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World’s Best Restaurant award goes to Girona’s El Celler de Can Roca once again

Catalan cuisine is continuing to gather top international distinctions and the restaurant run by the 3 Roca brothers, El Celler de Can Roca, is the flagship of this trend, following the path opened by Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli in the 1990s and 2000s. Each year the London-based ‘Restaurant’ magazine compiles a ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants. El Celler de Can Roca tops the prestigious list for the second time, after already doing so in 2013. In fact, since 2011, the Girona restaurant has been either the world’s best or second-best establishment, competing with the Danish restaurant Noma, which falls to 3rd position this year. As well as this, Catalan Albert Adrià, who is the younger brother of Ferran Adrià, has been recognised as the World’s Best Pastry Chef, an award created last year. In 2014, the World’s Best Pastry Chef was Jordi Roca, the youngest brother of El Celler de Can Roca trio. In addition, Adrià’s restaurant Tickets, which is located in Barcelona, is included among the top 50 for the first time.

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02 June 2015 04:51 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Catalan cuisine is continuing to gather top international top distinctions and the restaurant run by the 3 Roca brothers, El Celler de Can Roca, is the flagship of this trend, following the path opened by Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli in the 1990s and 2000s. Each year the London-based ‘Restaurant’ magazine compiles a ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants. El Celler de Can Roca tops the prestigious list for the second time, after already doing so in 2013. In fact, since 2011, the Girona restaurant has been either the world’s best or second-best establishment, competing with the Danish restaurant Noma, which falls to the 3rd position this year. As well as this, Catalan Albert Adrià, who is the younger brother of Ferran Adrià, has been recognised as the World’s Best Pastry Chef, an award created last year. In 2014, the World’s Best Pastry Chef was Jordi Roca, the youngest brother of El Celler de Can Roca trio. In addition, Adrià’s restaurant Tickets, which is located in Barcelona, is included among the top 50 for the first time. These distinctions are to be added to those received by El Bulli, which is the restaurant that has topped the list the most times (with a total of 5 appearances in first place, and which was among the top 3 for 10 years) and the distinctions received by Ferran Adrià, who was awarded Best Chef of the Decade as he revolutionised cuisine.


Monday was a great night for Catalan cuisine, since the equivalent of the cuisine Oscars clearly distinguished Catalan chefs and establishments. In a gala event held in London’s Guidhall, as has been the case for the last few years, the ‘Restaurant’ Magazine announced the establishments included in the world’s top 50 ranking.

Once again, El Celler de Can Roca was among the favourites to top the list, according to many experts, but this was also the case last year and in the end it came in second spot. Furthermore, many rumours were suggesting New York’s Eleven Madison Park would win this year’s top award. However, the Catalan family business received the well-deserved top distinction in the end and the American restaurant was 5th on the list, just after Peruvian Central, located in Lima. However, the Eleven Madison Park also received the award given by the other chefs.

Second position went to the Italian establishment L’Osteria Francescana, in Modena, which has been present among the top 10 for a few years. And 3rd position went to Copenhagen’s Noma, run by René Redzepi, which was the world’s best restaurant in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

A “fantastic feeling” states Chef Joan Roca

The 3 Roca brothers were at the London gala, as they have been each year. Joan Roca, who is the oldest of the three and the head chef, told CNA that they were “delighted to go through this once again and to assume the responsibility that such a distinction represents”. He also admitted “surprise” for the award, since many rumours were suggesting that it would go to another continent. He also stressed “the fantastic feeling” for receiving such an award.

In addition, the recognition “puts again the spotlight of the specialised press and the world’s gastronomy on our land”, which is a positive effect to highlight Catalonia’s cuisines, its whole gastronomy and its main restaurants. Joan Roca also acknowledged the celebrations that were already taking place in his home town, Girona, where the famous restaurant is located. “Everybody is opening Cava bottles at our parents’ bar; they are having a great time”, he stressed. “When we come back, we will continue the party”, he concluded.

A family business and a family celebration

Indeed, the world’s top restaurant is located just next to the more humble establishment opened by the Roca brothers’ parents 48 years ago, in a working class neighbourhood of Girona. Every single day, the 3 brothers have lunch at their parents’ restaurant, which serves daily lunch menus of traditional Catalan food for a price similar to any other restaurant frequented by workers.

The staff of El Celler de Can Roca, relatives, neighbours and friends all gathered at the parents’ restaurant to follow the gala. In the hours previous to the announcement, everybody felt that most likely the Catalan restaurant would continue to be among the world’s best, but that it would not top the list. They started to seriously consider this possibility when they saw that the Danish restaurant Noma had fallen to 3rd position and that New York’s Eleven Madison Park had already been awarded 5th position. When the winner was announced, euphoria broke out and Cava bottles were opened, showering all those in attendance.

3 Basque restaurants among the world’s 20 best

6th position in this year’s ranking is occupied by a Basque restaurant located in San Sebastián, Mugaritz, which is in the same position as last year. Two other Basque restaurants have been included among the world’s top 20: the Asador Extebarri was ranked 13th and the classic Arzak, run by Juan Mari Arzak – who is the doyen of the Basque’s top cuisine, came home in 17th position.

Albert Adrià’s Tickets, a luxury tapas restaurant in Barcelona’s Paral·lel Avenue, has been included in the list for the first time, occupying 42nd position, ‘ex aequo’ with the restaurant Boragó from Santiago de Chile.

Albert Adrià becomes the World’s Best Pastry Chef

In addition, the younger brother of Ferran Adrià, Albert, received further great news: he had been awarded the World’s Best Pastry Chef prize. Albert Adrià was the pastry chef at El Bulli and when this famous establishment closed in 2011, he opened his own project in Barcelona, Tickets, where he has also continued to take care of desserts, among other things. Albert Adrià is following the path of Jordi Roca, who received the same award in 2014, the year this award was created.

This means that so far, the 2 people who have received this award for dessert chefs are both Catalan. And this is to be added to the success of El Celler de Can Roca. “Catalan cuisine is living a double celebration”, because of the Girona establishment’s award and Albert Adrià’s distinction as the World’s Best Pastry Chef, said Joan Roca. “The fact of having two great awards heading to our home country is a great opportunity”, he highlighted.

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  • Albert Adrià, awarded the World's Best Pastry Chef (by L. Pous)
  • The Roca brothers in their restaurant in Girona on Tuesday morning (by ACN)