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Curious Details

Of the essence: Capturing time with The Roca Brothers and The Macallan

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Nov 09 2018 · 4 min read

Time is a crucial factor in the making of our whisky. At The Macallan nothing is rushed; everything is given its due time, which means that each each and every glass is a singular experience. Making an extraordinary whisky takes discernment and focus to reach that pinnacle moment.

It’s rare to come across people who share this appreciation of time with the same degree of respect that we believe it deserves. This meeting of minds is what makes our partnership with the world-renowned chefs, the Roca Brothers of El Celler de Can Roca, so exceptional. Carrying a parallel respect for this unique element, for brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi time is a key ingredient in the creation of their dishes and should not be constrained.

The Roca Brothers cooking micheline star cuisine for The Macallan
The Roca Brothers for The Macallan time captured event
The Roca brothers cooking for the macallan

We have been partnering with the Roca Brothers for five years. The philosophy of El Celler de Can Roca reflects The Macallan’s core values of creativity, innovation and craftsmanship – the grounds for a strong partnership. Together we have come up with new visions combining the worlds of whisky making and the craftsmanship of cooking to create unique experiences that push the boundaries of the worlds of whisky and cuisine.

Meet the brothers: Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, executive chefs of El Celler de Can Roca.

Twice voted the World’s Best Restaurant (2013 and 2015), El Celler de Can Roca is a freestyle restaurant, committed to the avant-garde but ever faithful to the memory of its forefathers, who were dedicated simply to feeding people. The brothers Joan and Josep Roca founded their restaurant in August 1986 in Girona with Joan in the kitchen and Josep in the dining room. The final addition was the youngest brother, Jordi, who joined the El Celler de Can Roca kitchen in 1998.
  • Their restaurant is the most lauded restaurant open today, holding 3 Michelin stars (in 1995, 2002 & 2009) and is one of the most successful restaurants ever on the World’s Best Restaurants list
  • The Roca brothers are revolutionary, taking their creations beyond the limits of avant-garde cuisine, always adding a unique concept to their dishes that often touches on the artistic, the metaphysical and the intangible
  • El Celler de Can Roca is highly committed to cuisine and its link to academia, as well as global humanitarian advocacy through dialogue between the countryside and science, seeking innovative solutions for food security

Bringing Time to Life

One of the ways our partnership has been realised is through the “Time Captured Experience”, an immersive event held at the Roca Brothers’ restaurant in Girona, Spain. The Time Captured concept was originally drawn on to launch the sixth edition of The Macallan Masters of Photography. The edition was paired with The Macallan Rare Cask, a whisky of such standout quality, itself capturing an ultimate Macallan moment. The campaign was co-created with the renowned photographer Steven Klein, who interpreted a moment of drinking The Macallan when its flavor was able to slow down and even freeze time.

Building on this experience, The Macallan and El Celler de Can Roca pushed their collaboration to create universes beyond the ordinary through creativity and innovation. This idea was brought to life with a once-in-a-lifetime immersive, artistic and metaphysical experience, in which we showcased an avant-garde and unique interpretation of time. Within whisky making and culinary creating, time must freely interact with the elements, making it a key ingredient in the creative processes.

Time does not repeat itself. As with the origin, time is life, and as with taste and life, it can’t be trapped; it is tasted and evaporates, and maybe, just maybe, someday it resurfaces in a tentative memory.

Josep Roca

The three Roca brothers devised a haute cuisine menu that allowed their diners to taste the volatility of time, observe and savor the past, present and future, and enjoy the moment, freeze it and try it.

Eating Michelin star cuisine at the el celler de can roca with The Macallan
The Roca Brothers creating Macallan Michelin star cuisine at the el celler de can roca


Through this event we explored and celebrated our intimate relationship with time, and how it can interact with various ingredients in different ways to achieve unimaginable outcomes. In the search for perfection, whether making an extraordinary whisky or a dish at one of the best restaurants in the world, we believe time should be valued for the limited resource it is. Through our rich history and collaborations, we have learned that making space for time in the process gleans a wisdom worth having.

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