Bill Gates Booked An Entire Michelin-Star Restaurant For Two Days — He Only Ordered A Diet Coke And Went Back To His Plane

Despite booking one of the world’s finest restaurants, Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has notoriously displayed his preference for simplicity. 

During an exclusive booking at the ABaC restaurant in Barcelona, Gates stunned staff and patrons alike by opting for a Diet Coke over the restaurant’s lavish $313 tasting menu.

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Spanish Chef Jordi Cruz, head of ABaC, recounted the incident during a February 2023 interview on the online show "Planeta Calleja." According to Cruz, the incident happened "some time ago," but he didn't specify a date. 

"Everyone came with him — his 25 bodyguards, entourage. Bill booked out the whole restaurant, just for him," explained Cruz. "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."

The menu Gates bypassed included delicacies like whipped hazelnut butter with bread crusts and caviar and flame-roasted guinea fowl with foie gras.

Gates’s dietary choices are famously modest. Joe Cerrell, a managing director at the Gates Foundation, mentioned in a Telegraph interview that Gates prefers burgers, often from McDonald’s, and routinely stocks up on Diet Coke while traveling. 

Gates himself noted in a 2014 GatesNotes blog post that he consumes several cans of Diet Coke daily, writing: "Once I'm at the office, I usually open a can of Diet Coke. Over the course of the day I might drink three or four. All those cans also add up to something like 35 pounds of aluminum a year."

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While his love for the carbonated beverage is clear, his reason for skipping the meal could have been influenced by other factors, such as a tight schedule or the desire to treat his entourage to a private gourmet meal. 

Whatever the reason, Cruz, as the chef preparing the meal, had an opinion on the matter. According to Reporter Gourmet, Cruz reflected on the billionaire’s unique dining behavior: "There are people who are full of money and perpetually bored with everything, who place little value on the work of others." He continued, saying, "To think of shutting down a fine establishment to drink a simple Cola? I find that absurd."

From a business perspective, the chef’s frustration is understandable. However, it’s important to consider the billionaire’s viewpoint. For individuals like Warren Buffett, known for his preference for Cherry Coke, or the late Steve Jobs with his fruitarian diet, a desire for familiar comfort food, even at high-end establishments, shouldn’t be entirely discounted.

Their wealth grants them the ability to indulge in any culinary experience, so a preference for simplicity could reflect a personal taste for less ostentatious options, or a desire for a reminder of their roots. For some, simplicity is the ultimate luxury.

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