Joan Roca opened up the three Michelin starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in 1986 with his brothers Josep and Jordi. In 2007 they changed location of the restaurant. Today they have their three stars and has been ranked as the number one restaurant in the world several times! And still Joan is a humble chef, that has easy to laugh. I meet Joan in San Sebastian Gastronomika in Spanien, and asked him some questions.
How is it to work with your brothers?
-It’s actually working really well! We really know and trust each other, so it works really great to run the restaurant together. If it didn’t, then we should just quit!
You have started to use more local herbs and flowers at the restaurant with the help of a botanist, has this changed the way you cook the last years?
-Our grand mother always used different kinds of flowers and herbs as we lived in the country side. But as we live in a city we have to learn. We started to learn for about 5 years ago, and we wan’t to make sure the knowledge about how to use flowers and herbs doesn’t disappear.We also work together with a researcher who helps us understand how we can use them in different ways.
Any new things coming up from the Roca family?
-The family has bought a building in Girona were we just opened up a chocolate factory and a hotel with 15 rooms. You will be able to buy the chocolate online to.But there will be no more hotels or chocolate factory’s, just like no more restaurants. Only one of everything!
What is the most important thing for you when you travel?
-To eat a lot’s of different food, to talk with the chefs and to visit food markets.
Have you ever been to Sweden?
-A very long time ago. You have many great chefs like Björn Frantzen, so I would love to visit again.
People travel less today because of it’s impact on the climate. How can we experience food from other culture’s without traveling as much.
-In the past you didn’t travel, you got hold of seeds from different countries. We have a lot of seeds from different countries at the restaurant. We plant, and see which ones that works in our climate. We need to come back to travel through the seeds, and not through products.
By Malin Nordblom
The hotel Casa Cacao and the chocolate factory just opened in Girona, Spain. And I would love to visit as it has everything I love there! If you visit, send me a shot!
The interview was done during San Sebastian Gastronomika where Joan Roca held a lecture and cooked up on stage.
It was first published at http://www.gourmet.se in Swedish.