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.”
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.
Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, owners of El Celler de Can Roca
This is the third tour on which the Roca brothers embark with BBVA. According to them, this is a way of leaving their comfort zone. "It allows us to reinvent ourselves."
Joan Roca, in the kitchen of Hotel Café Royal, London
For four nights, the exclusive hotel hosted the El Celler de Can Roca team and has witnessed the magic of their cuisine.
Memories of a neighborhood bar
This classic starter from El Celler de Can Roca’s cookbook is essential to understand the history of the restaurant.
Black pearl oyster with cucumber, melon, apple and celery
The dish was paired with a Cuvée Le Fief du Breil Domaines Landron 2013 A.O.C. Muscadet Sèvre et Maine.
Cherries veil with cashew nut, smoked eel, cherry in cherry vinaigrette with toasted butter foam air
Paired with a Côte de Py Jean Foillard 2014 A.O.C. Morgon.
Langoustine with cocoa purée and cep
Paired with a Nun Vinya del Taus Enric Soler 2014 D.O. Penedès.
Mackerel with amontillado, almond praline, orange reduction and green olive emulsion
Paired with an Amontillado Viña AB 12 años González Byass D.O. Jerez.
Mandala lamb, tangerine puree, lemon puree, beet Impregnated melon, fennel and artichoke
Paired with a Grans Muralles 2004 D.O. Conca de Barberà.
Macallan Whisky tenderloin with spicy wood, vanilla, truffle, saffron, prune, curried walnut and tempeh barley
Paired with a Valbuena Vega Sicilia 2010 D.O. Ribera de Duero.
Strawberry with cream
Paired with a Dolç Mataró Alta Alella 2012 D.O. Alella.
Paired with a Matusalem Oloroso Dulce Viejo VORS González Byass D.O. Jerez.
Menu served in London during the BBVA Tour 2016
This was the menu designed by the Roca brothers that BBVA customers and guests were invited to enjoy.