Joan Roca

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Country : Spain

Restaurant : El Cellar de Can Roca

Joan Roca. The lord of the kitchen. The bastion of contemporary cuisine par excellence. The chef who knows how to perfectly combine traditional classic cuisine, the food from his region, with the most advanced techniques. We have been privy to the culinary bowels of the world's best restaurant for many years now, regardless of what people may say. This is not a question of chauvinism. El Celler de Can Roca is elegance, it is that spoonful of caviar on a night of passion, it is that toast while looking into a loved one’s eyes, it is an encounter with pleasure that lasts for hours. Sometimes, only sometimes, the creation becomes something greater than the creator. El Celler de Can Roca is that multidisciplinary restaurant that thrills, regardless of the diner’s culinary knowledge, serving dishes in which two ingredients are never missing: love and affection in the form of approachability. Joan Roca embodies these two fundamental ingredients.

The greatness of El Celler de Can Roca lies in complementarity, elegance, precision, demand, technology, art, knowledge and culinary concepts. Today we add two new ideas: commitment and respect. These new parameters, which are transmitted to his suppliers and the raw materials he works with in the kitchen, come up when talking with Joan: "We must produce less to produce and cook better." Landscapes, memory, technique, sous-vide, distillation, chromotherapy, always with the common thread of enjoyment.

The Roca brothers’ passion for cooking was sparked in Can Roca, the restaurant run by his parents in Taialà, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Girona. There they grew up amidst the hustle and bustle of dishes, pots and customers. The bar was their living room, the landscape where they played, did their homework, watched television...with the smell of the stews so generously, simply and honestly prepared by their mother wafting in from the kitchen.

With this same generosity, simplicity and honesty Joan Roca took up the reins of the restaurant and, together with his brothers, took an unprecedented five-week culinary to flood towns in the USA, Colombia, Mexico and Peru with culinary knowledge. The brother’s weren’t looking to “perform” but rather to create a bridge to allow knowledge to flow in both directions. After this "Roca On Tour", the dishes and techniques the brothers had picked up over their time abroad, filtered through a clearly Mediterranean prism, began to find their way into the daily work of Joan, Josep and Jordi. They came back with their heads full of ideas, ideas which are starting to be glimpsed in their dishes.

Sometimes, just sometimes, being contemporaries of an unparalleled phenomenon makes it hard for us to be aware of the greatness of experiencing and witnessing something unique in the world. El Celler de Can Roca will be studied long after we’re gone. Now is the time to get the most from the brothers’ wisdom, enjoy the culinary experience they create. There will be no turning back once it’s too late. Joan Roca is the standard bearer of how to understand cuisine, cuisine that crosses borders, with his region as the spearhead. Joan is elegance personified. 

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