Joan Roca is one of the world’s most influential and pioneering chefs. His innovative Spanish fine diner El Celler de Can Roca, which he opened in 1986 at the age of 22 with brothers Josep and Jordi, is the kind of place that still upends expectations – where soil has a place on the plate, wine is used to steam seafood at the table, xiao long bao comes stuffed with tripe, and suckling pig forms the basis of a tarte tatin.
While navigating this rift between imaginative and elegant, Roca’s food also nods to traditional Catalan and Spanish cooking, and it’s this balance (as well as signature dishes such as caramelised olives that arrive dangling from a tiny bonsai plant, and playful desserts channelling signature scents by Hermès, Lancôme and Bulgari) that earned El Celler de Can Roca three Michelin stars and saw it named number one in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in both 2013 and 2015.
Now, you've got a chance to see Roca in action as he heads to Melbourne to take part in the Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress, a one-day event not normally open to the public where chefs and hospitality professionals learn about the creative decisions that go into creating a world-class dish.
Roca will be joined by chefs Dave Verheul (Lesa, Embla), Peter Gunn (Ides) and Monique Fiso (New Zealand’s Hiakai). Each chef will take guests through the conception and construction of one dish in detail, followed by an open forum for conversation.
The event, which comes to South Melbourne’s Canvas House after Gastronomy Congresses in Barcelona, Moscow, Paris, London and Miami, will end with brews and snacks at an exclusive afterparty.
Thanks to Broadsheet and Estrella Damm, one winner and a friend will receive return flights to Melbourne from their nearest capital city, two nights accommodation at St Kilda’s The Prince Hotel, tickets to the Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress and afterparty on October 29, dinner at Ides on October 30 and four cases of Estrella Damm beer.