106580821 159237546176520090028.jpgv1592376185 scaled - What to anticipate from El Celler de Can Roca's new chocolatier and lodge

What to anticipate from El Celler de Can Roca’s new chocolatier and lodge

Spanish fine-dining powerhouse El Celler de Can Roca was twice named the “World’s Finest Restaurant” by Restaurant Journal. To not point out the three Michelin stars that it has maintained since 2009.

Whereas the restaurant’s closure because of the coronavirus pandemic ends subsequent week, its new stablemate Casa Cacao is already again in enterprise.

Owned by the acclaimed Roca brothers who additionally personal El Celler de Can Roca — specifically Joan, Josep and Jordi — Casa Cacao is, as its identify implies, a world-class “home of goodies.”

A chocolatier and boutique lodge within the coronary heart of Girona

Set in a historic five-story constructing in downtown Girona that after housed a hostel, Casa Cacao is a bean-to-bar chocolatier operated by Jordi Roca, the youngest brother and present pastry chef of El Celler de Can Roca. Resort Casa Cacao, a 15-room luxurious boutique lodge is positioned in the identical constructing; it is managed by Anna Payet, the spouse of Joan Roca.
Jordi Roca and chocolate grasp Damian Allsop study a bag of cacao beans.

Joan Pujol Creus

Topped the “World’s Finest Pastry Chef” by William Reed Enterprise Media in 2014, Jordi Roca launched Casa Cacao with a trio of chocolate-centric ideas — a workshop the place cocoa beans are roasted, fermented and become chocolate merchandise of every kind; a cafeteria the place the general public can style them; and a boutique to take particular purchases house, a few of that are delicately packaged in recycled cocoa fibers.

How chocolate is like wine

“We import cacao beans immediately from farmers and communities of six completely different origins,” stated Jordi Roca. A few of the sources embody Peru’s indigenous Awajún folks, Colombia’s Arhuaco neighborhood and Venezuela’s prestigious Hacienda Cacao Caribe farm.

Finish-to-end involvement within the processing of the cocoa beans, he stated, permits his firm to manage the accents and nuances of the cocoa which reveal completely different facets of the “acidity, fruitiness and nuttiness.”

“Chocolate doesn’t have to be candy or bitter and black or white,” he stated. “It may well present a variety of personalities as wines do. We wish to deliver the style of actual cocoa from completely different origins to showcase their personalities.” 

Redefining the time period ‘milk chocolate’

The bean-to-bar idea sells six milk-based chocolate merchandise (three with cow’s milk, two with sheep’s milk and one with goat’s milk) and two specialty chocolate merchandise — one crafted from cocoa beans soaked in Macallan Double Cask whisky and one other macerated in tangerine and licorice.

Along with chocolate bon bons and bars, Casa Cacao makes drinks and pastries.

Joan Pujol Creus

Moreover, company can purchase seasonal goodies, spreadable lotions, chocolate drinks (each cold and hot) and pastries, akin to fartons, ache au chocolat and xuixos, the latter a deep-fried Girona specialty stuffed with crème catalana.

A lodge for chocolate lovers: Resort Casa Cacao

Casa Cacao shares floor flooring area with the reception space of Resort Casa Cacao, the boutique hotel run by Jordi’s sister-in-law Payet. She is the daughter of a fisherman from the seaside resort city of L’Estartit in Costa Brava and a 26-year hospitality veteran.

“In 1984, I began a tourism diploma on the College of Girona, and it was whereas I used to be in my third yr that I met Joan Roca, then a younger chef and instructor, on the hospitality and tourism college,” stated Payet, who went on to pursue a instructing profession in tourism-related fields.

One in all 15 rooms at Resort Casa Cacao.

Joan Pujol Creus

Given her training and expertise serving to the household’s companies on weekends, Payet’s transfer into lodge administration was a pure development.

With assist from Spanish inside design agency Sandra Tarruella Interiors — who additionally designed the Roca brothers’ beloved Girona ice creamery Rocambolesc which opened in 2012 — Payet has long-established an area that’s bathed within the natural colours of cacao beans at completely different phases of maturation. Shades of mustard yellow, brown and beige mix with touches of inexperienced, which characterize cocoa bushes, and gray, which replicate the cobblestones-paved streets of Girona.

One of the best half a few keep

The boutique lodge has 12 junior suites (known as Cacao Beans) and three suites (known as Cacao Origins) which might be embellished with picket and marble furnishings that had been custom-made by native artisans. The ceramic flooring is blanketed by wool carpets handcrafted in Girona, and the partitions are a sand-textured floor harking back to a zen backyard. For max consolation, beds are outfitted with Catalan-made 500 thread rely natural cotton.

However the spotlight of each keep, says Payet, is the breakfast created by her husband Joan which she suggests is finest skilled on the rooftop terrace.

The rooftop terrace at Resort Casa Cacao with a view of Girona within the background.

Courtesy of Resort Casa Cacao

“The rooftop terrace is unique to lodge company,” she stated. “Right here, you’ll be able to have a leisurely breakfast of locally-crafted produce, whereas having fun with the panorama of the previous metropolis of Girona.”

Whereas Payet is conserving a lid on the breakfast menu designed by her husband, there will likely be no prizes for guessing whether or not goodies make an look.

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