The richness and variety of Canarian cuisine, passed through the sieve of creativity, mastery and sensitivity of the Roca brothers, owners of the prestigious restaurant The Celler de Can Roca, based in Gerona, yesterday marked an unprecedented menu inspired by recipes and traditional products of the seven islands, which paid homage to the unique gastronomic universe of the Archipelago. The brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, who hold the positions of chef, sommelier and pastry, respectively, visited last week in the capital of Gran Canaria to develop a Canarian proposal of high-flying, based on six dishes and two desserts, with a different wine for delicacy, which tasted a hundred people in a unique evening that It took place last night at Hotel Santa Brígida School.
"This is a unique and exclusive menu that will never be repeated, but many of these Canarian-inspired recipes and many of their local products we take with us, and we will surely incorporate them little by little. in our gastronomic offer ", said yesterday the chef Joan Roca, the eldest of the brothers, during the presentation and showcooking of the Canarian menu at the BBVA headquarters in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The world-renowned quality of Canarian cheeses, wines, bananas, gofio, the potato, the grouper, the honey of palm or the coffee of Valle de Agaete were fused with the culinary wisdom and oenologist of the Roca brothers, whose gastronomic temple in Gerona has been decorated with three Michelin stars and three Repsol suns, among others awards, and that, however, the chefs focus every new challenge to the stoves from a vocation of learning.
"We always approach any place with all the humility, knowing that we still have a lot to learn, and every time we go to a different place we corroborate it," said Joan Roca. For his part, Josep said, in relation to the fusion of tradition and avant-garde that founds the kitchen of El Celler, that: "Probably, today Canary Islands is, within Spain, the most interesting area to start over and return to the past" .
This initiative of appropriation and culinary reinvention of the island's tradition is celebrated within the framework of the ambitious project of gastronomic tours signed between BBVA and El Celler de Can Roca, which started last 2013 with a program of international tours in different countries of Europe, Asia and America, with the aim of discovering new cuisines and reinterpreting in an innovative way the local culinary traditions of different geographies. Last 2016, the program was held on a national scale in the shelter of an itinerary through different autonomous communities, where the Canary Islands is the seventh stop.
This program also hosts a socioformativa aspect, which consists of the offer of three BBVA Gastronomy Scholarships that, in this case, will select three young Hecansa students (Hotels Escuela de Canarias), which can be trained for four months in the restaurant Celler de Can Roca, with two places for training in cooking and a third for work in the room. Precisely, the 17 finalists to the training stay in the restaurant of Gerona, selected by Hecansa to hold the best records of the School, went yesterday to the meeting and also had the opportunity to work side by side with the El Celler team from his arrival in the Gran Canaria capital. The director of the Territorial Canarias of BBVA, Francisco Jerez, will be in charge of announcing today the three winners of the scholarship, in the same Hecansa headquarters.
For its part, the study of gastronomy and the Canarian pantry by the Roca brothers was strengthened last October through an intensive journey led by Josep Roca through different islands of the archipelago, as it was collected last October THE PROVINCE / DLP. The sommelier met with farmers, producers and suppliers of wine, cheese, coffee and rum, with the aim of imbuing themselves with the gastronomic traditions of the islands, but also with the evocation of their landscapes, such as the starry sky of La Palma or the vineyards of La Geria.
"My visit last month allowed me to enter this world of great differences between the peninsular cuisine and the island kitchen, where the culture and customs of the latter make it so different," said Josep Roca, who was clearly fascinated with the production of Canarian cheeses and their different varieties, typologies and milks, "that vary from one island to another". "I finally understand that if the Canarian cheese is not consumed more in the peninsula, it is because you eat it all here," joked the sommelier, who pointed out that "90% of the production consumed in the archipelago, which is something really surprising and unique, which is not exempt from quality demonstrations, while the Canarian cheeses have always reached the highest scores in international competitions around the world. " In this regard, Roca recalled that this week were awarded 35 Canarian cheeses at the World Cheese Awards 2018.
For his part, Joan Roca stressed that "our cuisine has evolved to the extent that we have evolved the trips that we have been doing with the international tours of BBVA." In his opinion, the aforementioned program is part of "a commitment to learn and to value the interesting things of the gastronomic world that exist in all places" and, above all, "in the certainty that gastronomy is a way of giving value to the places where it is implemented, which is also a commitment to the primary sector, the people of the earth, so in need of visibility and recognition ".
However, Francisco Jerez revealed yesterday that this project gravitates on a triple social axis, through the BBVA scholarship program; gastronomic, through the menus-tribute; and training, in relation to a series of training meetings with entrepreneurs, BBVA employees and catering students in which the Roca brothers share the keys to their success. Thus, Jerez said that this alliance between such disparate sectors, a priori, such as financial and hospitality, is based on a series of common values, "such as teamwork, the desire to excel or innovation." "These are fully shared values that make Celler de Can Roca an exceptional ambassador for the BBVA brand," concluded Jerez. For his part, Alberto Ávila, manager of Hecansa, said that both share "a motivation, which is to enlighten young promises of gastronomy" and held that the best students of Hecansa, the only center that provides dual training – theoretical and practical – in cooking and restoration of the Canary Islands, can compete for a training place in one of the best restaurants in the world.