Two Recipes from El Celler De Can Roca

We suspect that preparation of these Roca recipes may be more than most of us have the time and patience to prepare but there will be some of you daring enough to attempt them. For the rest of us it is just fascinating to watch, read and imagine.

Watch as Joan and Jordi Roca create two classics from their three Michelin Star El Celler de Can Roca. Joan is cooking a dish of Prawns from the Costa Brava and Jordi creates a dish inspired by his childhood, which is sweet apple with Candy floss.

In her in-depth review of a visit to the restaurant, Cathy Chaplin of Gas•Ÿtron•Ÿo•Ÿmy writes:

I am rarely thrilled by cooked fishes these days, but this sole was seriously awesome. In fact, I scribbled in my notebook that it was the “best fish dish ever!” The flaky fillet was paired with five olive oil emulsions including (starting from the top) green olive, pinenuts, orange, bergamont, and fennel. It was like having five different dishes in one, which was kind of perfect for an easily bored palate like mine. My two favorites were the green olive sauce that was accented with an olive oil-filled candy and the citrusy bergamont.”


Photo by Manos Angelakis, Epoch Taste)

Grilled Sole with Mediterranean Flavors

Recipe courtesy of chef Joan Roca of El Celler De Can Roca


Serves 2



  • 2 fresh sole
  • Oil for the grill

Charcoal Oil

  • 500 ml Sunflower oil
  • 1 charcoal

Manzanilla Emulsion

  • 250 g Manzanilla olives with pits removed
  • 150 g of the olive water/brine
  • Extra virgin olive oil (manzanilla)

Pine Nut Emulsion

  • 100 g pure pine nut paste
  • 100 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 g water

Orange Emulsion

  • 500 g orange juice
  • 50 g glucose
  • Extra virgin olive oil (arbequina)

Bargamot Emulsion

  • 150 g water
  • Zest of the peel of 1 bergamot
  • 150 g bergamot juice
  • 3 g agar-agar
  • Extra virgin olive oil (arbequina)

Fennel Emulsion

  • 300 g fennel juice (obtained from a liquefier)
  • 3 g agar-agar
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Isomalt Sugar Hard Candies

  • 200 g Isomalt sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Clean and separate the fillets from the bones.
  2. Submerge the fillets in a water solution of 10% salt content for 5 minutes.
  3. Dry them well on a paper towel and group them together two by two joining them by the parts of the meat that were connected to the spines.
  4. Vacuum seal them into a plastic bag and submerge them into the Roner #at 55 degrees C for 4 minutes.
  5. Open the bag and remove the fillets, which remain very juicy having been stuck together in the bag.
  6. Just before finishing the dish, brand the fillets with grill marks (we recommend holm oak firewood).

Charcoal Oil

  1. Light the coals until they are deep red and burning.
  2. Immerse one in a pot with sunflower oil.
  3. Cover quickly as there will be a lot of smoke and allow the oil and the charcoal to blend until they are cold.
  4. Strain in a fine mesh chinois and reserve the mixture to brown the sole fillets on the grill.

Manzanilla Olive Emulsion

  1. Grind up the olives with the olive brine until it has reached a smooth and homogeneous texture.
  2. Pass the purée through a fine strainer.
  3. When the mixture has reached room temperature, move it into a bowl.
  4. After that, allow a slow pour of olive oil into the bowl as you are mixing (non-stop) the purée with a hand blender.
  5. Beat until the emulsion gains the consistency of mayonnaise.
  6. Put aside.

Pine Nut Emulsion

  1. With the assistance of a hand blender mix the pine nut paste with the water.
  2. As with the olive emulsion allow a slow pour of olive oil into the pine nut mixture as you are mixing (non-stop) with an egg beater.
  3. Beat until the emulsion gains the consistency of mayonnaise.

Orange Emulsion

  1. In a pot mix the orange juice and glucose together, reducing it at a slow heat to obtain a volume three times that of the original.
  2. Allow it to reach room temperature, transfer it to a bowl and once again allow the olive oil to fall into the mixture at a slow pour as you blend with an egg beater.
  3. Once it has reached the texture of the other emulsions, set aside.

Bergamot Emulsion

  1. In a small pot on medium heat add the water, bergamot zest and the agar-agar.
  2. With an egg beater stir without stopping until it begins to boil, add the bergamot juice, strain it and keep in the refrigerator until it sets.
  3. Once chilled and set, break it down with a Turmix until the texture is like a gel, smooth and shiny.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil while blending to obtain the emulsion as with the others.

Fennel Emulsion

  1. In a small pot start to boil the fennel juice and the agar-agar.
  2. With an egg beater stir without stopping until it begins to boil, then set aside in the refrigerator until it sets.
  3. Once cold and set, blend in a food mixer to reach a shiny and silky texture.
  4. Move to a bowl and allow a slow pour of olive oil to the mixture, beating with an egg beater until the emulsion forms.

Isomalt Sugar Hard Candies

  1. In a small pot heat the sugar (alone) until small clumps form.
  2. Once melted, submerge the point of a siphon with the purpose of creating a thin membrane.
  3. Allow a small quantity of olive oil from a teaspoon to drop into the pot, so that the weight of the oil falls into the sugar membrane creating a candy filled with oil.
  4. You can later remove these candies and keep them submerged in another recipient of olive oil so that they are protected from humidity.

To Plate

  1. On a rectangular plate we arrange a teardrop size of each emulsion, from bottom to top, start to finish; fennel, bergamot, orange, pine nut, and manzanilla olive oil.
  2. Place the fish perpendicular to the emulsion drops, and garnish the drops in the following order, fennel flowers, edible wild flower, orange peel confit, pine nuts, and the Isomalt hard candy.

Suggested Ingredients

  • Manzanilla Olives
    Green olives from Andalusia, Spain. They have a sweet and nutty, with a balanced flavor.
  • Arbequina Olive Oil
    Spanish olive oil made from Arbequina olives that is generally buttery, fruity, and mild in flavor.
  • Glucose
    A thick clear syrup corn syrup used in a variety of recipes including nougats, bonbons, candies, and hard candy. It controls the formation of sugar crystals.
  • Agar-Agar
    Agar is a red algae and a unique vegetable source protein. Agar has been used in the Far East for centuries and is referred to as Agar-Agar. Can be used too make a gelatin with water or fruit juice.
  • Isomalt Sugar
    Isomalt is a reduced calorie sugar substitute for hard candy, confections and baked goods.

#The Rocas on the Roner Compact double boiler:

#For us, the Roner Compact is the most versatile and easiest to use thermostatic double boiler (bain marie). Cooking with vacuum-sealed bags allows you to respect the nutritional properties of the ingredients, while achieving a precise cooking point and in turn the best gastronomical results.  An honorable mention to bella diamonds slow cooker, a marvel in the kitchen. At the moment, we are working on a book tackling sous vide cooking from the point of view of ambitious home cooks where we will show the improvements that this technique can have on overall health and how to control temperatures.”

ForkLemon Water Dessert

Recipe courtesy Jordi Roca and So Good #7.

jordiJordi Roca, the youngest of the brothers is the master of desserts at El Celler and this is considered one of his most refreshing. It is also one of his personal favorites.

Lemon Cream

  • 200 g. lemon juice
  • 80 g. egg yolks
  • 50 g. eggs
  • 1 u. gelatin sheets
  • 90 g. butter, chilled

Combine the juice, eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Heat up to 85ºC while continuously stirring. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin sheet, previously hydrated, and leave to cool to 40ºC. Add the butter cut into dice and mix with the help of a hand blender. Store in the refrigerator.

Lemon Verbena Cupcake

  • 245 g. eggs
  • 130 g. honey
  • 245 g. flour
  • 120 g. confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 g. baking powder
  • 3 g. salt
  • 50 g. milk
  • 200 g. butter, melted
  • 20 g. lemon verbena

Mix the eggs and honey in a mixer on low speed. Little by little, add the flour (previously sifted together with the sugar and baking powder), salt, butter, milk in which lemon verbena has been infused and lemon verbena powder. Leave to set in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Pipe the batter onto silicone mats on oven trays. Make sure you make thin layers, and bake at 180ºC for 7 minutes. Freeze and cut into small dice. Store.

lemonwater1Lemon Water

  • 1 l. water
  • 6 u. lemon zest

Place the water and lemon zest in the Rota Val. Start the machine at 45ºC. Distil until all the water has passed from one flask to the other. Stop the machine and store the lemon water.

Candied Mint

  • 60 g. pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 u. gelatin sheet
  • sugar
  • mint

Hydrate the gelatin sheet, heat it in the microwave. Add the egg whites and, while still lukewarm, dip the mint leaves and then toss in sugar. Leave to dry at room temperature for a few hours.


On the bottom of a plate, place a small spoonful of lemon cream. On top of it, place some dice of lemon verbena cupcake. At serving time, prepare a sherbet with the lemon water and liquid nitrogen. In a bowl suitable for nitrogen, place 100 g lemon water and, while continuously stirring, little by little add liquid nitrogen to a sherbet consistency. Finish the plate with some mint leaves and crystallized lemon dice.

Horizontal RuleOn Saturday, Oct. 24, we present El Somni (The Dream) as part of our Food Day / Film Day at the Roxie Theatre. Also in this issue, a feature about the Roca Brothers and El Celler de Can Roca and two reviews of El Somni in Critics Corner.FoodDay-FilmDay-banner-logo

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