Jordi Roca is a chef who has revolutionized the pastry world.
As a young guy, he found his true calling in his older brothers’ kitchen at El Celler de Can Roca, and perfected his skills to create invigorating, ambitions recipes through the years. His work is all about creativity, attention to detail, and inquietude. Skills that have led him to win the World's Best Pastry Chef Award in 2014. With his brothers, Joan and Josep, he has helped turn the Celler de Can Roca into one of the world's most acclaimed fine-dining restaurants, following the footsteps of their parents in the restaurants industry.
Jordi attended culinary school in Girona (the city he was born in 1978) but he didn’t know for sure the right path to follow. But it all changed when he spent some time in the kitchen’s desserts section under the supervision of the restaurant's former pastry chef, Damian Allsop. It took less than a year for Jordi (who first started as a waiter when he was around 19 years old) to hold the position as the El Celler's pastry chef - an accident prevented Allsop from returning to the function. At the beginning, he had to first present his creations to his brothers, but over time he achieved the same levels of overall control as them, finally becoming their partner at the restaurant.
Over the years, he has dedicated himself to deepening his studies on pastry: he has taken classes on ice cream making, mastered "molecular gastronomy" and traveled the world to meet cocoa producers. Jordi also developed his own original techniques and began to make connections with other areas of knowledge to transform the experience of customers in the restaurant, conceiving sensory-stimulating desserts in creations such as his signature dish "The Rainy Forest" - made with distilled edible soil to bring back childhood memories of playing with (and tasting) dirt - and a Campari-filled bonbon that explodes in contact with the mouth. He has also experimented with perfumes to create fragrances in edible form and even launched his signature scent based on a lemon dessert. He broadened the ability of a chef to translate a language as powerful as that of perfume into another language in which aromas combine with the edible to create great dishes.
In his kitchen, Jordi struggled to find even new ways to combine flavors and aromas to use in his recipes. One was the cold distillation that separates the aromatic principles of the products, a technique he used in desserts such as the iconic “A Trip to Havana”, in which a creamy ice cream chocolate cylinder was served at the table impregnated with the aroma of Cuban cigar. Another technique, curiously called "perfumecocción", takes advantage of the volatile aromas that come off the ingredients during the cooking.
Jordi’s creations also helped El Celler de Can Roca to get a new level of critic acclaim: the restaurant conquered its third Michelin star and landed the top of the World’s 50 Best list. For Joan and Josep Roca, “A Trip to Havana” was the moment they realized Jordi had finally found his way as a dessert creator. As he began to get deeply involved in ice cream making techniques under the wing of the Sicilian Angelo Corvitto, he was ready to fly higher in his own creations.
So much so that, outside the restaurant, he created the Rocambolesc ice cream shop to sell affordable ice-cream and other desserts with a hint of magic and science. Now, Jordi is poised to open a chocolate studio that seeks to bring cocoa beans from different parts of the world that he has selected while visiting communities that harvest high-quality beans. Visitors will be able to watch him and his team working - or transforming raw material into flavorful fantasy.