On Monday, 25 chefs, who whip up culinary delights for some of the most powerful leaders in the world, met in Paris to fete the world’s most exclusive gastronomic society, Le Club des Chefs des Chefs’ 35th anniversary. Unlike celebrity chefs, there’s little fame for these gourmet experts who toil quietly in the parliamentary and presidential kitchens.
Just as the way to a man’s heart is said to be through his stomach, sometimes the way to diplomatic resolutions is through a good meal. At a G8 meeting in France, in which the leaders were at an impasse, the only thing they agreed on was the food. Subsequently, the head chef was called and the then French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and others gave him a standing ovation, saying, “The best moment we had at the summit was thanks to you.” While what’s cooked for heads of states may differ throughout the world, many chefs share similar cooking philosophies.
In the White House, healthy eating crusader and First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama has planted a vegetable garden with chef Cristeta Comerford. Similarly, Prince of Monaco, Albert II and Prince of Wales, Charles favour organically sourced foods from their own gardens. But, unlike restaurants that may cook same dishes for up to six months at a time, head chefs to heads of state have to invent new meals every day.