Country : Spain
Restaurant : EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA
Address : Calle Can Sunyer, 48 17007 Girona, Spain
Website : http://cellercanroca.com
Postre, in Spanish, means dessert, but postrero refers to something that comes in last. Jordi Roca has taken the liberty to give this word a new meaning. To him, being a postrero has a sense of vital importance and defines the way he interprets his profession. After all, he makes desserts, not pastries.
His formation in the world of sweets started not academically but very much in the manner of a dilettante, alongside Damian Allsop, a very talented Welsh pastry chef who arrived in El Celler de Can Roca in the 90s after a long journey through many great European restaurants. Allsop was in charge of the desserts at their restaurant at this time, and with him, Roca begun to understand the importance of desserts in cuisine, its specifications and singularity. He helped stimulate Roca's curiosity, who was first his assistant and later, his successor.
Allsop provided Roca with the necessary tools to understand the reason behind sweet cuisine—its methods, precision and quick craftsmanship—and taught him patience, steadiness, confidence, and an obsessive commitment to the art. In the beginning, rules and quantification were the bases of instruction: Roca learnt why a soufflé foams up, the importance of tempering chocolate, why gelatin stiffens, how to blow sugar syrup like a craftsman making glass, and many more amazing things.
Then he began to have the possibility to create and to fly. Since then, he hasn't stopped amusing, provoking, and surprising himself; dreaming, and especially, playing. He has been addicted to this sweet diversion for more than fifteen years and feels an absolute need to express himself through desserts. A walk, a landscape, an aroma, an anecdote, a sound, a transgression, an emotion—all paths can lead to creativity. Freedom and freshness. Radicalism and extremism. He likes to play on the edge, breaking molds with irreverence. Fantasy captivates him, and he explores his universe in the moment for dessert, far from the rigor and the seriousness offered by the heavier principal courses of the menu. Roca enjoys surprising the diner at the last moment of the meal, where pushing the boundary between the established and the fascinating is possible.
Even as a little girl, Alejandra Rivas was interested in cooking, and from her mother learned how to make the popular recipes of Mexico.
Later, she enrolled in Escuela Único de Alimentos y Bebidas in Guadalajara, where she acquired a strong technical background and the skills needed to work in a professional kitchen.
Her hard work paid off with an apprenticeship at the three-Michelin-star restaurant of Martín Berasategui in Lasarte-Oria (San Sebastian, Spain) which she complemented with classes on Spanish cuisine.
She completed her training in Spain working at the rural hotel Ven y Volverás (Minglanilla) for 3 months and another 3 months at the hotel Mas Pasamaner (Tarragona) in charge of desserts and starters. After this, she was given the opportunity to do an apprenticeship in the prestigious restaurant of the Roca brothers, El Celler de Can Roca, where she worked on all the kitchen stations—meats, fish, cold section—finally desserts, where for a brief period she was the station chef.
After this experience, Alejandra returned to Mexico City to work for a year as the dessert chef at the best restaurant in Mexico, Enrique Olvera’s Pujol, where she had the liberty to work on her own creations.
In 2012, Rivas returned to Girona to take charge of the Rocambolesc ice cream parlors alongside her husband Jordi Roca, expanding it into 4 locations and making reality the dream that anyone can experience the magic that is El Celler de Can Roca.
3 Michelin Stars
No. 2, World’s 50 Best
Jordi Roca, 2014 World’s Best Pastry Chef by Restaurant Magazine
Alejandra Rivas, pastry chef and “ice cream hunter” recognized in both Spain and Mexico