October 3, 2018
Josep Roca’s hands
Josep is the second of the Roca brothers. He is part of a family clan that has reached the top on its own merit and has now been at the summit of the culinary universe for many years.
Josep – Pitu to his friends – is the sommelier and front-of-house manager of the famous restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, and welcomes all manner of diners to Girona. Pitu, or don Josep, uses his two hands to perform an exquisite dance in the dining room. He uses his left hand to evade tricky situations, and his right to shake the hands of kings, heads of state, the erudite and diners who are treated with the utmost politeness, and in different languages.
Recognized several times as the best sommelier in the world, he describes himself as simply a wine waiter. A writer, speaker and great expert on the world of wine, he enjoys his job. In his free time, he wanders through the restaurant’s extraordinary wine cellar where he smells the reds, observes the rosés, and examines – just by eyeballing them – how the Bordeaux and Burgundies are evolving.
Of course, he loves Catalonian wines and their complex structures and, as he is an imaginative man, he sits, closes his eyes and lets his mind wander. A session of harmonization with the dishes that the diner has in front of them – you should note that I have not used the word ‘pairing’, which I detest – is a master class by one of the most gifted and expert noses in the culinary universe.
Hundreds of bottles arrive at the restaurant for Josep to give his approval to. He is a demanding and severe adjudicator, implacable. Only the wines that this singular gentleman has fallen in love with are on his wine list. Stay away rough reds, white plonk is not welcome! Only wines on which Pitu Roca grants his blessing are allowed to enter.
He will come to Madrid Fusión with the aim of telling all he knows, and will do so in a way that is glorious to listen to: I, a humble presenter of celebrities, recommend you don’t miss his talk. You will forever thank me.
By José Manuel Vilabella