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Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca delights BBVA clients and culinary students in Manhattan

Joan Roca, a world-renowned chef and co-owner of El Celler de Can Roca, the world’s no. 2 restaurant in 2018, traveled to Manhattan this week with BBVA Compass to treat bank clients to dinners for two nights in the heart of the city.

Roca, known for his creativity and sous vide cooking techniques, prepared multiple courses for dinner attendees which included signature dishes also found at his establishment in Girona, Spain. At the end of the last dinner, Roca and his staff chose a culinary student for a special scholarship to travel and train at El Celler de Can Roca for three months.

Adler: The entire trip was an amazing success for our clients, our employees and for the students who helped prepare the dinners.

“The entire trip was an amazing success for our clients, our employees and for the students who helped prepare the dinners,” said BBVA Compass Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Michael Adler. “Our mission of creating opportunities was on full display this week in multiple ways. This restaurant books up 11 months in advance. We were able to bring that experience to our clients, and bring world-class training to these culinary students.”

Both dinners were held at Cipriani Wall Street, where Roca’s staff prepared dinner for approximately 200 combined attendees at the dinner. Dishes included low temperature consommé with scallops and razor clams, European lobster parmentier with black trumpet wild mushrooms and lobster coral, and a dessert by Jordi Roca that mimicked the scent of an antique book.

Roca also spent time with culinary students and alumni at the International Culinary Center, teaching a master class that showcased his cooking techniques and plating designs. One of the dishes he composed for the audience was a veal oyster blade. Roca and his team prepare the dish by cooking the veal, using the sous vide technique, for more than 70 hours at 55 degrees celsius. Students from the International Culinary Center also helped prepare the two dinners with Roca’s staff.

At the end of the second dinner, Roca gathered the students on stage in front of attendees and announced Jeffrey Kim as the winner of the annual scholarship he presents to the most outstanding aspiring chef. Kim will travel to El Celler de Can Roca to train for three months with the Roca brothers and their staff.

Oyster with Fennel Sauce, Black Garlic, Apple, Seaweed,Champignon Mushrooms, Distilled Earth Essence, and Sea Anemone Sauce

The Roca brothers have been BBVA brand ambassadors for the past five years, and during that time have traveled across the globe with the bank to bring clients the atmosphere and innovation that has made their restaurant a culinary gold standard. Known as the “holy trinity” of the culinary world, the brothers’ restaurant has also obtained three Michelin Stars, an extremely rare and prestigious achievement for restaurants the world over. Joan serves as the head chef, Jordi is the establishment’s pastry chef, and Josep is the sommelier.

Last year, Jordi Roca traveled to Denver to delight diners with awe-inspiring dishes that included the brothers’ most famous dish, Dig Into the World, where five bites each consisted of flavors inspired by different countries visited on the BBVA Roca Tour in previous years. Also included were suckling pig, prepared by a sous vide technique, vegetable consommé, and a dessert called Lemon Cloud that mimics the scent of perfume. A dessert in the shape of a football was also included at the end of the meal- a nod to the local professional football team.

Other cities the brothers have traveled to as part of their tour with the bank include:

  • Birmingham
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Miami
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco

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