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The Catalan 'El Celler de Can Roca' is ranked the best restaurant in the world

Catalan cuisine again tops the world’s best restaurant ranking. After Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli, the ‘Restaurant’ magazine has awarded the title of being the best restaurant in the entire world to a Catalan restaurant again: El Celler de Can Roca, located in Girona, near the Costa Brava. The establishment run by the three Roca brothers has already been recognised as the world’s second best restaurant, in 2012 and 2011, just after the Danish Noma, and has been among the best kitchens in the world for years. However, now they have received the profession’s top recognition. Starting out as a family restaurant, the Roca brothers have followed in the steps of Ferran Adrià and his molecular cuisine to develop a whole new approach to cooking, using the five senses and creating true pieces of art.

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30 April 2013 01:53 AM

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ACN / Laura Pous / Gaspar Pericay Coll

London (ACN).- Catalan cuisine again tops the world\u2019s best restaurant ranking. After Ferran Adrià\u2019s El Bulli, the \u2018Restaurant\u2019 magazine has awarded the title of being the best restaurant in the entire world to a Catalan restaurant again: El Celler de Can Roca, located in Girona, near the Costa Brava. The top ranking was announced on Monday evening, a few minutes before the start of the prize ceremony, held in London each year. The establishment run by the three Roca brothers has already been recognised as the world\u2019s second best restaurant, in 2012 and 2011, just after the Danish Noma. However, for many years El Celler de Can Roca has been among the best kitchens in the world. Now, the three Roca brothers \u2013 Joan, Josep and Jordi \u2013 have received the profession\u2019s top recognition. Starting out as a family restaurant, the Roca brothers have followed in the steps of Ferran Adrià and his molecular cuisine to develop a whole new approach to cooking, using the five senses and creating true pieces of art. According to Restaurant magazine, El Celler de Can Roca offers an \u201Cemotional cuisine\u201D, \u201Ccombining traditional Catalan dishes with innovative techniques\u201D. The specialised publication, considered to be the most prestigious cuisine magazine among chefs, emphasised \u201Cthe passion and kindness\u201D of the three Roca brothers. Joan Roca \u2013 the oldest \u2013 leads the kitchen as the El Celler de Can Roca\u2019s chef; Josep is the restaurant\u2019s sommelier and takes care of one of the best wine selections internationally; and finally the youngster Jordi is in charge of creating the most surprising desserts. After the closing of El Bulli \u2013 which had been the world\u2019s best restaurant for five years \u2013 El Celler de Can Roca became the flagship restaurant for Catalonia\u2019s gastronomy, as was recognised on Monday at the \u201Ccuisine Oscars\u201D, as the Restaurant Magazine\u2019s prizes are known in the sector. \u201CI don\u2019t know if we are the best restaurant in the world, but I know we will continue to work with creativity\u201D said Joan Roca when he received the prize.


Once again, another Catalan restaurant tops the international ranking of the world\u2019s best restaurants, compiled by the prestigious British Restaurant magazine. In fact, since 2002, a Catalan restaurant has topped the ranking half of the time and the years they have not topped the list a Catalan restaurant has been second and, once, third. Furthermore, in the last 8 years, a Catalan restaurant has topped the ranking 5 times and the other three years it was in second place.

El Bulli was the first Catalan restaurant to receive the world\u2019s highest recognition. The Catalan chef Ferran Adrià revolutionised the world\u2019s cuisine and most restaurant critics see him as a sort of Picasso, who revolutionised painting. Adrià\u2019s El Bulli, which was located next to a beach on the Costa Brava in the Catalan town of Roses, was considered on five occasions to be the best restaurant in the world by the British publication (2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) and the years it did not top the ranking it was the second best, except in 2004 when it was third. Another way of measuring El Bulli\u2019s and Ferran Adrià\u2019s influence is the fact that most of the world\u2019s current top chefs have spent some time in Adrià\u2019s restaurant as training chefs. In 2011, when Adrià announced he was closing El Bulli to transform it into the El Bulli Foundation by 2014, the Restaurant Magazine did not include it in its ranking. However, the magazine recognised Adrià as the \u201Cchef of the decade\u201D.

El Celler de Can Roca follows El Bulli\u2019s steps

In 2011, without El Bulli in the list, there was already another Catalan restaurant up to the challenge of being the flagship of Catalonia\u2019s cuisine against international competition. That year, El Celler de Can Roca was named the world\u2019s second best restaurant, a distinction it also received in 2012. In the last three years, Copenhagen\u2019s restaurant Noma \u2013 run by the former El Bulli staff member René Redzepi \u2013 was considered to be the world\u2019s number one, taking the number one spot from Adrià\u2019s restaurant. In 2013, the Roca brothers have taken the cuisine crown from Redzepi\u2019s hands and brought it back to Catalonia.

Restaurant Magazine\u2019s decision depends on the vote of 800 gastronomy critics and experts, who travel around the word discovering the best places to eat. The list is considered to be a sort of counter-point to the Michelin stars, although most of the top restaurants appear on both lists. However, the Restaurant list is more flexible and it can also include more informal restaurants among the world\u2019s best 50. El Celler de Can Roca was recognised with a third Michelin Star in 2009, although it had been in the Restaurant Magazine list for years and in 2007 it was already considered the world\u2019s 11th best restaurant. In 2009 it was already the world\u2019s number 5 in the UK publication.

\u2018The Dream\u2019

El Celler de Can Roca combines traditional Catalan cuisine, as the restaurant was originally run by their parents as a guest house, with the most innovative approach to cuisine. The Roca brother\u2019s creations attempt to present a whole new experience for the people fortunate enough to enjoy them, involving the five senses. This approach meant that they have developed a new project originally called \u2018El Somni\u2019 (The Dream), which is a gastronomic and sensorial experience. It combines food and wine with opera and audiovisual projections to transport the customers to a whole new dimension through their senses. El Somni will start to take bookings in Barcelona as from the 6th of May, it will later tour and end up in Girona, the Roca brothers\u2019 home town and where their restaurant is located. The three brothers presented the project in Catalonia a few weeks ago and today they presented it in London, at the Mandarin Hotel, in front of a hundred specialised journalists and critics. After the presentation, the Catalan artists received a long-lasting applause, showing that the initiative had been very well received. Joan Roca told the CNA that after the presentation and the round of applause they had \u201Cgood vibes\u201D about tonight\u2019s gala, where the world\u2019s best restaurants were to be announced.

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  • Joan Roca in El Celler de Can Roca's kitchen (by X. Pi)

  • The three Roca brother, before the London gala kicked off. From left to right: Jordi, Joan and Josep (by L. Pous)

  • Joan Roca, El Celler de Can Roca's chef, at the London award ceremony (by L. Pous)

  • Joan Roca in El Celler de Can Roca's kitchen (by X. Pi)
  • The three Roca brother, before the London gala kicked off. From left to right: Jordi, Joan and Josep (by L. Pous)
  • Joan Roca, El Celler de Can Roca's chef, at the London award ceremony (by L. Pous)