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The Macallan and El Celler de Can Roca join forces for Masters of Taste.

Posted: Apr 11, 2014

Categories: Wine & Liquor


In the first phase of the Masters of Taste partnership the companies will offer a unique series of six dinners – with a menu inspired by The Macallan - at El Celler de Can Roca, with 150 seats available for US$10,000 each. 
Crucially, the net profit from the dinners (plus a further contribution from The Macallan) will go to charity, a move in keeping with the values of both parties; The Edrington Group owner The Robertson Trust donates around US$25 million a year to charities while the Roca brothers are also involved in several philanthropic activities. 
The Ultimate Dinner with The Macallan and Roca will be held in June (29-30) and July (6-7 and 20-21).It will feature a specially created menu comprising ten snacks, ten dishes and two desserts - each paired with one of 14 expressions of The Macallan. 

Among the expressions will be The Macallan M Decanter, Lalique No. 5 and several previously unreleased whiskies – including the oldest ever released by the distillery. The oldest expression to date is the 64yo Lalique Cire Perdue. 

The dinners are the first project in what is set to be a long-running partnership, according to both parties. 
The Macallan Director of Malts Ken Grier explained: “Whisky and cuisine have a long-standing connection, but never have any two partners come together to really explore what this could and should mean. We will work over many years to break down all the barriers between food and whisky.” 

Master Distiller Bob Dalgarno said that the experience had already had an influence on product development at The Macallan and would continue to do so, although the companies declined to comment on the possibility of any specific products emerging from the collaboration. 

Previous partnerships from The Macallan – in particular its cooperation with crystal maker Lalique and, in its Masters of Photograpy series, with artists including Annie Leibovitz – have yielded several super-premium products with representation in travel retail, in Asia especially. 

Josep Roca, who is leading the liquid side of the project, explained that the menu had been created and the expressions chosen after the brothers visited The Macallan distillery last year, sampling more than 300 whiskies. 
Joan Roca said: “The challenge for us was to take this pairing between the best whisky and our cooking, and to apply it to one of our key creative processes, using aromas to create new dishes.” 

El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain topped Restaurant magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in April 2013. The Macallan Global Marketing Manager Jaume Ferràs explained that the collaboration with a Spanish partner underlines the importance of the country to the distiller – which ages its whiskies in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and also sources much of the oak for those casks in Spain. 

Ferràs said: “We wanted to work with someone in Spain because it is an important country to us, and because of the strong culture of gastronomy. The Roca brothers were top of our list of people to approach, and once we met them we immediately knew they were the right partners for us.” 
At a lunch at El Celler de Can Roca today (7 April) 60 journalists from 15 markets – including travel retail – sampled dishes and whiskies from the dinner menu.

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