Last week I wrote about my afternoon with the best chef in the world, Ferran Adria. What I didn’t mention was that on the same blog trip to Costa Brava I was also fortunate enough to eat at what is technically the 2nd best restaurant in the world; although having eaten there I can’t imagine why it isn’t number one. El Celler de Can Roca was founded in 1986 by the three Roca brothers next to their family’s more modest establishment. The three brothers share the duties of head chef, pastry chef and sommelier and together have created one of the most remarkable dining experiences found anywhere in the world. I was lucky enough to have lunch there: a four –hour, 17 course lunch that showed us the width and breadth of the Roca brothers’ culinary expertise. Each course was accompanied by a separate wine pairing and by the end not only was I immensely content, but I was convinced that I would never eat again.
Even more amazing than the food though was that I ate it. Let me explain, I am not a foodie. In fact, I am a notoriously picky eater but I decided that since I was at the best restaurant in the world, as long as they didn’t serve me seafood, I would eat whatever they presented. The result was surprising, to me at least. I ate foods I would never have eaten otherwise and ended up loving every morsel. It was a true food lesson for me personally.
Before our amazing meal though we were treated to a once in a lifetime tour of the kitchens and had the opportunity to meet with each of the Roca brothers separately. I walked away incredulous that such a massive kitchen could operate so cleanly and soundlessly and marveled at the level of professionalism represented in a simple kitchen. In order to share with you this remarkable experience, what follows is a pictorial representation of my dining experience, along with descriptions and wine pairings. Whatever you do, if you ever find yourself in Girona, Spain you must eat at this remarkable restaurant.
Wines paired with the mega-meal:
Albert i Noya Cava El Celler Brut D.O. Cava
Domaine de L’Ecu Granite 10 A.O.C. Muscadet Sevre et Maine
Tarlant 98 Premium A.O.C. Champagne
La Bota de Fino 24 D.O. Montilla-Moriles
Joh.Jos.Prum Sonnenuhr 04 V.D.P. Mosel
Nun Vinya dels Taus 09 D.O.Penedes
Ossian 09 Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon
Nelin 09 D.O. Qa.Priorat
Von Bassermann-Jordan Kirchenstuck 06 V.D.P. Pfalz
Las Umbrias 10 D.O. Vinos de Madrid
890 Gran Reserva 95 D.O.Ca. Rioja
Vall Llach 05 D.O. Qa.Priorat
CanSais 03 Encanteri D.O. Emporda
Advent Sumoll Dolc 08 D.O. Penedes
Ino Masia Serra D.O. Emporda
This is one of the best meals I’ve ever enjoyed – what are some of your favorite travel food experiences?