The whole reason we went to Spain this year is because we watched Masterchef in January, where the finalists had to do a service in El Celler De Can Roca. “Would you eat that food if you had the chance?” I asked the kids. “Of course”, they answered, “but that 2nd finalist needs to work on his plating-up technique…”. OK, I hadn’t really expected that response, but I took the hint, phoned the restaurant, booked the table for August, and only then sorted out the rest of the holiday…
Now there’s not much point only doing a pilgrimage like this half-heartedly, so we invited friends along too. After much dressing up, application of lipstick (just the girls) etc, we arrived at the temple dedicated to Catalan food. What joys await!
The menu is extraordinary. Choosing is impossible, so it’s simpler to go for the taster menu and have everything… (mind you, we went for the 9 course taster, there is a 14 course beast for those of greater hunger!).
The excitement begins before the main food gets near the table. The Amuses-bouches are a great way for the chefs to show off their talents, and it started with our first surprise. A paper lampoon, which unravels to reveal savoury bonbons:
This next one is amazing: a miniature olive tree is brought to the table, with real olives hanging from the branches, that you pick and eat – right off the tree…
So at this point we haven’t even started the actual menu…. It arrives, each dish more exquisite that the last. Here’s a selection – to whet your appetite (haha…)
OK, so I’ve missed a few dishes out (!?!), but hey, we need a drink! So of course, my daughter takes over wine tasting duties. in the other hand is a Coke. How typical!
Then come the desserts!!! Charles reaches Nirvana, and Imogen relaxes with a fag.
After all this indulgence the senses are refreshed with a perfume cone and a homage to Willy Wonker
All hail the Rocas brothers! We are overcome! Immy, who has made friends with Davide our waiter, asks him “to pass on our compliments to the chefs”. Davide ups the ante, and asks the kids if they would like to meet the chefs? So off we troop to the kitchen (!)
And then a tour of the wine cellar. Immy is so delighted she throws her arms around Davide to give him a hug. There is a tear in Davide’s eye. He has been charmed.
This place is so fantastic. No feeling of pretentiousness or snobbery. The wonderful food, and the welcoming people. These are memories that will last for ever, and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
If you like this post, here’s 2 food posts that I follow regularly: great food and great stories.