Having closed its doors at the end of July to take off on the BBVA World Tour, El Celler de Can Roca re-opened in the demonstration theatre of Westminster Kingsway College (WKC) for one morning only, giving a selected audience of 40 guests a ‘Masterclass’ - a sneak preview of the cuisine that will be served this week on the London leg of the tour.
The Roca Brothers, the owners of El Celler de Can Roca, are in London for five days where together with BBVA they are hosting a pop-up restaurant at the Cafe Royal. As part of the week-long residence, the Brothers are working with students from WKC, which provided the perfect venue for the Masterclass. In each location, El Celler de Can Roca works with a local culinary school, and with BBVA offers two students a four-month internship at the restaurant.
Joan Roca, El Celler de Can Roca’s Head Chef and recent recipient of the Chef’s Choice Award from ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ (El Celler de Can Roca is currently #2) described the selected dishes as a tribute to the melting pot that is London cuisine, with influences from across the globe.
Jordi Roca at the London Masterclass (photo: Jamie Smith)
Together with his younger brother Jordi, Joan and the El Celler team cooked four dishes from the London menu:
Cooked oyster with a cucumber, melon and lime dressing
A fillet steak with a whisky jus
A mandala of lamb with curry seasoning
A cigar box chocolate pudding
As usual, the dishes featured some of the unique Roca Brothers touches. Both the lamb (a tribute to Indian cuisine) and the steak - a nod to Scotland - were cooked sous-vide - in boiling water in a vacuum pack - to ensure perfect pinkish consistency through the meat. The lamb sat on a bed of edible wood. And the chocolate pudding was garnished with an edible tobacco leaf.
As well as the dishes served on the day, the brothers shared some of their other creations, such as the perfume from lambswool that provides the essence for their sheepsmilk pudding, and 'Velencoco', the coconut milk ice cream based on the torso of Catalan actor Andres Velencoso.
Emer Schlosser, Social Media Manager at The World's 50 Best Restaurants and a guest at the Masterclass said: “The passion of the Roca brothers is palpable. To be able to hear from them about their philosophies and see their care, attention to detail, and enthusiasm up close was incredible. Now, more than ever, I want to not only go to the restaurant to experience a meal, but to peek inside their kitchen filled with various contraptions."
The Brothers’ visit to London and their work with local schools and colleges is part of the BBVA-El Celler de Can Roca World Tour 2016. For the month of August, the Girona restaurant closes and El Celler de Can Roca travels across the world with BBVA to bring its cuisine to locations important to the brothers and the bank and to demonstrate our shared values: responsibility, innovation, commitment, a global outlook, leadership and the desire to excel. Now in its’ third year, the tour travels to Hong Kong, Phoenix, San Francisco and Santiago de Chile as well as London.
El Celler de Can Roca on the BBVA World Tour at London’s Café Royal runs from August 2 – 5. For more details on the tour, click here.