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July 6, 2023

If people were asked who their dream dinner party guests might be there’s a chance either Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen or Steven Spielberg might make the list.

It’s therefore no surprise waiting staff in Barcelona had to do a double-take when the former US president, the iconic singer-songwriter, and the Oscar-winning director sat down for something to eat at the Amar restaurant in the Palace Hotel on Thursday.

Staff member Pol Perello uploaded a photo of the three men posing with staff and chefs with the comment: “The pleasure this job brings you!”

The last-minute booking took place after Mr Obama and his wife, the former first lady Michelle, arrived in Barcelona to attend a concert by Springsteen at the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium on Friday night.

Amar chef Rafa Zafra told Spanish radio network Cadena SER the reservation was made only hours beforehand at the recommendation of famed Spanish-American chef José Andrés.

“José Andrés called me and told me that it was a very important table, but that we should please not say anything,” Mr Zafra said.

“And of course, I began to investigate and saw that Obama was coming, that Bruce had a concert.”

The obamas walk through central barcelona. Pic: ap

The Obamas walk through central Barcelona. Pic: AP

The chef added the group were “tired” but keen to “try everything”.

He said they “ate a lot” – including oysters, shellfish, and caviar – and “drank a little” during the meal.

“The one who behaved best was the one who had to work today,” Mr Zafra said, referring to Springsteen’s Friday night concert.

On the group photo, Mr Zafra said: “The security people told us to please not ask them for photos, but just before leaving, Obama entered the kitchen and told us that this had been one of their best meals and if they could take a photo with the whole team.”


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On Friday, the Obamas took in some of Barcelona’s most famous cultural sights.

Stops on the tour were set to include the Sagrada Familia basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudi, and the Picasso museum.

Spanish news outlets showed the former president and first lady walking hand in hand through central Barcelona surrounded by a large group of security guards.

Mrs Obama later appeared on stage and played the tambourine as she sang along to Springsteen’s performance of Glory Days.

Mr Obama and Springsteen first met on the presidential campaign trail in 2008. In 2021, they hosted a podcast that spawned a book Renegades: Born in the USA.

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