The retiring head chef of the Elysee Palace spills the beans on the eating habits of French presidents.
Bernard Vaussion described the presidents he served as “gourmands,” but singled out Jacques Chirac as having a particularly fine palate.
Chirac, who once openly criticized British cuisine, enjoyed calf’s head, sauerkraut and beer, the chef said.
Nicolas Sarkozy did not eat cheese and Francois Hollande simply likes to eat, according to Vaussion.
He said, however, that he would not reveal all — to avoid the leaders being served the same meal everywhere they go.
Vaussion also said the Elysee was not immune to national food trends. He said there had been a move towards “lighter cuisine,” especially under Nicolas Sarkozy, whom he described as having a fondness for chocolate and steamed fish.
While it may have been nerve-wracking to cook for presidents, Vaussion says the pressure is even greater when cooking for other world leaders.
“In a restaurant, if there is an error, the customer doesn’t come back. Here it is me who would be asked to leave,” he said.