Voted Best Restaurant in the World on several occasions, the tri-star El Celler de Can Roca (Girona) wants to be the “best for the world” thanks to measures that take care of the environment such as reusing plastic to make staff uniforms, cooking invasive species or taking advantage of everything from pepper leaves to potato peels.
UN Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals since 2016, the brothers Joan, Josep and Pitu Roca have gone improving energy efficiency and water and waste managementThey have created their own garden and explored the wild products of the environment and use cleaning products without an environmental footprint, among other measures. They also help the Projecte Sèpia of young fishermen from l’Escala and l’Estartit in their responsible fishing practices and to small producers through Sustainable Gastronomy, an initiative that they started with BBVA during confinement to give out their food and make known his work.
With this ally comes his latest project, which adds to his line of fight against plastic. If they had already converted bottles into glasses, polystyrene boxes into stools and vacuum cooking bags into bags and aprons, now they recycle PET for jackets and aprons for El Celler de Can Roca staff. It is about Ropa Recicla, a pioneering project in the hospitality industry that was born to reuse the plastic waste generated in this restaurant and convert it, with the intervention of recycled and organic cotton, into blazers, pants, aprons, shirts, chef’s jackets and masks.
Developed with Textil Santanderina, its head of Technical Fabrics, Ángel Parés, explained that this use of recycled polyester reduces CO2 emissions and energy consumption giving a new use to plastic bottles at the end of their useful life. “It is dressing ourselves with what we wear”, Jordi Roca has summarized about one of the many actions with which the three brothers want to turn El Celler de Can Roca into “the best restaurant in the world”.
In the purely culinary field, Joan Roca has exposed his line of total use of the product, with examples such as using the leaf of the pepper plant as a teaIt is fermented, roasted and infused to obtain a “fantastic drink with an extraordinary taste”. With it they accompany a new bite of cod brandade with a purée of various peppers from their garden, a flower of the same pickled plant, reduced juice, crispy fish skin and pepper leaf ice cream.
Another example of his kitchen of use is the soufflé of toasted potato skin, made from a foam that is generated during cooking and stuffed with blue crab suquet, an invasive species that is also used in a salad to promote its consumption and reduce its impact on local species.
Jordi Roca, pastry chef at El Celler de Can Roca, has shown how to take advantage of leftover bread Through techniques with which he turns it into a kind of candy that he uses in his sophisticated version of the traditional snack of bread, chocolate, oil and salt.
In addition to use the shells of cocoa beans for the packaging of your tablets of chocolate from Casa Cacao (Girona), has shown a variety of porcelain white cocoa that it uses in a mousse that is accompanied by one of its latest discoveries: flying chocolates thanks to a machine from the Catalan company Plot that produces foams that fly to the introduce helium gas to them.
Joan Roca took advantage of this speech on the opening day of Madrid Fusión to also advocate for the “humanistic revolution” that El Celler de Can Roca has been defending for some years. “Now that the pandemic has changed the hours of the hospitality and diners have adapted – he said -, we have the opportunity to advance schedules to improve employees“, so that the three-star restaurant has advanced the hours of dinners to 7:30 pm so that at eleven o’clock the service is finished.” It is working, “he has encouraged his colleagues.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.