June 2015, Volume 19, Number 3

Powerful Partnerships


Spanish ‘Magician’ Shares Trade Secrets

Pastry artist extraordinaire Chef Jordi Roca recently divulged some of his award-winning trade secrets when he taught a master class at MDC’s renowned Miami Culinary Institute (MCI). Roca, whom Restaurant Magazine named as the “World’s Best Pastry Chef” in 2014, also delighted MCI student chefs with tales of El Celler de Can Roca, the three-star Michelin restaurant in Girona, Spain, that he runs with his two brothers, Head Chef Joan and Sommelier Josep.

The trio stopped at MCI as part of their five-week world tour to three countries on three continents. Sponsored by BBVA, the parent company of BBVA Compass, the prestigious tour included stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Miami, Birmingham and Houston in the United States; and Istanbul in Turkey. Along their nearly 40,000-mile journey, the brothers received the exciting news that their restaurant won first place this year from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This is the second year that the famous establishment in Girona has earned top bidding, adding to its honor of being in the top five in previous years.

Learning from world-renowned experts is one of the many benefits enjoyed by MCI students, who also had the chance to meet this spring with Chef Juan Mari Arzak, whose restaurant in San Sebastián, Spain, has held three Michelin stars since 1989 and has also been named one of the world’s top restaurants. For his part, Chef Jordi has been described as “part chef, part architect, part magician” and his signature feats include recreating famous perfumes in edible form.

MCI culinary arts management student Daniela Vicentini, who attended the master class with Chef Roca, was fascinated by what she learned.

“The things Chef Roca did looked more like works of art,” Vicentini said. “He made a crystal ball out of sugar with edible flowers inside. It was so beautiful you didn’t want to eat it.”

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