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The BBVA – El Celler de Can Roca’s world tour successfully concluded in Chile

The 2016 BBVA – El Celler de Can Roca Tour 2016 ended with great success, after traveling around the world in 35 days. Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, together with the entire El Celler de Can Roca team, went to London, Hong Kong, Phoenix, San Francisco and Santiago de Chile over the past five weeks. In each city, they paid tribute to the country’s cuisine, reinterpreting popular dishes and creating new ones inspired in the tour’s previous travels. Joan Roca, the head chef; Josep Roca, maitre d’ and sommelier; and Jordi Roca, pastry chef, have served nearly 40,000 dishes for 1,900 BBVA customers and guests.

The 2016 BBVA- El Celler de Can Roca Tour successfully concluded after traveling more than 42,000 km – completely around the world. London, Hong Kong, Phoenix, San Francisco and Santiago de Chile were able to enjoy the magic of the best restaurant in the world in 2013 and 2015. The Roca brothers created 5 different menus for each city, paying tribute to each city’s culture and culinary traditions. They prepared 65 different dishes, using 250 ingredients and more than 10 wines on each menu. “We tried to use our style of cooking, while respecting and incorporating elements of the local gastronomy in each of the cities we visited,” said Joan Roca.

El Celler de Can Roca head chef Joan Roca plates Lobster Parmentier with Mole Sauce and Phytoplankton Sponge Cake Smoked with Spices.

Joan Roca during a masterclass at the San Francisco Cooking School

On July 31st, the El Celler de Can Roca team headed to London, where the tour began with a 20 dish menu honoring the cosmopolitan British capital. The Wimbledon tournament’s traditional strawberries with whipped cream, Swedish salmon and Indian mandala were part of this tribute, paired with Spanish wines. “We tried to reflect the many different cultures present in London,” said Joan Roca.

The leap to Asia was particularly relevant in this tour, as the Roca brothers started out in Asia. Although it was a big challenge, the El Celler de Can Roca owners created a menu that surpassed expectations and impressed the guests with reinterpretations of traditional cuisine and fusion dishes.

Picture of El Celler de Can Roca with the students of Culinary Arts in Hong Kong during the BBVA Tour

El Celler de Can Roca with the students of Culinary Arts in Hong Kong during the BBVA Tour

In the U.S., the arid Arizona landscape and culinary richness of California were prominent in both menus, leaving no one indifferent. In Phoenix, Joan Roca’s shrimp parmentier in a bowl full of smoke and spices delighted diners. In San Francisco, Jordi Roca’s creations won the spotlight, living up to one of the most technological and innovative cities in the world. The “plate player” – a cromaphone that translates colors in sounds and ice cream made of sourdough surprised guests who gave the Roca brothers a standing ovation at the end of dinner.

“We tried to reflect the many different cultures present in London” — Joan Roca.

The finishing touch on the tour came from the menu served in Santiago de Chile. The tribute went beyond popular cuisine and included an innovative tribute to Pablo Neruda with a dish called “Ode to Conger Stock”. This creation was accompanied by edible paper that smelled like an old book with an extract from the Chilean poet’s poem.

A social tour

BBVA and El Celler de Can Roca collaborated with several different hospitality schools. Two students were chosen from the schools in each city to receive a four month scholarship in the best restaurant in the world, located in Girona.

The goal is to promote local talent, granting the students the opportunity to learn together with the best in the world in an experience that will surely mark their careers as chefs. “This culinary trip allows us to do our part in training the hundreds of hospitality students who feel, like us, that cooking is their way of expressing themselves, of being themselves,” notes Josep Roca. The trio from Girona has also taught hundreds of students at conferences in the cities included in the tour, as well as at their main hospitality and restaurant schools.

Hospitality students from Chile during the BBVA Roca Tour 2016 won a four-month scholarship in El Celler de Can Roca - Ernesto Zelada - Xpress Media

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