Collateral DamageNovember 5, 2013
Last week, I flew all the way to Dallas for dinner. Mind you, this was not your average dinner; I’d traveled there to experience a rare road performance by the team at El Celler de Can Roca—part of their grand tour of the Americas. What’s that, you say? Isn’t Can Roca a restaurant? Why yes, yes it is, and a three-Michelin-starred one at that. But Joan, Josep, and Jordi Roca, the brothers behind 2013’s number one restaurant in the world will not be bound by something as mundane as geography. After all, these guys hail from the land of Dalí. Space? Time? Logistics? Let the amateurs worry about such matters.
In all seriousness, though, it was a spectacular event put on by three of the nicest gentlemen in the hospitality business (a field where “gentlemen” is not necessarily the most common descriptor one uses). Even though I’ve not yet had the chance to dine at the real El Celler in Girona, Spain, I can now say that I’ve gotten to sample a little bit of the Roca’s culinary magic in the Lone Star State.
To read more about the event, check out the piece I wrote for Saveur.com, and since the article ran with only one small photo, here are a few additional images from that afternoon and evening (some of which appear courtesy of the event sponsor, BBVA).
Preparing to plate a course in the Rachofsky House kitchen
The “green salad”
The front-of-house team during their final pre-dinner briefing
Panko-breaded fried oyster with bean gazpacho and watermelon (Courtesy BBVA/Grant Miller)
In the Rachofsky House kitchen: Jordi (foreground, center) and a Can Roca staffer plating one of the evening’s hors d’oeuvres, while Josep (left background, in black) and Joan (center background, in white chef’s jacket) work with a photographer to shoot images of all the dishes that were served at the Texas dinners
One of Josep’s excellent pairings: the 2006 Valbuena from Vega Siclia, Spain’s most storied winery. Although he also included a few California wines in the mix, Josep’s line-up featured some of the biggest names from the Iberian Peninsula, including Gramona’s Gran Reserva cava, two sherries from González Byass (including their wonderful Leonor Palo Cortado, which he matched—to excellent effect—with the oyster-gazpacho dish, seen above), and a 1987 Mas La Plana from Torres.
“Lemon cloud” (Courtesy: BBVA Compass/Grant Miller)
And always, there is ham