A Dinner Date With Michael Stipe
Over a meal at one of his favorite restaurants in New York City, the former R.E.M....
For Spain’s Michelin-three-star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, which has twice been ranked number one in the world, it takes upwards of 11 months to land a reservation. Luckily for those with an American Express Platinum Card, chef Joan Roca, pastry chef Jordi Roca, and sommelier Josep Roca—the three brothers behind this renowned eatery in Girona—are hosting an exclusive event for card members on September 30th that will celebrate their bountiful corner of Catalan. “September is the start of the mushroom season here, and we also get exceptional vegetables by that time,” says Joan. “Plus, it’s the beginning of hunting season.” In this light, it’s still too soon to confirm the specific dishes that might be on the heavily seasonal, locavore menu (a botanist, for example, arrives weekly with hand-picked items), but the team is known for playful presentations like candied olives served hanging from a bonsai tree. And the multi-course dinner at the restaurant is just one element of the full day scheduled for guests.
The group will attend a master class and cooking demonstration by Joan followed by a world-tour tasting of some of Josep’s favorite wines. Both Josep’s tasting and the master class will be presented at the brothers’ gorgeously rustic Espai Mas Marroch, an old farmhouse on the outskirts of Girona that’s been repurposed into a bucolic event space. “It’s completely surrounded by nature with a garden, but we think of it like a Greek agora—a meeting place,” says Joan. Once the presentations conclude, guests will then have the opportunity to tour the restaurant and its kitchens, converse with the brothers, and snap pictures.
American Express has had a partnership with the Roca brothers since 2014, allowing Platinum Card Members various degrees of preferential access to the brothers, their restaurant, and exclusive events. For this latest event, Joan says they’ll mark its success by the emotional experience he sees in the guests. “We’ll look for how much happiness or wonder is reflected in their faces,” says Joan. “We work for that.”
The Roca Brothers are partners of The American Express® Global Dining Collection, a benefit for Platinum Card® Members offering special access to reservations and experiences with some of your favorite chefs. Terms apply.