The Roca brothers; Jordi, Joan and Joseph (left to right)

The Roca brothers – international culinary superstars and owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, which holds the distinction of being the world’s best restaurant – are set to rock Houston.

BBVA Compass will bring the Rocas (chef Joan Roca, sommelier Josep Roca and pastry chef Jordi Roca) to Houston in August as the first stop of the Roca & Roll World Tour 2014, a partnership between the restaurant and parent company Spanish bank BBVA. Details of the tour will be announced by BBVA Compass on May 19 in Houston with Joan Roca, the eldest of the brothers and co-founder of the restaurant, in attendance.

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Schermafbeelding 2014-05-07 om 09.24.40

Last week we introduced readers to Elena Arzak, one of only two women chefs named to the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for her family’s restaurant, Arzak, which she runs with her father Juan Mari Arzak. Here, Elena invites T into her restaurant, perfectly located, she says in the above video, in the seaside town of San Sebastián. Step into her beautifully orchestrated kitchen as she discusses Basque cuisine, the creative and modern influence El Bulli had on her regional cooking and the importance of family — from her secret to working seamlessly with her chef father to the value of a balanced and lip-smacking staff meal. “The staff meal or family meal is really important,” she says. “It has to be very well made, very well cooked, no different from what goes out to the restaurant.”


The Daily Meal’s video producer, Ali Rosen, was lucky enough to get a tour of the French Laundry’s outstanding gardens and catch up with the restaurant’s culinary gardener, Tucker Taylor, to talk about the crops they harvest and how they choose what to grow.

At the beginning of each season, Taylor passes around the seed catalog with the chefs at the French Laundry and they talk about what they’re going to grow for the restaurant. From year to year Taylor explains that they tend to grow similar crops, but they’re constantly aiming to harvest new crops from around the globe.

Taylor is known for identifying plants that are unfamiliar to most Americans (for instance, crops from Scotland and the Andes) and figuring out how to grow them here. He explains that over the last few years, they’ve grown ficoide glaciale, a sweet and salty a coastal plant that uptakes salt from the soil and that’s leaves are covered in small bubbles that make them look like they are dripping in diamonds. Taylor says that recently, chef Keller texted him a photo of Oyster Leaf while he was on a trip in Lyon, France, so Taylor found a seed source in France, planted them, and now the crops are growing strongly in their garden.

The French Laundry is known not only for featuring locally grown produce that’s rarely found elsewhere in the U.S., but also for featuring vegetables that are exceptionally fresh and full-flavored. Taylor says that the quality of the crops has to do with the soil and the fact that they pick the vegetables every morning for service that afternoon.


En is wat Restaurant het beste restaurant noemt, ook effectief het beste? Of is het toch vooral de hype die regeert? Voor zijn restaurant Osteria Francescana in de lijst van vijftig de hoogste klimmer werd en het beste restaurant van Italië werd genoemd, zag Massimo Bottura het somber in. Nadien ‘was ik vastbesloten om de Italiaanse keuken verder te ontwikkelen’, vertelde hij aan Bloomberg. En toch. Weinig indruk maakt het niet op de Italianen zelf. ‘In mijn land blijft er discussie bestaan’, zei Bottura. ‘Je mag hier één ding niet vergeten: met de recepten van je grootmoeder valt er niet te klooien.’ Richard Vines, culinair journalist voor Bloomberg en panelvoorzitter voor het VK en Ierland, relativeert de hype. ‘Niemand zegt dat de lijst definitief is’, zegt hij. ‘Bovendien betekent de term ‘beste restaurant’ heel weinig, net zoals de hele lijst. Je had in 2013 heel lang moeten zoeken naar iemand die Dinner by Heston Blumenthal op nummer 7 zette en Fat Duck (ook van Heston Blumenthal, red.) op 33.’


Gastronomie staat voor alles wat te maken heeft met de link tussen voedsel en cultuur. De Griekse keuken is eeuwenoud. Voor verslagen over de gastronomie in Griekenland kan je ongeveer 4000 jaar teruggaan, en het was Archestratos die 330 jaar voor Christus het eerste kookboek in de geschiedenis schreef.

In Griekenland is eten meer dan gewoon een maaltijd nuttigen. Het is vooral een sociaal gebeuren en dat heeft alles te maken met hun cultuur. De avonden dat Grieken gezellig met z’n allen rond de tafel zitten om te genieten van een heerlijke maaltijd of diverse hapjes (mezedes) en ouzo drinken is een traditie die elke Griek met eerbied onderhoudt. Het is een diepgewortelde sociale gewoonte dat Grieken hun maaltijd thuis met vrienden delen, in een restaurant of in een Griekse taverne. Het Griekse woord ‘symposium’ – een woord dat net zo oud is als Griekenland zelf – betekent letterlijk ‘het drinken met vrienden’. De sfeer in een Grieks restaurant of taverne is ontspannen, eenvoudig en informeel. Ook voor de bereiding van het eten gelden heilige regels. Een goede Griekse huisvrouw betekent in Griekenland vooral een goede kok. Griekse huisvrouwen kunnen dagen in hun keuken doorbrengen om een maaltijd voor vrienden en familie klaar te maken.

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These top restaurants have “gone green” in a big way

New York’s Rouge Tomate received a three-star rating from the GRA in categories including water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, among other efforts.

Going green is not just a food trend anymore — it’s a movement and it’s here to stay. To that end, The Daily Meal has supercharged its annual list of the greenest restaurants in America in celebration of Earth Day, and from a vegetarian café in New York to a tap house in Spokane, restaurants are getting greener by the day.

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It seems like the Dallas culinary scene’s thought leaders and trendsetters are getting younger and younger as each year passes. Shortly after her 29th birthday, Kirstyn Brewer, executive chef at Victor Tango’s, is leading a restaurant that’s been a Henderson Avenue institution for more than 10 years.
The few years have been a bit stagnant for Victor Tango’s, but it’s undergoing a mini-Renaissance in this L.A.-born chef’s capable hands. I sat down with Brewer just before she started prepping for the night’s dinner service to talk about her culinary background, taking the reins at an established restaurant, and the one ingredient that you’ll never see on a Kirstyn Brewer menu.

What was it like to come into an already-established restaurant and kind of turn it on its head by changing the menu so dramatically?
I think because that was kind of the goal, not to change everything but to take it in a different direction, it had to be gradual. I started at Victor Tango’s as a sous chef, working for Greg Bussey. I did that for about a year, just learning the flow and pace of the kitchen and restaurant. Even then, I was adding my own touches and doing my own dishes. It was slowly pushing on what we could get away with the guests. At first it was a little hard if we tried to do something adventurous, but as time went on, it got easier and easier.

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It becomes more difficult every year to rank America’s best restaurants. We say that having done it for nearly a half-decade. As interest in dining out increases, and more great chefs train younger good ones, fantastic food continues to spread out across the country. Exceptional culinary landscapes in big cities get even better, and new and different dining scenes are born and in turn attract and inspire even more greatness from a growing number of talented cooks. This makes trying to rank the country’s best restaurants in 2014 all the more challenging, but also all the more interesting, worthwhile, and intriguing.

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By Cheryl V. Jackson, Special to Blue Sky
April 17, 2014, 1 p.m.

A chocolate confection made in the 3D Systems ChefJet Pro 3D food printer is displayed at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Robyn Beck/ AFP/Getty Images/ Jan. 9, 2014)

The World Health Organization projects the earth’s population at more than 9 billion by 2050, which means about two billion more folks will need to be fed.

The Institute of Food Technologists is on the case, bringing technology, innovation, scientists and food experts into the discussion.

The Chicago-based group on Wednesday launched a year-long initiative to get people talking about solutions to the need for sustainable food sources. The event at the Public Chicago hotel included a conversation panel that featured molecular gastronomy celeb Homaro Cantu.

Cantu showed a roomful of food scientists a “miracle berry” that inhibits the taste of sour foods, and he shared his plans to use it to make healthier foods taste sweet without additional calories or artificial sweeteners.

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The Huffington Post | by Alison Spiegel

There’s a new molecular gastronomy gadget in town, and it’s something everyone, not just chefs, can use every day. Montreal-based company Molecule-R has invented the AROMAFORK™ — a fork that will change the way you perceive flavors.

The fork releases scents as you eat with it and “tricks your mind” to detect enhanced flavors.

Here’s how it works: Your tastebuds recognize five tastes — sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and umami. Your nose, on the other hand, can detect up to a trillion smells. By releasing aromas, the AROMAFORK™ gets your brain working double duty, getting it to perceive aromas on top of tastes.

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