Golfers visiting Costa Brava for a taste of sport fused with authentic Catalan culture can also indulge their gastronomic passions – at no less a venue than the world’s second-best restaurant.

The family-run El Celler de Can Roca in Girona was recently voted number-two in the influential S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings produced by Restaurant magazine. It follows a distinguished list of restaurants in Costa Brava that have dominated the world rankings in recent years, most notably El Bulli in Roses that enjoyed the esteemed number-one position from 2006-2009.

The latest listing confirms a steady rise for the highly acclaimed Michelin three-starred El Celler de Can Roca that was voted fourth-best in 2010 and number five the year before. The rankings, published each April, are based on a poll of international chefs, restaurateurs, gourmands and critics across the world.

El Celler de Can Roca once again scored highly for its cuisine that combines long-standing family traditions in the Catalan style with its use of locally sourced produce laced with a highly elaborate, modern-day application of flavours, textures and aromas. Among its most innovative and creative dishes and desserts – all designed to create an unforgettable gastronomic ‘scenario where emotions and sensations excite and fill the palate’ – are those based around celebrated fragrances, such as Calvin Klein’s Eternity, Dior’s Hypnotic Poison and Lancome’s Tresor. Its expert chefs have also developed the amazing paper-thin blown sugar bubble, one-colour ‘mood’ dishes and fascinating desserts that resemble elements from a garden landscape.

The restaurant was founded in 1986 by brothers head chef Joan, wine expert Josep – who picked up the coveted ‘best sommelier in Europe’ accolade earlier this month – and desserts chef Jordi Roca, the premises originally situated next to the family-owned Can Roca restaurant that specialises in traditional meals. It was eventually relocated 100 metres away to its current home – an early 20th century villa – designed around a triangular-groundplan cosy dining area each with its own complementary garden.

Aside from the main restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca’s legacy stretches on to several fronts, including its Mas Marroch banqueting venue, Moo gourmet hotel-restaurant in Barcelona, traditional Numun hotel-restaurant in Girona and Cap Roig ephemeral summer restaurant, along with a catering events business and research & development workshop.

Jaume Marin, Director of Marketing at Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona, said: “El Celler de Can Roca’s celebrated position in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings continues for Catalonia with the trend set by El Bulli. It proves, without doubt, that Costa Brava is a true gastronomic capital of the world and demonstrates exactly why lovers of cuisine will travel huge distances to experience fantastically concocted, traditional Catalan dishes served at top restaurants, such as the globally renowned El Celler de Can Roca.”

It would appear AA Gill agrees with us here at Life at Camiral, click here for a fantastic 5 star review “The service was practised, dexterous, knowledgeable and charming, the room full of smart Spaniards. It was exactly what we wanted”