World's 50 Best Restaurants 2013: El Celler de Can Roca video interview

By Luke Nicholls & Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Joan Roca, the co-founder and head chef of El Celler de Can Roca, has told BigHospitality he expects the impact of his restaurant being named number one on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list to be 'huge' - bigger than the effect of other accolades such as Michelin stars.
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The trio of Roca brothers celebrated at The World's 50 Best Restaurants Chefs' Lunch at Sushisamba

The Girona restaurant knocked René Redzepi's Noma off the top spot when the list of the world's best restaurants was revealed​at the London Guildhall less than two weeks ago.

The next day the cream of the restaurant world gathered in Sushisamba at the top of the Heron Tower for the annual Chefs' Lunch and BigHospitality took the opportunity to catch up with El Celler de Can Roca's enigmatic head chef.

In an exclusive video interview, Joan Roca said winning the title put the team behind the restaurant in a position of responsibility.

"We don't think we are the best in the world," he said. "We are flattered for the recognition that being on the list brings; what it represents and for the recognition from our industry colleagues.

"We must continue to work to the highest possible standards and not think in any way that we are the best restaurant in the world."

Worldwide recognition

Topping The World's 50 Best Restaurants list​can have a massive impact on a restaurant's fortunes. Heston Blumenthal has claimed the title helped save The Fat Duck when the Bray restaurant was threatened with closure.

As BigHospitality recently reported, the award also led to a peak of interest in Noma,​the Copenhagen venue which topped the list for three years prior to El Celler de Can Roca's success.

Joan Roca said he expected the title to have a similar impact on the Spanish restaurant which has been a mainstay in the top 50 for the past eight years.

"We expect the impact to be huge, even though Michelin is a recognised guide around the world," he added. "The difference is that the Michelin Guide gives many restaurants a star rating but Restaurant magazine narrows it down to recognise one as the overall world's best.

"This is why the effect of the media coverage around the world is so much wider and important to us."

Stills photography: Rob Lawson

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