#SCIENCE21: Joan Roca

The Best Chef Science Award

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Joan Roca

from Spain


“His is a cuisine that harmonizes traditional flavors with modern techniques, the result of continuous research committed to innovation and creativity.”

Joan Roca – founder and head chef of El Celler de Can Roca

He studied in Escola d’Hosteleria de Girona, where later he became a teacher. He worked with his grandparents and parents in their family business, a restaurant of traditional Catalan cuisine. Today Joan is the chef of his own restaurant, together with his two brothers, Josep (sommelier), and Jordi (pastry chef).

Traditional cuisine and avant-garde techniques

He is elaborating traditional cuisine together with avant-garde techniques, which implies research of both modern techniques and traditional recipes. Some of the techniques he uses are Sous-vide, “Perfume-cooking” and Distillation. In parallel to the service in the restaurant, Joan leads a team of research, innovation, training and creativity that follows an ongoing course from La Masia (I+R).

Joan Roca’s contribution to science

His contributions in low-temperature vacuum-controlled cooking have probably transformed the notion of immediate cuisine in the 21st century. His ample training vocation has led him to practice as a cook teacher for more than 20 years, to be recognized Honoris Causa Doctor by the University of Girona and to collaborate in different university programs such as the Science & Cooking course at Harvard. In 2015, he received an invitation from the World Economic Forum to be part of its council of cultural leaders and he has become, along with his brothers, ambassador of the United Nations Sustainable Development Programs


El Celler de Can Roca

Carrer de Can Sunyer, 48

17007 Girona