Spanish eatery hopes world best restaurant award boosts tourism
By Inmaculada Sanz
MADRID (Reuters) - An avante-garde restaurant run by three brothers in north-east Spain hopes that being crowned the world's best restaurant will boost food tourism in recession-bound Spain.
El Celler de Can Roca in Girona scooped the prestigious prize from Britain's Restaurant magazine on Monday, making Spain's coastal region north of Barcelona the top place in the world to eat once again.
The restaurant ended Danish experimental eatery Noma's three-year run in the No. 1 slot. Noma took the title from Catalan chef Ferran Adria's El Bulli, which is 30 miles from El Celler, and held the crown for four years.
El Celler, which the Roca brothers opened in 1986 and boasts three Michelin stars, favors Catalan ingredients such as fresh seafood and playful presentation, serving caramelized olives on bonsai trees to diners.
Dishes at the avant-garde restaurant include desserts based on perfume ingredients, including Calvin Klein's Eternity, ice cream that tastes like smoke from Cuban cigars, and "Dublin Bay prawns with curry smoke".
"The prize means we can strengthen our brand and in terms of promoting our country it's extremely important," sommelier Josep Roca told radio station Cadena Ser on Tuesday.
"We have to take advantage of this to show off our country, philosophy, way of being, living, eating and in some way use it to our advantage in terms of tourism."
Josep and his brothers Joan and Jordi run the restaurant after learning the trade at their parents' Can Roca restaurant, also in Girona. Continued...