Secrets of the perfect meal by the holder of three Michelin stars
Joan Roca arrived in Moscow in the framework of Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress, where he held a master class and took part in a dinner party. Forbes Life took the opportunity to talk to them about the love of family and food, as well as the importance of traditions in modern avant-garde Creative Cuisine
Joan Roca - the chef of the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca and happy owner of three Michelin stars. His restaurant in Girona El Celler de Can Roca in 2011 and 2012 was in second place in the list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, and in 2013 and 2015 - on the ground.
The importance of family dinners
Together with my brother we learned to cook in the restaurant of my parents, and obviously, many things that we are doing, comply with the traditions, popular recipes in our region. These recipes very much, but there is one that is dearer to me than all the rest - this is the recipe of my grandmother. When we were little, my grandmother cooked us lamb grilled with bread and tomato. This is a very popular dish in Catalonia - we rubbed with a piece of tomato bread, added olive oil and salt. She sliced bread and we scissors lamb. All of this we ate hands, mixing the lamb, bread and tomatoes. My brother and I still remember her recipes with great warmth.
Grandmother, incidentally, never ate in our restaurant. My parents - yes. A grandmother thought we were too complicate your life. Yet it was frustrating that the large plate provided such a small portion. Of course, she was not used to this and could not believe that We submit 14 dishes of this size. Therefore it is said all the time that visitors remain hungry. And every time I explained to her that we will have approximately 15 such positions, she said, "Okay, okay." But, it seems, did not believe me until the end. I like to remember our family holidays. On them, we are always prepared traditional dishes. I still really like the soup Eskudelya, typical of Catalonia - with vegetables and various types of meat. Previously, it was eaten only at Christmas, but, fortunately, and then it began to appear on our tables and in the course of the year. It is now a family meal, a very lively - first laid out soup to eat noodles and rice, and then all the meat, big meatballs of pork, veal, bread, eggs, garlic and parsley. Eskudelya - a dish that I tried to reproduce in a modern kitchen. But I had still not get the taste that would I like - in many dishes the desired result has been achieved much easier, but here everything is not so simple.
But important for me to be honest in this matter. This taste very well entrenched in my memory. So it's a question of respect for the traditions of our family.
On the complexity of working with traditional dishes
Prepare traditional dishes in a modern way is not so easy: we are working on it, and most importantly, what we want - is to keep the taste. The main task here, as it seems to us, is to make traditional cuisine with modern and more sophisticated. Tastefully modern technology, by the way, allow you to play in different ways: sometimes make it more concentrated, sometimes - not so bright. Sometimes we try to improve even cooking process, using a variety of techniques - cooking at low temperature or for a couple, trying to maximize the "spare" product. And in the end it turns out the taste that we have remained in the memory of the most original dishes.
If there is a dish that I can improve, I do it, if I can not improve it - I leave without changes.
The recipe for grilled lamb with bread and tomatoes
My grandmother, unfortunately, no longer with us: when she died, I decided to try this dish. It tasted my mom, and she really liked it - although, of course, it is a little different. As for me, it turned out even more delicious.
I decided to try to repeat the idea of the grandmother with the use of modern technology - we are preparing a milk lamb at low temperature, use for this recipe only ribs. It is a long stew on low heat - 63 degrees for 24 hours - the meat was juicy. Thereafter, the pulp is very easy behind the seed, because we prepared dish sous-view technology. To achieve that we fry crispy grilled, putting him under pressure. We are very proud of this recipe: interesting texture inside a crispy skin, ikotoroy we are making at the expense of longing and grill.
All this we cut into squares of the same size and tomatoes. We do like a sandwich, but on the contrary - in the middle of the bread, and lamb at the edges. So we get to the sandwich over a lamb, the most delicious part of this dish, crispy from oily skin, and less bread with tomatoes. This is a modern interpretation of traditional dishes.
I think this dish is to find love in the hearts of all - as a ticket to the past for the people who ate it when they were young. But it seems to me, like it, and to those who never ate. Fortunately, the lamb eaten in almost every culture. If it was a dish with pork or something similar, we would be unlikely to enter the menu. But the lamb is really pleasant to all, especially to those who know our history.
On the secrets of serving and inspiration
We are closely linked with the world of art, and it, in turn, continually inspires us to create and serving dishes. In the kitchen, there are certain rules of aesthetics. And the architecture is probably quite unconsciously acts as a kind of reference point for us, the starting point. I like architecture and, of course, Gaudi. I can not tell you how much I am inspired by his work, created in harmony with nature. The kitchen and architecture have something in common - in one case created from building materials, in the other - of the products. Therefore, if we talk about inspiration, it is clearly more than I did get out of the architecture, especially Gaudi.
About professional ethics
When you ask about the code of ethics, I think more about the role of cooks in the society. It often happens that the chef follows the trends - and loses its special approach. And it happens in a different way. When the chef is recognizable and known, I think he starts often affect people with his food philosophy. But the restaurant business does not necessarily correspond to the ideal power, no matter how bad.
"Memories of the bar" - a set tapas Joan Roca
About and wife love
We have been married for 25 years. Who is talking to you and I think when we first met, I was preparing for it a lot more, it is inspired by the Catalan cuisine. Of course, it is was like. Her father - a fisherman, and I often cooked seafood that is brought to her father fishing. I cook them in their own way and always different, but it was inspired by folk seafood cuisine.