Black pearl oyster with melon juice, cucumber, celery juice and apple. Ibérico suckling pig with green papaya salad.
Caramelized olives presented on a bonsai tree. Sheep’s milk ice cream served in a bowl that makes a cow bell sound when tapped with a spoon and paired with a perfume of lambswool essence.
That’s a sampling of some of the culinary masterpieces created by the Roca brothers, owners of Spain’s celebrated El Celler de Can Roca which has ranked among the top five on Restaurant magazine's coveted World's 50 Best Restaurants list since 2009.
Joan and Josep Roca opened El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, continuing a family tradition in the restaurant trade that has spanned generations. Younger brother Jordi later joined the venture, and the three are now world-renowned culinary superstars, revered for their innovative approach to food combinations, preparations, and presentations. Their avant garde approach has earned El Celler de Can Roca three Michelin stars. And through a partnership with BBVA and BBVA Compass, they are bringing their unique gastronomic experiences and culinary expertise to cities all over the world.
The partnership between BBVA and the Rocas, launched in 2013, is anchored in shared core values: responsibility, innovation, commitment, global outlook, leadership, and the desire to excel. Another key to this alliance is that both the Roca brothers and BBVA share the conviction that their most highly prized treasures are their customers. The Roca brothers also recognize BBVA’s commitment to successful internationalization, making them the “best and most natural partner for this journey.”
Through the tours, BBVA and the Roca brothers work together to discover the most promising young chefs and support small producers in all of the countries they visit to help them develop initiatives that improve their communities.
The Rocas, who are United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), choose ingredients for their pop-up experiences that promote local producers. The brothers also share their knowledge through training opportunities, working to improve market conditions for farmers and small-sized agricultural enterprises.
On each stop, culinary students also get a chance to work and learn as part of the El Celler de Can Roca team. The Roca brothers also choose two students from each city to complete a four-month training program at their restaurant in Spain. El Celler and BBVA cover all travel, accommodation and food expenses for the interns.
“This cooking trip allows us to add our grain of sand by training hundreds of hospitality students who, just like us, see cooking as a means of expression, a way of being,” says Josep Roca.
The Rocas embody the spirit of innovation and the drive to create opportunities for others through once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences. We are proud to partner with the Rocas and share their quest for excellence.
"When we travel around the world, we come with an open heart and an open mind. We’re always eager to learn, and sometimes what we learn is translated into our menu."