Indulgent cuisine is often a symbol of affluence. Consider what the wealthiest people might indulge in daily, and your imagination might conjure images of foie gras paired with a fruity syrup, bowls brimming with caviar nestled in crushed ice and a delectable Wagyu steak for good measure.
While billionaires can afford these culinary delights, some are renowned for their surprising dietary choices. The late Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, for instance, famously adhered to a fruitarian diet. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, on the other hand, is known for his unpretentious eating habits, often enjoying ice cream, junk food and soda.
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But when it comes to eccentric eating preferences among billionaires, one name that stands out is Bill Gates. Despite his vast wealth, Gates has a fondness for simplicity in his diet, particularly when it comes to lunch — he's known for his love of cheeseburgers.
"If you get the lunchtime slot with Bill, you're eating burgers. Someone will always be sent to get bags of McDonald's," Joe Cerrell, managing director of the Gates Foundation, said during an interview with The Telegraph. Gates is also a huge fan of Diet Coke — Cerrell noted that his hotel room is often stocked with it while he's on the road.
Gates once calculated that his annual consumption of Diet Coke results in 35 pounds of aluminum waste. "Once I'm at the office, I usually crack open a can of Diet Coke. Throughout the day, I might consume three or four," he wrote in a 2014 blog post on GatesNotes.
The billionaire's love for the carbonated beverage surpasses even the most prestigious restaurant meals.
Renowned Spanish Michelin-starred Chef Jordi Cruz recently reminisced about an unusual encounter with Gates. The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp. made an unexpected visit to ABaC, Cruz's award-winning restaurant in Barcelona, leaving everyone perplexed by his choice.
During a Feb. 8 interview on "Planeta Calleja," an online show hosted by Jesús Calleja, Cruz recounted the peculiar incident.
"Some time ago, Bill Gates came to the restaurant. Everyone came with him ... his 25 bodyguards, entourage. Bill booked out the whole restaurant, just for him," Cruz said. "We had prepared the best and biggest for him and his team. And do you know what Bill did? He ordered a Diet Coke and went back to his plane."
According to Cruz, Gates had reserved the restaurant for two full days, and while his entourage enjoyed the culinary delights of ABaC, Gates opted for a simple Diet Coke. The restaurant's $313 tasting menu features extravagant dishes such as whipped hazelnut butter with bread crusts and caviar, flame-roasted guineafowl with corn, foie gras, sesame and black mole sauce, along with a dessert offering called a globe of lollipops with strawberry kakigōri, milk chocolate and tonka beans.
This story has been a source of amusement for Cruz, who first shared it over seven years ago on a different show. In his recent retelling, he expressed his continued amazement at Gates's unexpected choice.
When questioned by Calleja about whether Gates had sampled any of the dishes, Cruz responded with a resounding, "Zero."
Whatever the reason for Gates forgoing a Michelin-star meal at the iconic ABaC restaurant, Cruz had his own opinion on the matter.
"There are people who have money, they're a bit tired of everything," Cruz said. "They value things less."
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This article Bill Gates Booked Entire Michelin-Star Restaurant For Two Days Just To Sip A Diet Coke And Leave Without Trying A Single Bite Of The $313 Meal – Chef Says, 'People With Money Value Things Less' originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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