Joan Roca began cooking at 9 years old when his mother asked him to help out at their family restaurant. The entire family was involved with the restaurant, and to this day, Roca works with his brothers, Josep and Jordi, at El Celler de Can Roca. Cooking traditional Catalonian recipes in the restaurant, Roca studied hospitality in hopes of learning about other influences. He trained with Ferran Adria and Santi Santamaria in Spain before working in France with George Blue.

By 22, Roca was ready to start his own restaurant. Opening next door to his parents’ spot, Roca began El Celler de Can Roca using a technique known as sous-vide cooking (under vacuum). The restaurant was well-received, and Roca moved to a bigger space — just down the road from his parents.

In 2013, Roca’s restaurant was named the Best Restaurant in the World, and the chef has maintained a Michelin three-star rating.