Posts tagged spain
El Celler de Can Roca: End of History?

I have dined three times in the new location in Girona. Now, besides being a Michelin three-starred restaurant, Can Roca is the second best in the world according to Restaurant Magazine’s infamous “Top 100” list. I think that fame and a very busy schedule has taken a toll on Juan Roca. He does not have the time, nor the energy to concoct and perfect new great dishes. So what we are seeing at Can Roca is also endemic to many of the world’s highly prized trendy hot spots: There is a shift away from concocting memorable dishes towards creating a unique experience for the diner. 

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The Apotheosis of Western Seafood: Elkano and Güeyu Mar

It is probable that neither Abel of Güeyu Mar, nor Aitor of Elkano perceive themselves as great chefs. Probably they consider themselves as having mastered “a la parilla” (grilling) techniques. But there is no way you can find this level fish in any Michelin three star restaurant or in any of the so-called top 20 restaurants of the world (with the possible exception of Asador Etxebarri). 

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El Celler de Can Roca

Joan Roca’s cooking has always technically very elaborate but also delicious. He often subjects the same dish to multiple cooking techniques. He is a master of sous vide, but he does not solely rely on it. He does not shy away from using rustic ingredients (offals), and he re-interprets tradition by adding one contrasting element to dishes made up of complementary ingredients. On the most recent visit he seemed to underemphasize the delicious component of his creations in favor of aesthetics and to display technical skills. Some dishes were not balanced or well conceived. However, good dishes are really good. One wishes that this hard working and talented chef moves away from trendy modern Spanish cooking and finds a better equilibrium without losing the Catalunian focus of his best dishes.

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