On March 1st in Madrid, Robert De Niro will find five of the world’s best chefs waiting, with everything ready. The 78-year-old American actor, producer, director and businessman is traveling to Spain to enjoy a brunch served behind closed doors for him and his partner in one of the best suites at the Mandarin Oriental Ritz hotel.
Quique Dacosta, the Spanish chef who hails from Extremadura and is settled in Denia (Alicante, Spain), where he runs an eponymous restaurant, is in charge of this operation as part of Madrid Fusion’s 20th anniversary celebration and as a culinary advisory to the hotel. De Niro agreed to be an ambassador for this year’s congress, which will take place from 28th to 30th March in the Spanish capital, with the slogan Beyond ingredients.
In return, the actor will not receive a dollar in cash, even though according to one agency the actor’s appearance fee would start at $300,000. Instead, he will dine in a luxurious atmosphere at the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, where suite prices range from €3,950 to €15,000 per night, the latter being the cost of the Royal Suite.
Joan Roca, owner of El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain); Mauro Colagreco, owner of Mirazur (Menton, France); Martin Berasategui, owner of his eponymous establishment in Lasarte-Oria (Gipuzkoa, Spain); and Jose Andres, who has lived for more than 30 years in the United States running a gastronomy empire and the NGO World Central Kitchen, will also be present.
The menu consists of 16 courses: six appetizers, eight main courses and two desserts, among which will feature Iberian ham, Denia and Palames prawns, bluefin tuna, asparagus, hake, eel, rice, black truffle, Albufera duck and caviar. Berasategui, for instance, will prepare one of his classic dishes, which dates back to 1993: caramelized mille-feuille of smoked eel, foie gras, spring onion and green apple, and his version of hake loin with kokotxas, coffee emulsion and paprika. Joan Roca will prepare a frozen terrine of white asparagus and truffle. It is the first time that these five top chefs have collaborated on a menu.
The actor, who is a partner in the Nobu hospitality group, led by Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa, responded to a challenge to try the tasting menu by sending a video in which he “of course” accepted the offer. The day has finally come.
In this edition, Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España 2022, will celebrate its two decades as the first global culinary congress, and will address, among other topics, ancestral, traditional and future cooking techniques, from open grill roasting to microwave cooking and ultrasonic cooking, the return to the craft of cooking, the transformation of this genre and the meticulous preparation it entails.
It will also feature chefs such as René Redzepi (Noma, Copenhagen), Gastón Acurio (Astrid & Gastón, Lima), Alex Atala (DOM, Sao Paulo), Dabiz Muñoz (DiverXO, Madrid), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena) and Yoshihiro Narisawa (Narisawa, Tokyo).
The event will also celebrate the second edition of MF The Wine Edition together with the launch of a new pastry and bakery congress, Madrid Fusion Pastry. The price of tickets for three days on-site assistance is €250, and online access is €100.