What Michelin-Starred Pastry Chef Jordi Roca Likes To Eat In The US - Exclusive

Jordi Roca made his name in the culinary world with his work at El Celler de Can Roca, the restaurant in Girona, Spain, that he runs with his brothers Joan and Josep. As the restaurant's pastry chef, he has employed molecular gastronomy techniques to create innovative, conceptual desserts that have earned many accolades over the years. Roca was awarded World's Best Pastry Chef in 2014, and El Celler de Can Roca has earned three Michelin stars (as well as an additional green star for its environmental programs).

Roca exists in an exclusive space in the food industry, but he's not interested in fine dining alone. As he told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview, he appreciates more humble fare. "I love the taquerias and also the street hot dogs in New York. ... I have also been able to [try] the barbecue in Texas and I am also fascinated by that part," he shared.

As for Roca's most frequent destination in the U.S., that honor went to San Francisco, and the two businesses he highlighted were makers of chocolate and bread — fitting for someone who's so focused on the craft of pastry. "I like to visit the Dandelion Chocolate factory and the Tartine bakery, that is bread and chocolate, for me, they are two references," he explained.

Jordi Roca's San Francisco favorites

Roca enjoys visiting the Dandelion Chocolate factory in San Francisco's Mission District, where curious chocolate lovers can see cacao beans being transformed into dark chocolate and learn about cooking with this special ingredient. He's also a fan of Tartine Bakery, a small chain that started in San Francisco and applies the same attention to detail to bread that Roca applies to restaurant desserts. Tartine bakes naturally fermented loaves made with specially milled grains in wood-fired ovens to create bread that has a texture and flavor unlike anything that can be purchased from an average bakery.

Of course, Roca also makes time to visit fancier places, including Blue Hill, a farm-to-table tasting menu restaurant in Pocantico Hills, New York, and Thomas Keller's legendary French Laundry.

In addition to eating at Roca's favorite businesses in the U.S., you can sample some of his recipes in America — if you live in Houston, anyway. That's where the American outpost of his gelateria, Rocambolesc, is located. The shop doles out treats like the panet (which is a gelato ice cream sandwich encased in toasted brioche) and hand-made popsicles.

Make reservations to eat at El Celler de Can Roca here.