Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Joan Roca

Joan Roca
A close-up of Joan Roca

Joan Roca

Recognized as one of the best chefs in the world, Joan Roca is one of the leading pioneers who have made Spain an obligatory destination for gastronomy fans. In El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, he and his brothers, Josep and Jordi, have created one of the most sought-after experiences in the food scene - the months of waiting for a table are a proof.

He was a boy when he first wore a cooking coat to help his mother in the kitchen of the family’s traditional restaurant, Can Roca, in Taialà, a neighborhood lying on the outskirts of Girona (the city where he was born in 1964). As a young 22 year-old man, after studying at Escola d'Hosteleria de Girona, he decided to open with his brother Josep - maître and sommelier- the prestigious El Celler de Can Roca, in 1986. Jordi Roca only joined the two brothers years later, to take over the pastry section.

At El Celler de Can Roca the authentic creative triangle formed by the three brothers keeps them in continuous research committed to innovation and creativity, enhancing traditional flavors with cutting edge techniques. Joan is a trailblazer in accurate cooking techniques, like sous-vide, which he mastered by carefully controlling temperatures in years of testing in his kitchen - and led him to publish books on the subject, such as Sous-Vide Cuisine and Cooking with Joan Roca at Low Temperatures.

Seen as an architect of flavor, his cuisine seeks to combine science and sensibility, technology and simplicity to surprise his guests. Joan’s approach to traditional cuisine fused with avant-garde techniques helped guide the Roca brothers’ work at the restaurant, twice ranked as the No 1. in the world, according to the World's 50 Best Restaurants. The international acclaim came thanks to some outstanding dishes, such as the “Frozen olives” picked directly from a bonsai olive tree that explode in the mouth, and freeze-dried oyster shells with oyster tartare.

The “Amontillado Steamed Oyster”, in which incandescent rocks were placed at the bottom of a porcelain bowl over which Amontillado sherry was poured, is one of the examples of a quintessential recipe at El Celler de Can Roca. Joan pays homage to his brothers in this creation: the wine is at the bottom of the dish, linking with Josep’s work with the bottles, and the perfume cooking is a reference to a technique widely used by Jordi in his desserts.  

In 2013, Joan and his brothers developed El Somni, a gastro-opera in 12-courses, for which they engaged 50 artists and cultural figures from different disciplines, including scientist Harold McGee and painter Miquel Barceló, to take sensoriality to its limits serving signature dishes that could make guests “dream” while eating.

Joan worked with Spanish acclaimed chefs such as Ferran Adrià, with whom he developed the famous "deconstruction" methods, and Santi Santamaría, with whom he learnt new versions of standard Catalonian dishes. But eventually he found his own path in the gastronomy scene, becoming one of the most admired chefs in the food world.

In September 2007, he and his brothers transferred the El Celler de Can Roca operations to the Torre de Can Roca, just 200 meters away, to gain more space in the kitchen for innovation and experimentation, since the research has always characterized Rocas’ work. Nowadays, the restaurant is leading a botanical research called Terra Animada that has catalogued more than 3,000 wild species for recovery and reintroduction in gastronomy.

Joan’s deeply rooted educational vocation also led him to be a lecturer for more than 20 years, being Honorary Doctor by University of Girona, and collaborate in several national and international university programs such as Science & Cooking lectures at Harvard. In 2015, the World Economic Forum invited him to join the annual discussions as a Cultural Leader.

El Celler de Can Roca Launches 'Sustainable Gastronomy' Platform
Spanish three-Michelin-star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca partners with BBVA to launch the 'Sustainable Gastronomy' platform. Read the full story.
What's it Like to Eat at El celler De Can Roca?
What's it Like to Eat at El celler De Can Roca?
A tasting menu at El celler De Can Roca is a
Eat, drink... and stay for a night
Eat, drink... and stay for a night
Hospitality is the center in the restaurant industry and has increasingly gained the attention of chefs willing to offer great experiences to their guests.
World's Top Chefs Come Together at Astrid & Gaston's 25th Anniversary Dinner
Joan Roca, Albert Adria, Andoni Luis Aduriz will join Gaston Acurio, Astrid Gutsche, Virgilio Martinez and Mitsuharu Tsumura for a delicious celebration.
Broken Plate
Food is Broken but Chefs are Serving Solutions
A report by leading academics claims that global food systems are broken. Chefs are the key players who will help us rethink food.
3D Printed Meat Is Almost Here
Sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, but futuristic meat alternatives are being 'printed' from a 3D printer thanks to a bioengineer.
See the Amazing Chefs Line-Up for #50BestTalks San Sebastian
Take look at the amazing line-up of chefs who'll be speaking at the next #50BestTalks event in San Sebastian, ahead of the World's 50 Best Restaurants 2018.
Gastromasa 2017: A World of Ingredients
The world's best chefs gathered in Istanbul for Gastromasa 2017, to talk gastronomy and share some of their favourite ingredients with Turkish foodies.
#50BestTalks Barcelona: Visions of Gastronomy
Five of the world's greatest chefs discussed waste, welfare, and legacy, and what it means to be 'fine dining' at a special event in Barcelona.
#50BestTalks Barcelona Meet the Chefs
Ahead of the #50BestTalks Barcelona live-stream on Fine Dining Lovers on 27 June, read our interviews with all five of the world renowned chefs involved.
Waiting for the #50BestTalks Barcelona Live-Stream
Find out how to live-stream #50BestTalks Barcelona, where some of the world's greatest chefs will dish on the future of gastronomy, on Fine Dining Lovers.
10 Highlights from Kitchen Dialogues 2017
Our picks from the Diálogos de Cocina 2017 food symposium in San Sebastian, featuring some of the world's top chefs and food thinkers.