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Joan Roca

Wed, 05/14/2008 - 16:37
Submitted by admin_rg
Joan Roca
El Celler de Can Roca Spain

Monday, September 15 4:20PM—5:30PM

Sous Vide and Low Temperature Cooking Main Stage Presentation


Born to culinary parents, Spanish Chef Joan Roca’s earliest memories of cooking are with his mother in the kitchen of their family owned Restaurant de Can Roca, which served traditional Catalan cuisine. It is no surprise, then, that all three Roca brothers – Joan, Josep, and Jordi – ended up in the restaurant business.

After going to culinary school in Girona, Roca and his brothers opened their own restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, next door to their parents’place. In the beginning the restaurant was housed in a tight, ill-suited space. Roca could barely turn around in the kitchen, and the decor was modest and simple. Eventually the kitchen was remodeled to suit the evolving cuisine, which had outgrown its simple country roots.

Each of the Roca brothers has his own area of expertise – with Joan overseeing the cuisine, Josep selecting the wines, and Jordi handling the pastry. Today El Cellar de Can Roca has 2 Michelin stars, and Joan Roca is widely regarded as a leader in modern Spanish cuisine. Like many of his renowned Spanish counterparts, Roca dexterously combines tradition with modernity – he is known for his creative renditions of classic Catalan dishes, from suckling pig to sea cucumber.

The Roca brothers view the dining experience as one intimately tied to the senses, not just in taste and smell but in sight, sound, and touch. The importance of wine pairings is evident in many of their signature dishes, which are the result of a collaboration between Josep and Joan – Josep breaking down the notes in a wine and Joan creating a dish that will complement it. Desserts also take on a modern twist, with some using the deconstruction of perfumes as their foundation – Jordi has been known to break down breaks down the floral notes perfume and incorporate them into different aspects of a single dish.

In 2003 the Roca brothers opened a second restaurant, Moo, in the chic Hotel Omm in Barcelona. A radical departure from its Girona counterpart, Moo has a Japanese vibe, with dark wood accents, sleek seating, and a menu that complements the decor.


Iberico Suckling Pig Confit with Shallot and Orange Sauce
Chef Joan Roca of El Cellar de Can Roca – Girona, Spain
Adapted by

Yield: 6 Servings


Suckling Pig Confit:
• 1 7½ -8½-pound suckling pig
• Salt
• ¾ cup olive oil
• 24 black peppercorns

Shallot and Orange Sauce:
• 14 ounces whole shallots
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• Juice of 2 oranges
• 1 tablespoon cloves
• Pork cooking juice (from above)
• ½ cup Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To Assemble and Serve:
• Elderberry flowers
• Maldon salt


For the Suckling Pig Confit:
Cut pig into 6 pieces: 2 shoulders, 2 legs and 2 rib sections. Salt pieces and vacuum seal individually with a few black peppercorns and 2 tablespoons olive oil in each bag. Cook at 70°C/158°F for 12 hours in a bain-marie or steam oven. (Once cooked, you can store the product: cool rapidly in a blast cooler or ice water bath; refrigerate.) Before opening bags, warm in a 60°C/140°F bain-marie – this facilitates deboning process. Upon opening bags, save the juices (set aside) and then debone pieces.

For the Shallot and Orange Sauce:
Preheat oven to 149°C/300°F. Roast shallots until tender and peel them. Meanwhile, make a caramel with the sugar in a saucepan. Add orange juice and cloves; then stir in pork cooking juice and vinegar. Reduce liquid by half; then finely strain. Caramelize shallots with a quarter of the sauce in a saucepan over low heat; set aside. Add olive oil to remaining sauce and emulsify with a mixer.

To Assemble and Serve:
In a preheated non-stick pan or on the grill with a little oil, place suckling pig skin-down to brown the skin and raise internal temperature of the meat. Cook until the skin is nicely golden and crispy. Drizzle sauce in a circular pattern in middle of plate. Put shallots in middle and top with suckling pig, skin side up. Garnish with a few elderberry flowers and a sprinkling of salt flakes.

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