Catalan kitchen galaticos catch the Speyside spirit

The three brothers behind El Celler de Can Roca in Girona are to open a restaurant at The Macallan whisky distillery in Scotland this summer. In what is said to be their first venture outside Spain, the brothers will sprinkle their Catalan magic over the local Scottish larder.

TimeSpirit, which opens in August at Craigellachie on Speyside, will offer a nine-course tasting menu to 30 guests per sitting in a dining room designed by Danish architect David Thulstrup, who designed Noma in Copenhagen. The project is part of The Macallan’s 200 anniversary celebrations.

Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (pictured) opened El Celler in 1986, next door to their parents’ restaurant Can Roca. It has topped the annual World’s Best Restaurants list twice, in 2013 and 2015, and been runner up on four more occasions.

The brothers said in a statement: “El Celler de Can Roca’s bond with Scotland is thrilling and TimeSpirit will enable us to envisage what El Celler de Can Roca would be like on the 60th parallel north. 

The many trips we have made to Scotland and the inspiration we have found in its old cookery books have afforded us the chance to pay homage to Scottish cuisine. 

We have been all over the country, drinking in its spirit, devoting time to it and we would now like to share our cooking through The Macallan. We celebrate our longstanding partnership as  part of The Macallan’s 200th anniversary and distil its exciting history from the kitchen.” 

The Macallan’s creative director, Jaume Ferràs, said of the new venture: “El Celler de Can Roca has been one of The Macallan’s longest partnerships, and for over twelve years we have curated exceptional culinary creations, new products and innovations together. 

From our beginnings in 1824, we have had a long history with Spain and its wines -– particularly Jerez, so to bring these two brands together for a permanent dining experience on The Macallan estate is an incredible ambition realised. 

El Celler de Can Roca’s philosophy mirrors that of The Macallan, with a deep inspiration from nature, a commitment to community and a relentless pursuit of innovation and this will be showcased for everyone to experience within the new menu – where it will take influence from the past, imagine the future and make a difference in the present, and really showcase the collaboration between the two brands in a playful and exciting way.” 

TimeSpirit follows the three-year-old Glenturret Lalique near Crieff as an ambitious modern culinary destination set in a working whisky distillery.

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