Are you going to eat it?
Alberto Chicote, the television chef who directs "¿Are you going to eat it?" In La Sexta, dedicated his program this week to examine the dining rooms where Spanish professional athletes are fed. Everything arose as a result of the denunciation of the National rowing team of the High Performance Center of La Cartuja (Seville), granted by the State, who complained that they did not receive adequate food for training. In Spain there are more than 300 athletes who receive money from the State to be able to dedicate their lives to sports and get to win Olympic medals.
Many of them live in the different public high-performance centers that are scattered throughout the country. As is logical, food has to play a key role for an athlete to achieve their goals. And Chicote asks: Who is responsible for feeding the elite of sports and how important is nutrition in sports results? What do our athletes eat? ».
The program began in Seville, where the Spanish Olympic rowing team lives. The oarsmen complained that the food they received at the residence did not cover their energy expenditure. Sitting with Chicote in a cafeteria, they told him that his residence did not have a chef specialized in athletes and the budget was very limited to have quality products. "There are professionals who say that diet is more important than training," said one of the Olympians.
A few hours later Chicote returned to meet the rowers, who brought him a sample of what they had eaten that day. The chef tried all the dishes, all of them very bad looking and none highly recommended for professional athletes: frozen, fried, sugar … They also showed him pictures of his breakfast, which he barely gave them to start filling up: "It's normal that in the morning training, one of them will get hypoglycaemia and will not be able to continue training. "
The investigations of Chicote led him to discover that the private company that manages the high-performance center takes advantage of it to also exploit it as a tourist hotel. Two people from the team "Are you going to eat it?" Rented a room in the center to see what the rooms were like and try the dinner of the day. Once he had enough evidence, Chicote called the head of the high-performance center. Antonio Aguilera, Deputy Director of Facilities of the Junta de Andalucía, met willingly with Chicote to explain how the management of high performance centers works. "What they ask is one thing and what they receive is another completely different," the chef said. "It is unacceptable that there is such a thing," Aguilera acknowledged.
Then Chicote met with Ana Peleteiro, triple jump athlete, to tell her about her experience in a high-performance center and how her diet was carried out. Peleteiro said that "I listen to my body a lot at lunchtime. Also, I need to eat protein because if not, I do not have strength ».
The most tense moment came later, when the chef managed to meet with the manager of the company that manages the rowers' high performance center. But the director wanted to finish the interview as soon as possible, and responded curtly and uncomfortably to Chicote's questions and accusations. Soon the tone of the talk began to sour, and the director justified himself: "I do not have to subsidize Spanish sport. For the money they pay me, I give a very correct menu. I am a private company that seeks profit. If they want to eat chuletones that pay for them, I'll put them on. "
Chicote also met the head chef of the center, whom he put between the sword and the wall with his questions about the menu of the athletes. Soon the boss pulled Chicote out of the kitchen almost with a shove: "Let's let them work." The manager, already very angry, accompanied Chicote to the entrance mumbling that everything was "ridiculous, ridiculous." But the chef did not remain silent: «I am collecting complaints, I do not invent them. The athletes are tired of complaining and not getting results ». The administrator was still in his thirteenth: "That the kids complain to the Federation, and that they send me their needs and I quote them." In the end, the team of "Are you going to eat it?" Left the center without taking any commitment from the director. (tagsToTranslate) eat