Green Chromatism 2010

Cromatismo Verde 2010
El Celler de Can Roca
Chef: Jordi Roca
Country: España
City: 17007 Girona.
Address: Ctra. Taiala, 40.

Let us repeat it just to be doubly sure: “Together with Martín Berasategui, Jordi Roca is by far the best confectioner in Spain. They both evolve at a higher level. They are the only chefs who are able to surpass themselves despite of obtaining more than a “A” in the ranking. Both of them won the Confectioner of the Year Award by this Guide (Martín deserved it twice and Joan is likely to conquer this honour again some day). An honour that is reinforced by several Dishes of the Year. This is the third one, after Trésor, de Lancôme, the very highest expression of the perfumes line, opened eight years ago –times flies by …– and yearly reinvented in a new version. ; and Anarchy, in which chaos theory is raised to perfection, another trend of his work that allowed the chef to put some order into the disorder and to demystify the sybarites’ first commandment: palatal purity. Jordi Roca is a young transgressor who likes irreverence and provocation, as he has proved again in 2010 through What does a goal by Messi taste like?, a dessert that really involves the guest, who has to get a caramel spread ball into a goal with meringue net. All this is arranged onto a base of grass placed into half a ball which serves as a plate. A weird and very funny proposal that makes you laugh or burst out laughing.
Although the main innovation of the dish is green chromatism, created by distilled eucalyptus leaves, avocado cream, lime sauce, Chartreuse sweets, shiso and navelwort leaves, melon slices… –flavours that already turn to be incredible per se–, the magic reaches its climax when the guest notices that a stalagmite is forming at the moment in which the eucalyptus distillate falls onto the other components. The physical transformation from liquid to solid makes the guest gaze open-mouthed at the dish and lick his lips after finishing it.

The Recipe

Green chromatism 2010.

Eucalyptus leaves distillate
1000 g water
200 g fresh eucalyptus leaves
Smash the leaves, mix with the water and put into the Rotaval. Vacuum-distillate at 40º C until all the water decants into the collecting flask. Bottle and keep in the freezer at -5ºC.
Avocado cream
400 g avocado
100 g sugar
50 g lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients in a shaker until obtaining a smooth cream.
Lime sauce
250 g lime juice
125 g water
125 g sugar
Peel of two limes
5 g agar-agar
Boil the water with the sugar and infuse the lime peels. Set aside for a few minutes, strain and add the agar-agar. Boil and mix with the lime juice. Let cool down and set. Once solidified, break the structure with the mixer in order to obtain a sauce consistency.
Chartreuse sweets
40 g water
120 g sugar
25 g green Chartreuse (spirit)


Mix the water with the sugar and heat until 109 ºC. Remove from the heat, let cool down a bit and add the Chartreuse. Set aside.
Prepare a sheet with cornstarch and dry at 80 ºC for a few hours. Pressurize with a weight, smooth down and make little holes that will be filled with the syrup/spirit mixture.
Sprinkle delicately the surface with a bit of dried cornstarch and leave at 40 ºC for 24 hours.
Remove from the cornstarch, clean with a brush and set aside.

Shiso and navelwort leaves, melon slices…

In a soup dish, place a tablespoonful of avocado cream, a few dots of lemon sauce and the Chartreuse sweets. Put the herbs and the melon slices into liquid nitrogen and arrange onto the cream and the sweets.
Finish the dish with some drops of eucalyptus distillate over the dessert. A stalagmite will appear just when the drops fall down…

The scientific explanation of this phenomenon is that the liquid is submitted to a temperature that is lower than the freezing point (-5ºC). The transformation from liquid to solid takes place at the moment of the fusion. However, the change from liquid to solid requires some conditions, ie. bringing the liquid to the freezing temperature and the intervention of an ice crystal that acts as a trigger. In this case, the trigger is the melon and the leaves kept at -18 ºC.
This is why we usually keep some liquids under their freezing point, but not freezed yet.
The lower the temperature of the liquid that acts as a trigger and of the ice crystal, the faster the freezing effect.