Royal jaws dropped when celebrity chef Mario Batali swore in his remarks before 400 guests at a gala dinner attended by the King and Queen of Spain, in Miami's South Beach:- "All you weasel f--- wads in the back corners, can I have 10 seconds of your time?" Batali said into the microphone, impatient that the crowd wasn't quieting quickly enough for his introduction of chef José Andrés, culinary chair of the Biltmore Hotel gala.
Jaws dropped in a glittering crowd that included Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and wife, U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, the U.S. ambassador to Spain and Julio Iglesias. Gloria Estefan, enjoying the evening with husband, Emilio, chortled.
Batali, wearing pants rather than shorts for once, went on with his introduction of Andrés, whom he called his ''favorite chef in the world,'' noting that Andrés' Los Angeles restaurant, The Bazaar, had just received four stars from the Los Angeles Times.
"The most motherf------ stars of any Spanish restaurant in the U.S.," Batali said. Those who were seated near the royal couple said the queen blanched.
The Republican governor didn't follow royal protocol, either. At the dinner, he kept leaving his seat next to Queen Sofia to greet friends at other tables - as one would at any wedding reception! - and left the event before the royal couple.
Juan Carlos and Sofia are on a visit to the US this week. They took part in the acts commemorating the foundation of Pensacola, Florida, 450 years ago.
Anyway, the first Spanish (and European) town founded in the present territory of the US was St. Augustine, also in Florida, founded in 1565. Florida was a Spanish territory from the 16th century to the 19th century (except 20 years under British rule). It was sold to the US in 1819.
The president, away in Canada perfecting NAFTA relations, also snubbed the king and queen. However, Obama phoned the King of Spain to tell him that he was sorry he would miss the royal visit to the US.
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