With his book La Cocina del vacío (Sous-Vide Cuisine) (Montagud, 2003), Joan Roca blazed a trail that we have all since followed. It was the result of an idea and many studies carried out in his day with Hervé This, who was at this stage already telling them that the key was the low temperature, not the vacuum itself.
From that moment on, El Celler de Can Roca has continued to research low-temperature cooking. It was the subject of Roca’s presentation today, in which the chef from Girona showed us the countless ways in which this idea has borne fruit: oil at low temperature (cod); dry steam under pressure at low temperature (scorpionfish with gazpachuelo); cooking in a traditional controlled temperature oven (coated and smoked duck with boiled turnip and smoked daikon, dehydrated, in turn, at low temperature and then fermented); maturation in a cabinet plus brine injection and grilling à l’ast at low temperature (pigeon à l’ast); cooking in the smoke oven (acorn-fed duck with orange)… And finally, yes, the vacuum: in a shoulder cut smoked and spiced for 70 hours at 55º. The dish: beetroot, red onion, pepper confit and avocado puree with beet juice, all accompanied by a meat that has acquired such delicacy that you can eat it with a spoon.
Along with all this and in keeping with the spirit of contemporary cuisine which is so evident in the Palacio Municipal de Congresos, Joan Roca presented us with some of the recycling projects that are underway at El Celler: reuse of the plastic from the vacuum bags, which a Caritas workshop has created together with the designer Andreu Carulla in order to make aprons that people can buy. So the vacuum not does not end: it is recycled. As are the bottles, which are reused in different formats, such as styrofoam: with every six boxes they build designer stools by pressing it in a workshop collaborating with El Celler.
These are ideas for a new time. For a circular economy that is already a part of our world.