Joan Roca on His Restaurant’s Success
Ahead of the announcement of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016, the Spanish chef tells us how working with his brothers has been key to his success.
The Roca brothers — Joan, Josep and Jordi — will be able to breathe easy on Monday evening, when the World’s 50 Best Restaurants will be announced. It will be the moment the brothers behind El Celler de Can Roca find out if they will hold the title for a third time (The first was in 2013 and a second time in 2015). “Our creative team includes a scientist, botanist and artist, a lot of interesting people,” said Joan Roca who credits the team and the interdisciplinary contributions everyone brings to the restaurant.
His brother Josep works the front of the house, while Jordi works the pastry line in the restaurant. “Three heads really are better than one. We have a very good relationship. My brothers are very creative and between this triangle, things can get very interesting,” Roca said. Since winning the title, El Celler de Can Roca has made dining a multi-sensory experience by incorporating theatrical productions such as “El Somni” to the mix in 2013. The following year, the restaurant took their Girona restaurant to the United State and Latin America for their gastronomic tour.
Joan Roca, however, feels he has much left to explore in the culinary world. His recent trip to Thailand with Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants saw him stepping out of his comfort zone when he was introduced the flavours of yellow curry, Thai basil and chili peppers – ingredients uncommon in his culinary spectrum. Roca is set to embark on a third world tour with his restaurant staff this summer, with countries such as London, Phoenix, San Francisco, Santiago, Chile and Hong Kong on the itinerary. He hopes that the tour will help him understand their unique local flavours, especially those of Chinese cuisine.
While the typical El Celler de Can Roca experience revolves around culinary creativity, Roca modestly believes that it is his restaurant’s hospitality that keep his diners coming back for more. “The most important thing is hospitality. It’s important that the guests are happy to be here,” he said.