Inspiration from the Kitchen

In this issue’s cover story, “Lust for Life,” I had the opportunity to write about Barcelona and the Costa Brava By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

In this issue’s cover story, “Lust for Life,” I had the opportunity to write about Barcelona and the Costa Brava. There is a unique passion for life that can be felt in nearly every aspect of a visit to the region.

In the story, I mention that Girona, Spain, is home to El Celler de Can Roca, which is considered one of the best restaurants in the world. During my trip, I was able to visit the restaurant for a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen, followed by the opportunity to chat with Chef Joan Roca. Plus, I got the chance to taste a few of his creations.

As you might imagine, the food was incredible, and it was clear that a great deal of thought was put into every morsel. One dish consisted of small “stones” of delicious truffles that were served inside a larger hollow stone — because one finds truffles on the ground mixed with rocks. Another dish featured stuffed and caramelized green olives that were served dangling from a living bonsai olive tree. While I only sampled a few appetizers, the restaurant’s entire 15-course meal is this carefully conceived and thoughtfully presented.

What’s more, while in Girona, I was able to take in an art exhibit created with the participation of none other than Chef Roca. Called “El Somni,” the multimedia installation is described as a “culinary opera.” It features 12 videos that are accompanied by 12 special dishes, and each “act” has a piece of music composed by a different operatic composer. To me, this mesmerizing exhibition provided insight into the inspiration and vision that ultimately leads to the creation of one of Chef Roca’s masterful dishes.

Together, these two encounters reminded me about the importance of creativity and attention to detail in everything we do. This approach is true whether we are developing a perfect menu, conceiving a work of art or creating a person’s ideal travel itinerary. Of course, we won’t always succeed, but it’s important that we are not afraid to experiment and therefore continue to improve.

This approach will not only lead to more financial success in the long run, but it may help fuel your own lust for life.

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