BBVA brings World's Best Pastry Chef of 2014 to New York in advance of U.S. tour

-- Restaurant Magazine judges called Jordi Roca an "eccentric but modest genius"

-- Roca brothers' restaurant was No. 1 on influential World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013

Jul 01, 2014, 09:30 ET from BBVA Compass

HOUSTON, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spanish financial services group BBVA brought Jordi Roca, named the World's Best Pastry Chef of 2014 by Restaurant Magazine, to New York City on Monday to teach a dozen student chefs at the International Culinary Center some of the techniques that prompted the magazine's judges to describe Roca as "part chef, part architect, part magician."

Roca is one of a trio of brothers whose El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, landed at No. 1 on the magazine's influential World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013. El Celler de Can Roca muscled its way to the top of the high-end restaurant world through the Rocas' inventive techniques that honor tradition and push culinary boundaries.

Jordi Roca was in New York this week to teach a master cooking class to aspiring chefs at the International Culinary Center, a leader in culinary and wine education.

"I was fortunate to grow up and train under some of the best chefs — my parents and brothers — as well as pastry chef Damian Allsop," Jordi Roca said through an interpreter. "I feel like it's my responsibility to pass on some of my knowledge to the next generation of chefs."

The ICC offers a Spanish culinary arts program under the guidance of Dean Jose Andres, who won the 2011 James Beard Outstanding Chef Award and is probably the best-known Spanish chef working in the U.S. today.

The master class comes just before the Roca brothers, along with more than 20 members of their staff, embark on a BBVA-sponsored world tour this summer. They'll shutter El Celler de Can Roca for five weeks so they can recreate their restaurant for clients of BBVA in Houston and Dallas in the U.S.; Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico; Lima, Peru; and Bogota, Colombia. BBVA is sponsoring the chefs' tour as part of its three-year partnership with El Celler de Can Roca.

"The Roca brothers have pioneered wondrous culinary techniques that have transformed an age-old livelihood," said Manolo Sanchez, chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass, BBVA Group's U.S. banking franchise. "This is one reason we're excited to tie our brand to the Rocas. We're part of a global bank, and we're drawn to universal endeavors, and innovative approaches to them."

Restaurant Magazine's judges called Jordi Roca, the youngest of the three brothers, an "eccentric but modest genius" when they awarded him the World's Best Pastry Chef Award 2014, citing his work recreating famous perfumes in edible form. (He's created desserts inspired by Calvin Klein's Eternity and Miracle by Lancome, among others.)

Eldest brother Joan Roca, meanwhile, is considered a pioneer in sous-vide, a cooking process where food is vacuum-packed and cooked in water. Josep Roca, the sommelier, has won over critics with his unorthodox wine pairings and techniques.

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About BBVA Group

BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, is the largest financial institution in Mexico and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt region of the United States. Its diversified business is geared toward high-growth markets and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at

About BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 684 branches, including 352 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 78 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration and was recently awarded the 2013 Celent Model Bank Award for its new core banking platform. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting

Editor's Note: BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank, Member FDIC.