“A leader expected fritanga”: the chef of the Granada summit talks about dinner for Felipe, Letizia and their guests

Paco Morales, a two-Michelin-star chef from Córdoba, was in charge of designing the dinner for the European heads of state and presidents who gathered at the Alhambra this Thursday, October 5, to celebrate the European summit. Zelensky, the Ukrainian leader, was not missing. The Parador de Granada, a former Nasrid palace, hosted this evening, whose cost to the Executive’s coffers was estimated at around 140,000 euros, according to Europa Press.

Among the most notable moments of the evening, the surreal toast that Don Felipe and Doña Letizia starred in and that has gone around the world, becoming the talk of social networks. The complicity of the Asturian consort and Begoña Gómez, the wife of Pedro Sanchez, also made headlines. The two gave a lesson in style in one of the most important and visited cultural corners of the world.

But returning to dinner, the chef gave an interview in which he opened up about the great night he experienced: “I was about to ask for a photo with the king and Pedro Sánchez, but I said to myself: ‘Paco, relax a little, leave your geek side and don’t ask for it.’“. He has also given details of the menu he designed and which was made up of twenty bites inspired by the offerings of his restaurant Noor, based on Andalusian food and the Caliphate of Córdoba.

Morales, on Cadena SER, assured that he is “very happy and proud” with the result and the opportunity to have prepared a dinner of such magnitude, but he added with a laugh: “We have lost a weight of milk“.

“Last year we prepared a dinner for the Christian Dior fashion show in the Plaza de España in Seville and there were almost 1,000 people, but doing it in the Alhambra is a big deal. It is a gem and we have taken it with the respect it deserves“, he explained. He also revealed that they received the call from the Presidency three months ago: “They have made a fine choice by choosing us!“.

The culinary presentations exceeded the expectations of some diners. So much so that Morales has not been shy about confessing that “Some president said that he expected to have fried food for dinner, a lot of fried food. (…) If they call me from Moncloa, I will deny it and say that you have invented it.”

Paco Morales, in a promotional photograph of Cervezas Alhambra

They were so satisfied that they even repeated: “When we start to take out fine and well-placed things, people were surprised. In fact, they asked for quite a few dishes to be repeated and that’s nice. When I saw that, I relaxed because I realized that they were comfortable and enjoying themselves. In an hour and a half we gave 1,500 small plates!”

Among the delicacies that the heads of state and European presidents tasted, some dishes like these: warm cooked oyster with tangerine pickle; breaded bun with smoked eggplant and cane honey; roasted Andalusian beef loin; Motril shrimp; pistachio karim with green apple and pine nuts; or vegetable salad with ras-al hanout and octopus. Three desserts were served: Andalusian pestiño, saffron and cane honey pannacotta, and rice pudding with sheep’s milk, hazelnut and carob.

The chef was hired by the Presidency, according to the Public Procurement portal to which he has had access Europa Pressbecause its signature cuisine is “a unique artistic performance.” The contract is estimated at around 139,789 euros, taxes included.

Before dinner, the heads of state and presidents enjoyed the flamenco show of Marina Heredia. The artist from Granada, after the applause, approached to greet the kings. A night with a marked Andalusian and Spanish accent in a fusion of art, music and gastronomy. The aim was to create a media impact of the country’s image in the world similar to that of the NATO summit at the Prado Museum dinner in Madrid in 2022.