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OP: El Celler De Can Roca: the Book (first printing)

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by Joan, Jordi, and Josep Roca

Librooks, 2013. Hardcover, no jacket as issued. First printing.

The three Roca brothers—Joan (chef), Josep (sommelier), and Jordi (pastry chef)—are among the great twentieth century Spanish restaurateurs leading the country’s culinary scene. In 2013, after almost thirty years in business together, and a third Michelin star, the Rocas finally put together their first truly grandiose restaurant book. 

El Celler de Can Roca, however, excels in painting a full picture of the creative process. Each brother injects his own personality and philosophy into the prose, while stunning color photography and explicit recipes provide concrete resources for those ready to get to work.

The dishes are exquisitely plated and often reveal the playfulness of Spanish haute cuisine—“Where there was discipline and rigidity, we try to add audacity and transgression.”

Catching our eye are:

  • The artichoke flower, consisting of fried artichoke petals, reassembled into flower form, served over a foie gras soup, topped with sliced truffles, and finished with an orange and chervil emulsion
  • Seared goat belly alongside cheese and potato foam, delicately topped with mint gel, crystallized pine nuts, gravy, rosemary flowers, tarragon, and cumin
  • A dish simply and playfully named “orange” but complicatedly plated: an ombre checkerboard featuring cubes of four different flavored gelees—carrot, passion fruit, tangerine, and orange—and one custard, accompanied by carrot shaved ice
  • “Soil beetroot”—blown sugar in the shape of a beet, filled with beet foam, and served over a soil distillate (literally flavored with dirt) and ground cocoa meringue, which impart additional earthy flavor and texture to the dish

It will come as no surprise that the book is aimed at professionals with access to a fully stocked kitchen and pantry. But with adequate resources, an ambitious cook or seasoned chef will find it a wealth of inspiration. Recipes are in metric.

This original, large format (24 x 32.5 cm, 9.25” x 12.5”) edition, published by Librooks in Spain, is attractively designed with high production value. The introduction is typeset in three colors, and inserts on colored stock, bearing text and black and white photography, appear intermittently. Smaller trim leaves of personal diary entries, chronicling the day in the life, are also inserted throughout. Issued without dust jacket in a mottled paper over boards. 

Grub Street issued a compressed version of the book in 2016, which includes all the same original material (except the diaristic inserts) but forgoes the varied paper stock and type colors. The font was reduced significantly to accommodate a smaller trimsize.

We are pleased to offer a first printing of the Librooks edition in Near Fine, unused condition with a mildly bumped corner to the rear board. In English. A great source of inspiration.

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