The third gourmet raid of the dining season and epic all-time favourite Barcelona. Spain’s second city and the self-confident capital of Catalonia – including the twice celebrated world’s No. 1 in Girona.
We enter the mouthwatering metropolis in mid-September, offering an otherworldly allround in-depth culinary experience to pleasure aficionados flying in from around the globe
3 days – 4 unique dining venues – 1 great dinner party
14 notabilities only
Thursday, September 13th
Chapter 1 – The elBulli Alumni
Disfrutar means “to enjoy” and there is no doubt that the three sterling chefs behind this restaurant delivers in full.
In Spain this glorious trifecta is pretty famous, thanks to their pure and utter devotion to elBulli – with a joint accumulation of more than 45 years of experience at the 5-times voted “The World’s Best Restaurant”, including long hours at El Bulli Taller and the innovation lab.
From the beginning to its last day on July 30, 2011, Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casanas were a part of the creative core team that innovated endlessly and ultimately through these heavily documented experiments, that changed the way we understand food today.
Even though there are many similarities then don’t be fooled; Disfrutar does not pretend to be elBulli – it’s very much its own.
Like other art movements, after the revolution caused by the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet, we are in the saturation point of this style as Disfrutar has returned to a more simplistic state and one with a strong focus on nature and techniques that get back to the rawness of cooking: fire, maturation, faisandage and fermentation.
“If the art of seduction could be boiled down to a tasting menu, this would surely be it” a very esteemed local food critic wrote.
That’s exactly the intention, to be seduced, going all-in with a 35-serving grand tasting menu – in a restaurant that pushes the envelope while never losing its Mediterranean sense of place.
Disfrutar was without a doubt the most anticipated Spain-opening of 2015 and today it’s already one of the most sought after restaurants of the latin Kingdom, rising at rocket speed on all influential restaurant ranking lists in the world.
A pivotal of international diners to visit when being in town – sending them off caressed, challenged and dazzled, wanting to come back for more of the magic. Being loyal to excellence Distrutar is our shiny new diamond of Catalonia.
2 Star Michelin, World’s 50 Best No. 18 (highest new entry ever).
After the grand dinner at Disfrutar, the party enters the Barcelona’s Golden Quarter and a lively lounge club, having seducing cocktails and sets by the best current DJs.
Dress code: Classy laissez faire.
Friday, September 14th
Chapter 2 – The World’s Twice No. 1
The passion for cooking and hospitality shared by the three Roca brothers is palpable, but the food is playful rather than serious (caramelised olives are brought to the table on bonsai trees) and Catalan ingredients are given centre-stage on the menu.
Superior techniques complement simple flavour combinations designed to titillate the palate and the memory rather than confuse the mind. It’s very clever stuff – but thankfully it is also utterly delicious.
El Celler de Can Roca holds three stars in Guide Michelin and was voted the “World’s Best Restaurant” in 2013 and 2015, and currently holds a second place at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The first time the restaurant was named No. 1, its website had 12 million hits.
This highly internationally acclaimed restaurant, featuring the stylish, laid back and world renowned staff of El Celler de Can Roca, offers Champagne, a grande feast, an extensive wine menu, mineral water, gourmet tea/coffee, delicious petit fours and avecs, all served in a semi-private dining room.
Furthermore, a private guided tour of the kitchen and “battle station” of the restaurant and a tour of the large wine cellar, which stores around 60,000 bottles.
The journey to and from El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (100 kilometers north of Barcelona) will be made in stretch limousines, accompanied by bubbles after attending a Champagne reception in the dazzling Vienés-rooms at the iconic Casa Fuster.
Dress code: Formal elegance.
Saturday, September 15th
Chapter 3 – Lunch at Tickets / Feast at Lasarte
Having returned to Barcelona by limousines when the birds starts to sing, we 9 hours later enter the famous, glorious, adventurous and notorious Tickets for a dazzling late breakfast in the early afternoon.
It is the beating culinary heart of Albert Adrià’s ambitious but straightforward goal; to convert Barcelona into the culinary capital of Europe.
While Ferran Adrià’s focus shifted to the El Bulli Foundation, a program dedicated to transforming the former restaurant into a competitive cooking school, Albert’s attention returned to Barcelona full time.
“If anyone can transform an entire neighbourhood into a gigantic restaurant, it is Albert Adrià – one of the best cooks in the world,” says the Basque chef Juan Mari Arzak, who met Albert through Ferran when Albert was just 17 years old. “He’s always been a lively, quick-witted and extremely inventive individual. There aren’t many chefs who can match his creativity.”
This the stage is set for a magnificent show: La Vida Tapa.
At Tickets, gastronomy is linked to a way of understanding life. In this respect you will find humour, a great deal of character and a longer than long elaborated tapas menu extraordinaire. Expect elBulli classics as well as new wizardry combinations conceived by a great culinary mastermind.
You may feel as though you are a spectator at the circus or about to sit down to a live theatre, but one thing you will not experience is boredom. Expect to encounter olives which are not actually olives, cotton candy trees studded with fruits and mouth watering Iberian cured ham which is found sneaked into mini hollow “air baguettes” or painted on top of fresh tuna belly.
At a late morning of surprises we’ll wake up in the circus-come-theatre-come-restaurant that is Tickets.
Dinner Extraordinaire at Lasarte
Barcelona’s reputation as a destination city for fine dining has mushroomed. But until recently, it did not have a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Finally, in the 2017 guide, Lasarte Restaurant became the first in Barcelona to receive so.
Lasarte is more about evolution than revolution. Although head chef Paolo Casagrande is in charge on a day-to-day basis – and deserves much of the acclaim for Lasarte’s success – the big name on the door is Martín Berasategui.
The Basque chef also has three stars at his eponymous restaurant near San Sebastián and one at MB in Tenerife. In other words, he indeed knows how to impress the Michelin inspectors.
Lasarte is a world-class restaurant. Every dish – without exception – works. It is the absolute embodiment of culinary sure-footedness. That overwhelming competence can, ironically, negatively affect your initial impressions.
You should feel dazzled but at times Lasarte makes brilliance look so easy that it doesn’t seem like anything special. So pinch yourself and pay attention: this is masterful cooking. It’s not showy and not whizz-bang exuberant. It’s not even particularly photogenic. But it’s an iron fist of flavour in a velvet glove of elegance.
Lasarte has evolved over time and is now at the peak of its powers. The restaurant’s service is refined and its accomplished cooking has a distinctive character. It deserves all of the praise and recognition it has received.
Famous by day, notorious by night.
After the last grand dinner, we’ll end up in the Barceloneta district and rise up to the 26th floor to W Hotel’s exclusive Eclipse, where the freshest cocktails are complemented by world-class DJs and live performances, all inspired by its stunning Mediterranean setting and edgy London personality.
Flirty with a touch of whimsy, Eclipse has changed the face of Barcelona’s nightlife and established itself as the city’s ultimate entertainment lifestyle destination for local tastemakers and global jetsetters.
Dining Impossible has private tables by the dance floor where bubbly bottles awaits, overlooking Barcelona and its beaches. Here we end 72 remarkable hours in style.