Why a World-Famous Restaurant Has An In-House Therapist

She addresses everything but the food.

El Celler de Can Roca, a top gastronomic destination in Spain, has an 11-month long waiting list, three Michelin stars and consistently ranks at the top of many world’s best restaurant lists. But what most people don’t know is what goes on behind the scenes.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

In the article “Stressed by Success, a Top Restaurant Turns to Therapy,” the New York Times reports on how the restaurant navigates the tension inherent to the “fiercely competitive fine-dining world” — with weekly visits from psychologist Imma Puig.

Puig addresses everything but the food: she helps facilitate discussions and check-ins among the 60-member staff — from sommeliers and waiters to receptionists and chefs.

“We all have to move on from a time when the kitchen was about pure discipline and toughness, sometimes almost bordering on mistreatment,” executive chef Joan Roca told NYT.

Roca, the eldest of three brothers who co-own the restaurant, said he expects other restaurants to follow suit. In the last few years, two top chefs have committed suicide, pointing to the need for intervention about the stress that comes with this competitive field.

“We’re all obsessed about anything going wrong with our kitchen equipment, but somehow don’t always pay so much attention to the human machinery,” Roca told the NYT.

Read more on NYT.