This month the world’s second best restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, celebrates its 25th birthday. No longer second fiddle to El Bulli, which closed its doors this July, El Celler de Can Roca is now hot on the heels of Copenhagen’s Noma in the San Pellegrino top 50 restaurant ratings. Never-the-less, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, the creative minds behind El Celler de Can Roca, claim they are not obsessed with obtaining the pole position on the famous restaurant list, but do acknowledge that to do so would be ‘nice’.
Now El Bulli has closed its doors Roca acknowledges they have more responsibility than before. Interesting to note is that Spain dominates the top ten best restaurants in the world with three entries, including Mugaritz at number 3 and Arzak at number 8, both in the Basque Country, the other area do Spain best known for Gastronomy alongside Catalunya.
But for Roca the culinary motivation is neither to replace nor compare themselves to anyone else but to uphold their values of ‘tradition, roots, family and rigour’, and also ‘the pursuit of flavour and innovation’.
El Celler Can Roca gained its third Michelin Star in 2009, acknowledging over 20 years hard work from when the brothers set up in the building next to their parents restaurant in Girona. The current incarnation of the restaurant occupies a stylish modernist design from the studio of Catalan designer Isabel Lopez Vilalata.
The Roca brothers remain very much grounded and focused on their work, apparently with no plans to do anything special for their 25th birthday other than keep working and to ‘hope the success lasts!’.