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Cuisine 16 Jul 2019

The Roca brothers pay homage to London during the BBVA Tour 2016

The end of the first leg of El Celler de Can Roca’s world tour was marked by the standing ovation from the almost 400 BBVA clients that had been invited to enjoy a special menu that paid homage to the British capital’s cosmopolitan spirit.

Scottish salmon, lamb from Wales, or Wimbledon’s legendary strawberries with cream were all part of a 20 course menu that combined local ingredients and Spanish wines. “We tried to reflect the broad variety of cultures that coexist in London,” said Joan Roca after the last of the four dinners served at Hotel Café Royal. “We’ve prepared an Indian mandala, for example, but also served preparations that included an edible wood that we discovered in Argentina, or, of course, products that are more typical of our Mediterranean heritage. Our aim was to offer a sample of global cuisine, but without overlooking our roots.”

Picture of Strawberry with cream from the menu served in London during the BBVA Roca Tour 16

Wimbledon’s legendary strawberries with cream were all part of a 20 course menu that combined local ingredients and Spanish wines

Josep Roca’s wine pairings drew praise from BBVA’s customers and guests, who were treated to a tasting of a variety of historic brands, with names such as Tío Pepe, Gramona, Vega Sicilia or Torres. El Celler de Can Roca’s sommelier wanted to pay tribute to some of his favorite designations of origin and to showcase the quality of Spanish wines in British territory. During his appreciation speech after the final dinner of the BBVA Tour 2016, Josep Roca spoke about cooking in the British capital, dubbing it “a privilege that we are pleased to share with all our team members, without whom we wouldn’t be able to travel around the world.” London is Europe’s financial center, and for us, working here has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Josep Roca, Spanish wine ambassador of the menus served during the BBVA Roca Tour 2016

Over the course of their English week, the Roca brothers took the opportunity to visit different restaurants and cocktail bars – some Michelin starred, others listed in some of the world’s most reputed rankings, including the likes of The Clove Club, Zuma and Lyle’s, on the restaurant side, and Artesian and Dandelyan, on the cocktail bar side.

The most famous siblings in world cuisine also took the opportunity that their London stay offered to visit the Westminster Kingsway College, the hospitality and culinary arts school that assisted them in the creation of the menu they served during the week. Out of the institution’s 10 students, Kieran McHarrigle and Tania Lima were chosen by the Roca brothers and their team to complete the four-month apprenticeship stay at the Girona restaurant. BBVA and El Celler de Can Roca be choosing two hospitality students in each city included in the tour’s itinerary.

The Roca brothers and the 35 chefs and waiters that make up their entourage are already headed for Hong Kong, the next stop in their World Tour, where they will cook over the course of three evenings for BBVA’s local customers at the prestigious Hotel Peninsula.

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