#1 EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA
El Celler de Can Roca is a restaurant i n Girona, Catalonia, Spain which was opened in 1986 by the Roca brothers, Joan, Josep and Jordi. The cuisine they serve is traditional Catalan, but with twists to the extent that the Michelin Guide describes it as "creative" and The Times said it was a "fusion of traditional dishes with surrealist touches". The restaurant primarily uses local ingredients from the Catalan area using simple flavor combinations combined with molecular gastronomy techniques and unusual presentations of food, including caramelized olives which are presented on a bonsai tree.
The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in 1995, it’s second in 2002 and was awarded three star status in 2009. This year ‘Curiosity’ and ‘Creativity’ propelled the El Celler de Can Roca Roca to the top and the reason why this 55-seat contemporary Catalan restaurant is now on top of the world is the trio’s equal brilliance in ensuring that they never stop feeding their knowledge and imaginations through unusual initiatives. Less publicly, they are also at the forefront of a ‘gastro-botanical’ research project called Terra Animada that is cataloguing rare wild species with the aim of reintroducing them into our food systems.
None of the above examples would matter, of course, if they didn’t feed back into the evolution and progression of the dining experience at El Celler de Can Roca. A meal in the tranquil glass-walled dining space is at once comforting and yet gastronomically challenging, the food simultaneously artisanal and technical, with references to both the traditional and the avant-garde. Crucially, this is a restaurant that has never forgotten its humble roots, its sense of familial warmth, or the need to serve remarkably delicious dishes and outstanding wine.