Daniel Luque |

Málaga, September 23 (EFE).- The Catalan chef Joan Roca, of the restaurant ‘El Celler de Can Roca’, three Michelin stars, affirms in an interview with Efe the need to understand the value of haute cuisine. He assures that “there is a big difference between what costs money and what is expensive”.

Roca has thus decided on the price of the menus of the most successful restaurants aftere Dabiz Muñoz, of DiverXO, considered the best chef in the world at “The Best Chef Awards” for the second year in a row, he declared that spending 365 euros on a meal is not for the rich.

Roca, who is in third place in this ranking and who had a meeting with chef José Carlos García in Malaga, was “very happy” to see that there are Spanish chefs at the top of the list of best chefs. Muñoz describes him as “irreverent”, but with “great sensitivity and an angel for the kitchen”.

Haute cuisine must weather storm clouds ‘optimistically’

Despite “the storm clouds coming from Eastern Europe”, referring to the war in Ukraine and its economic consequences, Joan Roca considers that Spanish cuisine must face the future “with optimism” and overcome the impact of inflation.

In this sense, he assures that the increase in costs is felt in haute cuisine, but he believes that these establishments must accept this increase in prices and not try to compensate for it.

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The Catalan chef Joan Roca, from the restaurant ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ (Girona), during the interview. EFE/Alvaro Cabrera

The student shares his teacher’s illusion

José Carlos García, who was a student at Roca 20 years ago, told Efe that haute cuisine in Spain “continues to maintain the same enthusiasm as before” of the pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict. He admits there is a shortage of waiters and cooks but assures the new batch of chefs are coming “with more information and a lot more enthusiasm”.

García believes that Spanish haute cuisine “continually sows”, so he envisions a “beautiful panorama” of chefs who “come with great strength” and “begin to be healthy competition”.

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The Catalan chef Joan Roca (d), of the restaurant ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ (Girona), and the chef José Carlos García in Malaga. EFE / Alvaro Cabrera

In the opinion of the Catalan chef, “despite everything and against all odds”, Spanish haute cuisine is “in a splendid moment” and “inspires many other cuisines in the world” and he added that there is still a large number of guests.

‘El Celler de Can Roca’, like many other restaurants, experienced “very hard” moments of uncertainty during the first months of the pandemic. In fact, Roca recalled, it was once thought that haute cuisine establishments wouldn’t be important in the post-covid era, although ultimately that wasn’t the case.

Joan Roca and the future

According to the chef, society has understood that haute cuisine restaurants are important “to nourish the soul and not just the body”. Remember how the local public turned out to support ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ by reserving in April 2020 all the tables for March 2021 in just 5 minutes from the opening of reservations.

Roca, 58, sees himself in the kitchens of his restaurant, with his brothers Josep and Jordi, for at least ten more years, because he believes that “it is important to establish commitments over time and to remain attached to the non-conformity and creativity”.

García, grateful for the visit of his friend and former teacher Joan -with whom he prepared a tasting menu this Thursday for the tenth anniversary of his restaurant-, said his goal in the coming years is “not to lose the illusion or the desire to please the guests”

Web edition: Belén Mayo

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