Antoinette Bruno: Why did you
Joan Roca: I did it with my mother, and with
our family restaurant.
AB: Did you attend culinary school?
Why or why not?
JR: Yes, I did, in Girona. I think it’s
important. You learn faster if you have an academic base. Some
of the schools are public, and you can go for a small fee, and
they have good programs.
AB: Who are your mentors?
JR: It’s hard to say. Ferrán Adrià,
a bit. But it’s more like a little bit of all the restaurants
AB: What is your philosophy of
food and dining?
JR: It’s complicated. I think dining is
often about the memories of food, the sensory experience and how
you will remember it. I develop my own food to heighten the senses
AB: Are there any secret ingredients that you
JR: What’s most important to me is high
quality. I look for the best product close by, but if they happen
to be farther away, I’ll get them from there as well. And
I love olive oil.
AB: What flavor combinations
do you favor?
JR: There are two aspects of flavor combinations
that are important to me. I like traditional combinations but
done with new interpretations. But also the balance is important
to me. Salt, sweet, sour, savory – I want pieces of each
in my dishes, with a little bitter on the tongue. Aromas are also
important, and I work with my brother on this for the wine. We
try to convert the aromas of a wine into the tastes of a dish.
We distill the scents, to get the aromas of the earth without
the alcohol. We even did it with a Carolina Herrera perfume, which
we broke down into fruits and flowers and then made into a dessert.
AB: How did your second restaurant, Moo,
JR: I consulted on the whole thing, from design
to dishes. I go in once in awhile to make sure everything is running,
and I train the teams that go in.
AB: Tell me about your experience
using sous vide?
JR: I’ve been doing it for 10 years, and
I read a popular book on it back then. Now I have my own book
that’s been out for 3 years, which is great.