Silver service and Michelin stars: Inside Repsol’s MotoGP hospitality

| | MotoGP

Welcome to the MotoGP paddock. Behind the garages, there is a whole world where the riders, their friends and family but also team guests, VIPs and sometimes the media can relax. This is hospitality row: Luxury facilities on one or two floors where you can find the best food this side of the Fat Duck.

Each hospitality offers something special. A team hospitality usually serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s meant as team canteen, but it is also open to the guests. Hospitality provided by a sponsor, like the Spanish oil firm Repsol, is mainly meant for guests and VIP and it hosts several events, plus opening its doors for breakfast and lunch.

It’s inside the Repsol five-star hospitality that we can meet Marc Marquez’s mother or the father of Dani Pedrosa, Angel Nieto or Alex Criville with his wife. This is the secret place where former riders meet and relax, or the parents of the riders can watch the race, far from the indiscreet eyes of the TV cameras.

Manager Xavier Garcia Blasco opens us the doors of this impressive facility. He has been working with Repsol for 20 years. As we enter, there is a room of 80 square metres that hosts the reception and the bar, then a separated room of 90 square metres for the restaurant, plus offices, kitchen and a terrace on the roof. Everything is packed and transported by three trucks and the whole facility needs three days of setup. Every race weekend there are 14 members of staff, including kitchen staff, catering and workers to set up the hospitality.

The hospitality is meant mainly for the media and the Repsol’s guests. On a race weekend an average of 500 persons eat here. More than the quantity, it’s about quality. Repsol has a restaurant guide for Spain and Portugal, so the quality is a must. In the kitchen work three chefs, one of them is a professor at the hotel management school in Barcelona. The chefs work full-time, they also do catering, design the menu and the rest.

“The philosophy of the menu is quality and variety,” Garcia tells BSN. “On the buffet there is a bio corner, a corner dedicated to the vegetarian, an Asian fusion corner meant mainly for the Honda Japan personnel, an area called ‘fresh from the market’. Plus, a fresh soup, like the typical Spanish Gazpacho, a choice of pasta and rice, meat and fish with all the vegetables. In the menu we also inform about the allergies, like gluten-free, lactose intolerance or diary products. This is very important for our customers. We offer a fresh product with a menu based on traditional kitchen and a corner of true Japanese dishes, made fresh by one of our chefs.”

What about the riders? “Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa follow a specific diet. It’s a combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Before the race, they usually eat carbohydrate, so we cook something specific for them and they usually eat in their motorhomes to be more quiet, especially on the race day.”

The hospitality is also a place to arrange events and some times some Michelin-starred chefs are invited. It happened to me to assist, for example, to a cooking show of Chef Paco Ronzero, of the molecular kitchen. That time, the riders were also involved.

Looking at the photos of the buffet, we know we are lucky to have access to such a wonderful food. But for our readers, the chef of the Repsol hospitality has provided us two recipes: one from the traditional Spanish tradition and one more Asian fusion style.

We have to remember in fact that Repsol is the main sponsor of the Honda HRC factory team of the 2016 MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. So the Japanese corner of the buffet is a well–accepted courtesy particularly appreciated by the Honda bosses.

Here the recipes, try and let us know how they taste.

Tomato tartar with pureed olives and ham shavings

Confit tomato ingredients:
750g - ripe tomato
2g - salt
20g - sugar

Tartar Ingredients:
250g - diced confit tomato (previous elaboration)
125g - fine chopped dried tomato in oil
50g - black olives purée
65g - Iberian ham shavings

1. Peal and remove the tomato seeds and confit them in the oven at 170ºC with salt and
sugar. Let it cool down and cut them into little dices
2. Mix two kinds of tomato (confit and dried), put it into a ring mould and flatten it to even
the shape
3. Remove the ring mould and place the black olives purée besides the tartar and the plate
4. Shave the Iberian ham fine and place on top of the tartar

Thai curried pork fillet
2.3kg pork fillet
300g yellow Thai curry paste
1.5kg onion
0.5l olive oil
1.2l beef stock
1l coconut milk
Boiled Thai rice

1. Cut pork filled into thin strips and macerate with curry paste, approximately during 1
2. Sauté the pork fillet in a thick based pan, drain it and keep the liquid
3. In the same pan, fry the onion until starts to caramelize
4. Add the fillet and sauté all together for three to five minutes
5. Add the beef stock and let it reduce by three quarters
6. Finally, add coconut milk and let it cook for 10 minutes
7. Serve it in a bowl with boiled Thai rice and place the curry on top