Montserrat Fontané and Josep Roca are the parents of Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca. The Roca Brothers' passion for cooking was initially kindled in Can Roca, the establishment their parents have managed in Taialà since 1967, in a neighbourhood lying on the outskirts of Girona.
It is there where they grew up, amid the hubbub of dishes, pots and pans and clients. The bar was their living room, their playground, where they did their homework, watched television... whence the aroma of the stews generously, simply and honestly prepared by their mother, wafted in.”
When Joan and Josep were children, weddings would also be held in Can Roca. Those were other times: weddings with cold cuts, rice or cannelloni, stewed veal with mushrooms and a wedding cake. In Can Roca, the parents served the parents’ weddings and now, in Mas Marroch, the sons hold the weddings of those children whose parents were married in Can Roca.
And if we talk about weddings we can also talk about baptisms, holy communions, anniversaries, birthdays, family gatherings or social parties.
Behind the three Roca brothers’ vocation and the profound respect they feel for the roots and tradition there is a cook who doesn’t have her name embroidered on the chef jacket and doesn’t have innovation or creativity as the mottos of her culinary philosophy: their mother, Montserrat Fontané. They practise such different cuisines that the techniques (or maybe it should be said the tricks) she uses at the time of making her cannelloni, her arròs a la cassola (rice) or her fried calamari rings would not be applied in El Celler. However, what has been passed on from mother to sons is the profession: cook with rigour, with generosity and with affection.
Created in 1986 by Joan and Josep Roca Fontané, El Celler de Can Roca is the heir of Can Roca, the traditional house of meals located in Taialà which their parents Josep and Montserrat still own and maintain since 1967. That humble bar from a humble neighbourhood took the strong roots which would give rise to a branch full of avant-guarde gastronomy and sophistication thanks to the effort, wit and the talent of the three brothers.
Now, and after the third brother, Jordi, joined in at the end of the 90s, the restaurant has gained great recognition worldwide. Little by little and with firm steps, El Celler de Can Roca has been awarded since then with recognition from guides, critics and other influencers. The first Michelin star arrived in 1995, the second in 2002 and in 2009 the third; in 2013 it reached the first place in the list The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the Honoris Causa doctorate from the Universitat de Girona and received several National Prizes of Gastronomy. Jordi was named Best World’s Pastry Chef in 2014 and El Celler received prominent positions in guides and lists; several distinctions that confirm the constant and conscientious work. All these make it possible that that restaurant from a workers’ neighbourhood that was born modest and humble more than twenty-five years ago can enjoy the tranquility of doing things the way they like to.