Photos from my February 2011 Dinner at El Celler de Can Roca. For discussion of this dinner and dinner at El Bulli, see the next post,The End of Astonishment. While not all of the dishes have a classic aspect, I was startled - and pleased - at the incorporation of the Great Tradition of Haute Cuisine into Chef Joan Roca's modernist cuisine. The meal was far less molecular than the meal that I had in 2008. It perhaps was less startling, but lovely, poetic, and evocative.
El Celler has a clean, modern, linear feel.
Caramelized olives (picked off the tree!) were as delicious a bar snack as one could imagine. It is a counter-point with Ferran Adria's liquified olives (now available to 41 Degree)/
A liquified Bellini bonbon, a tradition in molecular cuisine. It was fine.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/52391789@N00/5444143314/]El Celler de Can Roca - Girona - February 2011 - Bellini Bombon[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/52391789@N00/]garyalanfine[/url], on Flickr
Sardine bones - snacks just right for gobbling when watching Barca win at football.
Chips and Chicken Cracker. I remember this snack less well, but it was tasty.
Truffled Brioche and Pot au Feu Broth. Very classic in conception, and very filled with flavor: splendid broth.
Smoked herring-caviar omlette and pigeon parfait. Two effective bites in the modern tradition.
Oysters with Agusti Torello Cava, apple compote. An elegant and smooth oyster bite with a lot of flavors. Splendid.
Escalivada with Anchovies and Smoke of Ember (Eggplant, Pepper, Onion and Tomato). Although the smoke is a molecular touch, but the escalivada is a classic preparation. A marriage of old and new.
Artichoke, Foie Gras, Orange and Truffled Oil. A frighteningly good meld of flavor in a modern cuisine vein. This is how foie gras should be done.
Charcoal-grilled King Prawn with Acidulated Mushroom Juice. A classic presentation although with acidulated mushroom juice. Classic up front, molecular behind.
Crespia Walnuts, and Comte Cheese (with onion soup). Very powerful cheese and soup course. Lovely textures and a delightful vision.
Sole, Olive Oil and Mediterranean Flavors. Each bite is a different taste. Perfectly prepared sole, although some sauces were more intriguing than others.
The fun continues. Onion rocks with perfectly tender squid.
Red Mullets with Suquet (Catalan Seafood Stew) and Lard. Very classic and traditional dish in composition, including the lard. We almost felt we were dining in Catalonia!
Steak Tartare with Mustard Ice Cream. The most molecular dish of the evening. It works. Much flavor mixing that with mustard ice cream is on the edge.
Lamb with Sweet Potato and Tangerine. Mainstream modernism. Good, but in a somewhat convention way in light of the canons of contemporary taste. Fruit and meat is a cliche - admittedly a happy cliche.
Lightly-smoked pigeon with Anchovies, Truffles and Blackberries. Another fruit and meat (game) composition. Successful and somewhat more interesting than the lamb.
Green Colourology. An incredibly beautiful composition of sweet and herbal and fruity flavors. A glorious opening to dessert.
Lemon-distillate Sorbet. A nice palate cleanser. Sharp and clean flavor.
Vanilla, Caramel, Licorice, and Caramelized Black Olives. A modernist dessert with a wide range of tastes that do come together effectively.
El Celler de Can Roca
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