While working at Arzak Nicolai traveled to Girona to have dinner at El Celler de Can Roca. The meal he remembers as playful, soulful and awe-inspiring. After the meal he strongly desired to learn from the team.
After his time in San Sebastian, he went to see about a job at El Celler de Can Roca it happened to be closed for a 3 week holiday, so he stayed in a coastal town called Blanes until their return. The wait payed off and Joan hired him on the spot.
Nicolai was so pleased with the learning of technique but what really impressed upon him was the genuine quality of the whole family. Nicolai recalls, "Joan had a calming presence which I had never seen in a kitchen. Jordi's playful creativeness never ceased to awe and Pitu's knowledge and professionalism were present". His favorite however was Monse, the Roca's brothers' Mother, whose fondness is still felt so far away.
What a family to spend time and to learn from, he clearly holds Catalunya dear.