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16.12.2009 11:17

Barca’s other Leo –King of the Kitchen

Marc Guillén / Roger Bogunyà

Leonardo Ortega is the first team squad’s head chef and reckons: “my job has a practical application everywhere as it’s important to know what the players need to eat”.

We spoke to Leonardo at the club’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi where he explained what his role is this week.

Who decides what the players eat?

"The medical team set out the broad dietary needs and I put that into practice. If they have to eat rice, I’ll serve up a fish, chicken or vegetable Paella. If it’s pasta that’s required, I’ll try and give them something tasty which will whet their appetite – my job is to put a touch of quality into the healthy food they eat”.

Avoid repetition

2009-12-15_COMEDOR_001.JPGLeo Ortega also knows it’s not always easy to eat healthily and makes a big effort to avoid falling into a routine and to bring some variety to the players’ diet: “we always try and make sure things aren’t always the same”, he explained. The players’ staple diet of pasta and fish for instance, needs a special touch to brighten it up, particularly when the players catch a glimpse of the fantastic sea food buffet on offer in the Hotel, which they are expressly forbidden from trying.

Where does the food come from?

"They tend to bring in food from Europe, We tell them which brands we want and stuff comes from Spain, Germany or Italy for instance, where we get a lot of tomatoes and pasta from” There’s some room for innovation though as Ortega explained: “this Tuesday in the evening we prepared an Arab themed meal, with humus and pitta bread to give them a chance to get a taste of the local food “.
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)

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