Thirteen, that infamous number, were the appetizers designed by chef Paco Roncero for the gala dinner at the Royal Palace that, at the initiative of La Zarzuela, kicked off the NATO meeting in Madrid.
The choice of number was one of the hidden messages of the summit.
Since the world is upside down, let's exorcise the dangers, invoking them.
Let's change the speech.
What was once fatal, could now be an ally.
I imagine that the 13 appetizers were served as
, as is the style now.
And that his service accompanied the dignitaries to enjoy the Royal Palace, one of the best monumental buildings we have in the capital.
The list of the 13 appetizers will now be a true achievement of the summit as a gastronomic challenge and deserves a detailed digestion.
It started with a spherical olive, that ode to origin and technology.
A somewhat redundant example of R&D.
It was followed by a
brioche with old-fashioned mustard, a French-inspired fantasy to recall the Rota naval base.
The sea bass ceviche with tiger milk draws on the global potpourri of trends imposed by our status as mother country.
de picaña is a very elaborate and explosive way of renaming that little ball of meat that could be a delicious meatball.
Lobster with oil soup and pink grapefruit (a nod to LGTBI Pride).
Shrimp omelette (another nod to Sanlúcar and Cádiz, who did so much for the discovery of America).
The marinated sardine with romesco sauce, a success, since this San Juan fish is at its best.
Glazed beef taco, a chic caress to the controversial moment that the meat industry is experiencing.
Salmon Gilda, a gesture of affection from Madrid to Oslo, let's not forget its oil and gas!
Kikos with guacamole, because many heads of state are also parents.
And, last but not least, cod fritters.
Because Portugal, so far away but so close, also exists.
On Tuesday night, the Royal Palace of Madrid hosted the dinner prior to the NATO summit being held in Madrid, the first to be hosted by the Spanish capital since 1997. The King and Queen were the hosts, and the good atmosphere was seen throughout the conversations and the complicit winks between the leaders.
60 guests attended: 14 presidents, 21 prime ministers, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and 18 companions.
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, did not finally attend when he stayed to explain to the press the agreement between Turkey, Finland and the Swedish Prime Minister, which has allowed the entry of the two Nordic countries into the Alliance to be unblocked.
In the image, King Felipe, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and, in the background, Canadian President Justin Trudeau,
King Felipe and Queen Letizia receive the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and his wife, Jill Biden, in the Throne Room of the Royal Palace.
The Queen and the first lady showed their good harmony after their meetings on Monday and Tuesday, in which they met at the Zarzuela palace, they went to the Spanish Association against Cancer and a center for Ukrainian refugees.
Upon her arrival at the Palace, Doña Letizia once again put aside protocol and kissed Jill Biden.
JUANJO MARTIN (EFE)
During Tuesday, the Queen and the first lady held a meeting in which the wife of Felipe VI wore a white pantsuit by Carolina Herrera, similar to the one that Jill Biden would later wear at dinner.
That is why, at night, the Queen told Jill Biden: "You have changed your clothes!", to which they both laughed.
So Jill told her husband, "I was wearing a white suit today and I said, 'Oh no, are you going to wear that tonight?'
In the image, the King and Queen of Spain pose with the American presidential couple in the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Madrid. JUANJO MARTIN (AFP)
Finally, the Queen and Jill Biden did not agree on their choice of costumes.
Doña Letizia wore a dress from the Spanish firm The 2nd Skin Co., which she already wore at the 2021 Princess of Asturias Awards, and Manolo Blahnik shoes that she has also worn on other occasions in the last three years.
Without a tiara (you didn't have to wear it as it was an official dinner, but not a gala: so the protocol marked a dark suit for men and a cocktail suit for women), the Queen wore some of the most important jewels of the royal family : the twin diamond bracelets, from the Cartier house, and the chaton earrings, also made of diamonds.Alberto Ortega (Europa Press)
The Kings also showed great harmony with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and his wife, Brigitte Macron.
In fact, upon her arrival, the Queen affectionately grabbed the president's wife and gave her two kisses, skipping protocol again. JUANJO MARTIN (EFE)
As of half past seven on Tuesday afternoon, the Kings began to receive the international leaders.
The King commented in his subsequent speech that the Royal Palace had never brought together so many Heads of State and Government.
Finally, the dinner was delayed half an hour and had four fewer diners than expected. JUANJO MARTIN (AP)
The Kings pose with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and his wife, María Begoña Gómez.
She chose a dress by designer Marcos Luengo for the occasion. JUANJO MARTIN (EFE)
In the image, the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, talks with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and that of France, Emmanuel Macron.
Only six leaders attended the dinner.
Andrea Comas (AP)
The leaders and their companions dined on a 15-course menu created by chef Paco Roncero.
It consisted of a long 13-course cocktail, an appetizer, main course and dessert.
Gildas, garlic prawn croquettes, lobster with pink grapefruit, cod fritters, gazpacho or shrimp omelettes were served at the cocktail. CASA DE SM EL REY/FRANCISCO GO (REUTERS)
Along with the long cocktail, hake with 'menier' sauce was served and, for dessert, coconut with mint granita.
In the image, the King and Queen with President Pedro Sánchez, next to whom the Queen sat during dinner and with whom she was seen talking and laughing. BERTRAND GUAY (AP)
King Felipe and Queen Letizia greet the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, and her husband, the architect Gauthier Destenay.
They married in 2015 and their marriage was the first gay wedding of an active head of government in the world. JUANJO MARTIN (EFE)
When the leaders traveled to the Royal Palace for dinner, their vehicles were parked in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, as this aerial view shows. NACHO DOCE (REUTERS)
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, entered the hall of the Royal Palace chatting animatedly with the King and Queen, whom he congratulated and thanked for holding a dinner of this caliber prior to the NATO summit.
Johnson came without his wife, Carrie Symonds.
During the two days of the summit, Queen Letizia will become the host of the program created for the companions (not spouses) of the leaders, which include a visit to the Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia), the Reina Sofía museum and an opera rehearsal at the Teatro Real. JUANJO MARTIN (AP)
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, chats with the Icelandic Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, in the presence of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (in the background), during the cocktail party held at the Royal Palace in Madrid on the occasion of the NATO summit. JONATHAN ERNST (AP)
One conclusion: although everything is finger-licking good, NATO is heavily armed against vegans.
And that strategy was also evident in the other dinner, at the Prado Museum, proposed by Moncloa and devised by José Andrés: lamb shoulder cooked at low temperature with lemon puree.
Although many see it as a response to the hake served at the Royal Palace, the total dependence on animal protein among our best chefs is confirmed.
While the world staggers and recomposes itself, Madrid and Spain are reinforced at the international level.
Thanks also to the presence of the virile and attractive brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
Vitali, who is the mayor of kyiv, declared as soon as he could that "we need more defensive weapons", although they, ex-boxers, clearly do not need it.
Among my friends, the request was made almost unanimous that they stay in Madrid until next week to reinforce Pride and spread their message with their weapons and their jaws of steel.
On Wednesday night, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, offered a dinner for the NATO leaders and their companions at the Prado Museum in Madrid.
Along with him was his wife, the director of the extraordinary chair of Competitive Social Transformation at the Complutense University of Madrid, Begoña Gómez, who chatted animatedly with all those present and who showed great harmony with the president of the United States, Joe Biden, with who was photographed holding hands.
His wife, Jill Biden, did not attend the event, but was accompanied by her granddaughters, Finnegan and Daisy.
Juanjo Martin (EFE)
The paintings became perfect settings for the portraits of the leaders, who seemed to be conversing with them.
In the image, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, (who upon his arrival was impressed by the beauty of the Prado) in front of 'The Immaculate Conception', by Rubens (1628). BERTRAND GUAY (AP)
The French President, Emmanuel Macron, and his wife, Professor Brigitte Macron, observe, together with the wife of the Belgian Prime Minister, Annik Penders, one of the Prado Museum's masterpieces, 'The Family of Charles IV', painted by Francisco de Goya in 1800 and that shows the then sovereign, his wife, children and more direct relatives as human, but also as divine beings and crowned by the grace of God. BERTRAND GUAY (AFP)
Pedro Sánchez showed his closeness to the Heads of State and Government present at the Prado Museum dinner.
In the photo, the President of the Government observes 'Las Meninas' by Velázquez along with some of them, holding Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, by the shoulder. Brais Lorenzo (EFE)
Chef José Andrés was in charge of preparing the dinner menu and wanted to greet the companions of the Heads of State and Government participating in the NATO summit in Madrid before serving it.
Then he said that the menu was "a tribute to all the 'food fighters', the Ukrainian cooks and volunteers who risk their lives every day to cook and bring food to people in war zones." The meal consisted of a cod appetizer , orange and beetroot; a starter of lobster gazpacho with summer vegetables scented with basil and extra virgin olive oil, arbequina; and a main course of low-temperature lamb shoulder with lemon puree. For dessert, he served his own creation called 'Flavors of Madrid', where in a recipe he combined anise from Chinchón with strawberries from Aranjuez,
wafers and the typical violet candies.
One of the most iconic photos of the night was that of Boris Johnson posing next to 'The Three Graces', one of the most personal and beloved works by Rubens (1630-1635) and located in the main gallery of the Prado Museum.
The British prime minister dined, together with the rest of the leaders, in the cloister of the Museum, next to a statue of Felipe II in which the Spanish monarch appears with the Latin inscription "King of England", a title he held (under the name of Felipe I and before being king in Spain) while he was married to María Tudor, between 1554 and 1558. Ballesteros (REUTERS)
The President of the United States, before Velázquez's 'Las Meninas', together with the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, and his wife, Lydia Abela.A.
Pool (Europa Press)
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, walks past one of Rubens's 12 apostles, 'James the Elder' (1610-1612), one of the apostles, and also a pilgrim, "with the greatest strength and rotundity of this entire series", as reviewed by the Prado Museum, and that holds the gaze of the viewer.Ballesteros (EFE)
The wife of the French president, Brigitte Macron, affectionately greets the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Despite their good harmony, they did not have dinner together: the leaders did so in the cloister, while their companions were in the so-called Hall of the Muses, inside the Prado Museum. Andrea Comas (AP)
An image of the dinner of the companions of the Heads of State and Government who participate in the NATO summit.
In the morning they went to La Granja de San Ildefonso and visited the Royal Glass Factory of the Segovian town.
As gifts, they received a series of bottles with the coat of arms of Spain engraved on them and the matching glasses made in the Segovian factory.Ballesteros (EFE)
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, could not help but gape at the works of art that hang in the main gallery of the Prado Museum in Madrid.
The British was one of the first leaders who ventured into the surrounding rooms of the art gallery while the rest of the leaders chatted among themselves.
Pool (Europa Press)
The kyiv orchestra performed some pieces moments before the dinner that the Spanish president offered to the heads of state and heads of government participating in the NATO summit.
The musicians were a clear reminder of the situation in Ukraine and a tribute to the country, at war with Russia since last February.
As some of its members told EL PAÍS during rehearsals at El Prado: "We are a cultural front in the midst of war." Fernando Calvo and Borja Puig de la Bellacasa (Pool)
Pedro Sánchez and Begoña Gómez wanted to thank the kyiv orchestra for their participation in the dinner for NATO leaders and their companions held on Wednesday at the Prado Museum in Madrid.Fernando Calvo and Borja Puig de la Bellacasa (Pool)
Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Prado Museum.
Behind them, a portrait of Queen Anne of Austria painted by Rubens in 1622. The leaders dined together in the cloister of the Museum and as a gift they received coins minted by the National Currency and Stamp Factory on the occasion of the 275th anniversary of the birth of Francisco de Goya.BERTRAND GUAY (AP)
Begoña Gómez (dressed by the Spanish designer Marcos Luengo, as she had the night before at the dinner at the Royal Palace with the King and Queen of Spain) was the hostess of the dozen accompanying the heads of State and Government of the summit of the NATO.
José Andrés was also the one who served them the menu and there was a surprise 'performance' by the artist Lluís Hortalà, who performed 'Canción de arte: El pedestal que aguarda', a wake-up call about the drama of the war in Ukraine. Ballesteros (EFE )
Chef José Andrés addresses the companions of the Heads of State and Government participating in the NATO summit, during the dinner offered by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, this Wednesday at the Prado Museum, in Madrid .
The wife of the Prime Minister of Albania, Linda Rama, looks at a sculpture upon her arrival at the Prado Museum.
It is the 'Hermaphrodite', by Matteo Bonuccelli (1652), which in turn copies the marble 'Hermaphrodite' from the Borghese collection in Rome (currently in the Louvre Museum) and which was found in the baths of Diocletian in Rome in 1608. Ballesteros (EFE)
After spending a few minutes in the Prado Museum, the family photo of the heads of state and heads of government participating in the NATO summit and their companions was taken in front of the most significant painting in the art gallery: 'Las Meninas' , by Velázquez.Ballesteros (EFE)
The black point, the defeat, was receiving the news that Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch had separated.
Since Murdoch is as controversial as he is powerful, the entire world press is cautious.
According to Isabel, my friend from Coruña, they made a good couple.
Her, in all her supermodel glory, star of Studio 54, girlfriend of Bryan Ferry, and wife of Mick Jagger.
He, an aggressive
communication mogul, managed to celebrate Rupert's 90th birthday at the famous Tavern on the Green in New York.
An imposing evening that many compared to a sequence of
, the HBO series inspired by the Murdoch family.
It is certain that, although they did not present 13 appetizers at that summit, something indigested them.
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