The Roca Brothers have been known to push the boundaries of technique and flavour with their wonderful tasting menus at the world famous El Celler De Can Roca restaurant in Girona, Spain.
Jordi Roca, the pastry chef of the three brothers, has surprised guests with sugar blown glass-like structures, plates that breath and desserts that float. While Joan Roca, the head chef and eldest of the group, has been at the forefront of modern gastronomy working to develop new technology for the kitchen and pushing the ideas of multi-sensory dining. Josep Roca, the middle brother and the sommelier of the three, has built one of the world's best wine collections and together they create an unrivaled experience.
In recent years, the brothers have famously worked to analyze different perfumes, a passion of Jordi's, so they can create dishes from the notes they discover. The idea of capturing the essence of ingredients has played a big part in their work in the kitchen and, along those same lines, the chefs have created one of the most unique sounding dishes we’ve come across.
That’s because they have been serving a dish that captures the actual flavor of an old book: yes, a book. Always looking to twist ideas and tastes, the chefs have been working with techniques of distillation using a piece of equipment called the Rotaval: a piece of equipment the brothers created in 2005 alongside Fundacio Alicia. The Rotaval removes air during distillation, this changes pressure inside the machines and allows water to boil at much lower temps, around 50-70 degrees. This allows for very clean, clear and concise distillation of flavors.
The book is first smeared in grease so the fat can absorb the aroma and flavor of the book. This is then dissolved in alcohol, distilled and centrifuged to create a perfume which captures the essence of the book.
The Roca's famously used the Rotaval in much of their cooking, it was the equipment that allowed them to produce their famous signature dish of oysters with distillate of earth. In recent years, they have continued to push the boundaries of what can be captured, trying to ditilatte stranger and more out there objects, like an old book.
Served during their last world tour in 2016, the brothers created a tribute to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and his famous Oda al Caldillo de Congrio poem about a traditional Chilean dish. The brothers created their very own play on the poem, before finishing the dish with a tiny piece of paper marked with Neruda's words: they then added essence of old-antique book to the edible poem and served the dish.
Take a closer look.