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Meet the Rocas

The Roca Brothers

The brothers Joan and Josep Roca founded their restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in August 1986, in Girona. Joan in the kitchen and Josep in the dining room. The final addition was the youngest brother, Jordi, who joined the kitchen of El Celler de Can Roca in 1998.

Aquaint Yourself

Savoury Chef

El Celler de can Roca

Academically trained at the “Escola d’Hostaleria iTurisme” in Girona, Joan is considered one of the best and most influential chefs in the world. From an early age, Joan knew that he wanted to become a chef - he still has the same kitchen apron that his mother gave him when he was nine.

Joan is the elder brother, the master chef and the innovator. He is the architect of culinary creations and the alpha of the Roca constellation.

For Joan, El Celler de Can Roca itself represents a dish - namely lamb with bread and tomato. He strikes this comparison because the restaurant is modern but pays tribute to childhood memories and also taps into personal experiences, in this case the aroma of cumin from trips to North Africa. The creative inception of the dish begins with the search for an interesting product.

The lamb is of the Ripollès breed, one of the few examples of livestock of ancient lineage still to be found in his country. It combines traditional lore with the experimental implementation of the most recent technical know-how; controlled temperature cooking- a technique developed by El Celler working with scientists. But there is also a fun element- the bread and tomato are on the inside and the lamb outside, emphasising the restaurant’s imaginative, creative approach to cooking.

Joan Roca has published several cookbooks, including one about cooking in a Roner vacuum, a device that he co-developed and is now one of the most essential tools in the kitchens of some of the world’s best restaurants. This scientific approach to cooking led Joan to be invited to teach at the University of Harvard.

Meet Josep


El Celler de can Roca

Josep studied at the “Escola d’Hostaleria i Turisme” in Girona. He describes himself as a sommelier, or wine waiter, and works at El Celler de Can Roca, Roca Moo and RocaBar at Omm and the Mas Marroch.

Josep has adopted the role of explaining to the world the philosophies and visions behind El Celler de Can Roca, helping people to understand and embrace the stories and rationale behind their renowned pairings of drinks and delicacies. He has a gift with words and brings his gastronomic enthusiasm to life.

Josep devotes significant time to research and education, leading courses for sommeliers at the University of Girona and the “Escola d’Hostaleria.

He also teaches Gastronomy and Oenology at the University of Girona.

Josep is the resident consultant and expert on the popular TV programme “En Clau de vi” which is broadcast across Catalonia.

In 2004 he received the National Gastronomy Award for Best Dining Room Maîtrel, followed by Best Sommelier in 2010. Josep has also been acknowledged with the Academy Award for Best Sommelier (International Cuisine) in 2005 and 2011 and the Medal of Touristic Merit, granted by Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

Meet Jordi

Dessert Chef

El Celler de can Roca

Jordi, often referred to as the ‘sweet mind’, studied at the “Escola d’Hostaleria” in Girona. Upon finishing his education, he joined the team at El Celler de Can Roca.

There he become acquainted with the award winning Welsh pastry chef Damian Allsop. It is Allsop whom Jordi credits with teaching him the 'hows and whys' of the restaurant world. When Allsop left the restaurant in 2000, Jordi became Head Pastry Chef.

He has published a number of books including “Sweet Sensations” and “Los postres de Jordi Roca”.

For Jordi, if El Celler de Can Roca was one of his deserts, it would be ‘Anarchy’ - a very complex and elaborate dessert, a chaos with dozens of different ingredients which the diner and chance combine as they see fit, a chaos that generates new and personalised organoleptic experiences.

Like his brothers, Jordi has received several awards, including the award for ‘Best Pastry Maker of the Year’ (2003) granted by the guide ‘El Millor de la Gastronomia’. He has also been named ‘Girona’s Best Pastry Maker’ (2004), with the guide Gourmetour also recognising him for producing the ‘Best Dessert Menu’ and ‘Best Desserts’ (2005). In 2010, he was awarded the ‘Paco Torreblanca Award’ for ‘Best Pastry Baker 2010’ by the Royal Academy of Gastronomy.

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