesson in which the present germinates from the future. And to think that for the Roca brothers restaurants are a family matter! It was in 1920 that grandparents Joan and Angeleta opened a fonda in San Martì de Llémena, while in 1967 their parents Josep and Montserrat launched Can Roca in Girona.
Having grown up with his nose in casseroles, among the inebriating fumes of Catalan cuisine, the firstborn Joan decided he’d become a cook at the age of 11. He attended the hotel management school, the basis for a cuisine aiming for greatness, underpinned with internships with Georges Blanc, Santi Santamaria and above all Ferran Adrià, an absolute master, starting from the techniques. Meanwhile his younger brothers did not loaf about: Josep studied to become a sommelier (today he’s famous for his 3 volume wine list, brought to the table on a special cart), while young Jordi does his best as a pastry chef, with the virtuosity of a Maradona using sugar. Born from such a trio, Celler opened its doors in 1986, next to the Spartan family restaurant. It’s a minimalist shell playing by subtraction and finding its shape, technique after technique, until it positions itself among the best restaurants in the world.
The two Michelin stars arrived soon, and became three in 2010, with the first place in the 50 Best list at the beginning of 2013. The three brothers are as laconic as their recipes, vectors of introvert sensations that aim for the heart passing through the nose (in deference to the latest discoveries in psychology). So here come edible landscapes, distillates of the most weird substances, Russian roulette made with earth you have to eat, calibrated fumes that season the dish, a varied gastronomic puzzle based on patented perfumes and cult labels: a tightrope walk progressing with products and cooking techniques – the vacuum, to begin with, the theme of a fundamental work.
There are no more standing walls, on the border of what’s edible, as on the horizon of the psyche. Imaginative and avant-garde: techno-emotional, this is how the well-fitting pen of the great critic Pau Arenos has defined the cuisine of the Celler, catching its elements of risky surgery of the precordium. While the classic bases contribute to an extremist excavation towards the essence of simplicitas. And to those who raise their fork I’d say: welcome to tomorrow.
Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini
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