A once-in-a-lifetime meal demands a once-in-a-lifetime setting. At least, that must be the thinking of BBVA Compass, which has secured two spectacular venues in Dallas and Houston for the Roca World Tour that will bring one of the world's best restaurants to Texas for five memorable days.
El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, Spain, was ranked No. 2 in the world by Restaurant magazine. The three brothers behind the restaurant — executive chef Joan Roca, sommelier Josep and pastry chef Jordi — will close up for five weeks and bring their entire 30-person staff with them on the four-country, six-city tour.
In Dallas, diners will experience what is expected to be a sumptuous meal at the Rachofsky House on August 8-9. The home, owned by collectors and philanthropists Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, displays roughly 800 works of contemporary art, from American Minimalism pieces to post-war European art with a specific focus on Italy, on a rotating basis. It is also the site of always-spectacular Two x Two for AIDS and Art fundraising gala.
The Houston dinners will be held at the Museum of Fine Art Houston's Rienzi on August 4-6. The former home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III, designed by John Staub on a wooded 4-acre property in River Oaks, houses a substantial collection of European decorative arts, paintings, furnishings, porcelain and miniatures.
Alas, no public reservations are available for these dinners. Tickets are being issued by tour sponsor BBVA Compass to a carefully selected list of clients and special guests: 300 in Houston over three days and 200 in Dallas over two days.
"These two venues are the perfect settings for our clients to enjoy the culinary journey the Rocas will take them on with their multi-course dinners," BBVA Compass chairman and CEO Manolo Sanchez said in a statement. "As an organization, BBVA has an emphasis on the arts, and the Rocas' particular brand of gastronomy is precisely that: an art.
"It's only fitting that the venues reflect the brothers' creative and innovative approach to gastronomy."
Rather than attempting to fly in Spanish ingredients, the Rocas are working with local chefs to find inspiration. According to the New York Times, Joan worked with chefs from Hugo Ortega's seafood restaurant Caracol in Houston to develop his own version of Tex-Mex classic chili con carne.
After leaving Texas, the brothers will move on to Mexico, Peru and Colombia.