Restau­rant of three Span­ish broth­ers named world’s best

The China Post - - ARTS - BY EDOUARD GUIHAIRE

Spain’s “El Celler de Can Roca” was crowned the world’s best restau­rant on Mon­day, win­ning praise for the “col­lec­tive ge­nius” of the three broth­ers who run it.

It was the sec­ond time the Girona eatery has topped the World’s 50 Best Restau­rant awards in Lon­don, af­ter tak­ing the num­ber one spot in 2013.

Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca each have their own spe­cialty: the first is head chef, the sec­ond cre­ates the desserts, while the third sib­ling is in charge of the wine.

The awards, run by trade mag­a­zine Restau­rant, lauded the broth­ers’ com­bined tal­ents as a “holy trinity.”

“Cu­rios­ity and cre­ativ­ity pro­pel the Ro­cas back to the top,” read a state­ment on the awards web­site.

“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 wines.”

Josep Roca told AFP the award made the trio feel “happy, loved.”

“This recog­ni­tion means that a lot of peo­ple trust in us and our com­mit­ment to our val­ues and what gas­tron­omy rep­re­sents,” Josep said.

The restau­rant knocked Dan­ish four-time win­ner “Noma” down to third place, with Italy’s “Os­te­ria Frances­cana” tak­ing the sec­ond spot.

The top 10 was rounded out by restau­rants in Peru, the United States, Spain, Bri­tain, Ja­pan, Brazil and Thai­land.

El Celler uses in­gre­di­ents typ­i­cal of its na­tive re­gion of Cat­alo­nia, and is famed for its 14-course “culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence” paired with wines and sher­ries from the Ibe­rian penin­sula.

Joan Roca told AFP he hoped the award would help the lo­cal cui­sine would gain “visibility... es­pe­cially the ex­cel­lence in our par­tic­u­lar area where we op­er­ate.”

The awards, which have run since 2002, have be­come a ref­er­ence point for the world’s food­ies but were hit by al­le­ga­tions this year of cosy deals be­tween restau­rants and jury mem­bers. ‘Not anti-French’

The con­test is run by Bri­tish me­dia com­pany Wil­liam Reed, and crit­i­cism has fo­cused on the method­ol­ogy used to se­lect the best restau­rants.

The jury is made up of 972 “in­de­pen­dent ex­perts” in­clud­ing food writ­ers, chefs, restau­rant own­ers and gourmets in 27 re­gions.

Jury mem­bers choose their seven fa­vorite restau­rants where they have eaten in the past 18 months.

Crit­ics say the sys­tem is open to abuse since the jury do not have to of­fer phys­i­cal ev­i­dence of hav­ing ac­tu­ally vis­ited any par­tic­u­lar restau­rant.

Yet or­ga­niz­ers hired the Deloitte con­sul­tancy firm to over­see the vot­ing, and say jury mem­bers can­not vote on restau­rants in which they have an in­ter­est.

AFP

Span­ish restau­rant El Celler de Can Roca team, from left to right, Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca re­ceive the award for best restau­rant dur­ing the World’s 50 Best Restau­rant Awards in Lon­don on Mon­day, June 1.

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