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Private chefs of presidents, prime ministers and monarchs met in Rome

Twenty-five members of the exclusive Club de Chefs des Chefs (Club of Leaders' Chefs) will travel around the country, with stop-offs in Assisi, Florence and Modena, to eat, learn and take notes so that they can bring an authentic taste of Italy to the tables of world leaders.

The hosts of this year's event are Fabrizio Boca and Massimo Sprega, the two head chefs of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who say a good cook proves his mettle with simple recipes.

''Fads will come and go, but a plate of spaghetti in tomato sauce won't,'' said Boca.

Vaussion said Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni like light and simple dishes such as roast chicken, while Italian-born Bruni also enjoys getting back to her roots with Mediterranean cuisine.

Club President Christian Garcia, who works as chef for Prince Albert II of Monaco, has revealed the monarch is a ''gourmet'' who favours fresh fish from the French Riviera, especially sea bass, accompanied by a lettuce souffle along with seasonal fruit and vegetables from the gardens of the royal summer residence.

In Russia, Kremlin chef Jerome Rigaud said he is inspired by a European rather than Mediterranean style since ''cooking pasta for 300-400 people is certainly not easy''.

Chef to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ulrich Kerz, said he cooks little Italian food, instead focusing almost exclusively on local recipes and products.

The White House's head of kitchens, Cristeta Comerford, is not joining this year's tour, although the wife and daughters of United States President Barack Obama sampled genuine Italian ice cream and pasta earlier this month as they visited Rome during the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila.

Next year the Club de Chefs des Chefs is due to meet in Hong Kong.

by S. C.
24 july 2009, World News > Italy