The very first meals of the presidents of the republic

QWhat did the presidents of the republic eat when they took office? On the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of Emmanuel Macron taking place this Saturday, May 7, Point delved back into history to recreate the meals prepared by the chefs of the Élysée upon their arrival at the château. From Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to Emmanuel Macron, past François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, here are the different menus on offer since 1974. Between neoclassicism, bourgeois register, conviviality, normality, there is something for everyone. † Enjoy your meal !

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Monday 27 May 1974: neoclassical

Arriving at the Élysée, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing took advantage of the work of his predecessor Georges Pompidou, who in the early 1970s had the kitchens renovated, arranged and brought closer together so that the dishes were no longer served at the table lukewarm. † For his first lunch, the new president is entitled to very classic. We are far from the spirit of the new cuisine celebrated by Henri Gault and Christian Millau in the early 1970s in Point† From appetizer to dessert, it’s tradition in continuity: melon whipped with Bayonne ham; forest Charolais coast, small new vegetables; salad; cheeses; apple charlotte.

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We are in the same vein for the food and wine pairings between a port, a Chambertin 1964 and a Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1964. Then the president of the table will make a modern coat of arms. On the occasion of a lunch at the Élysée for the presentation of his Legion of Honor on February 25, 1975, Paul Bocuse created the famous VGE soup in his honor: a soup made of black truffles, foie gras, vegetables and poultry covered with puff pastry pastry. The moment he serves it, Mr. Paul will slip to his host: ‘Mr. President, we’re going to have a bite to eat. †

François Mitterrand, Thursday 21 May 1981: civil partition

Hard to do more genre. We sit in the pure and hard bourgeois kitchen for François Mitterrand’s investiture lunch in the Élysée, where more than two hundred of his friends gather (Léopold Sédar Senghor, Elie Wiesel, Jean-Edern Hallier, Nobel laureate Jean Dausset… ). A series of noble products jostled in front of him: foie gras from the Landes truffled into pieces; Breton blanquette (including lobster) with salmon pearls, rice with spring vegetables, Belles d’Argenteuil (white asparagus); Élysée frozen strawberries.

In addition to the fruit juices, in the liquid department we find some very solid ones: Yquem 1966, Meursault Goutte d’or 1973, Château Talbot 1970; Dom Pérignon 1971. For the record, during his two terms, François Mitterrand was also the sole president of the Vand Republic for not setting foot in the kitchen. However, the one considered the hardest renter liked caviar—which gave rise to the phrase “leftist caviar”—smoked salmon, or even ortolans, these little birds to eat with a towel on their heads. have increased the right to hunt since 1999.

Jacques Chirac, Wednesday 17 May 1995: fun

A cozy register hangs above Jacques Chirac’s first lunch at the Château. As a starter, we recognize the nod to an emblematic signature of Paul Bocuse: mullet fillets in potato scales, prepared here in the Niçoise style. For the main course, we’re on an ultra-canaille bistro score dear to this graduate epicurean: veal shank with carrots, stewed lettuce and wild mushrooms. After the cheese plate, place a regressive dessert: chocolate fondant, vanilla sauce. The wines are in the same comforting spirit: Sancerre C. Salmon 1982, Château Nénin 1982, Dom Ruinart 1986. An inveterate beer drinker – Corona was his favorite – Jacques Chirac will stand out for his hungry appetite and put meat at the center.

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Charcuterie, black pudding, sauerkraut, AAAAA andouillette, sweetbreads, rib of beef, lamb… He was never satisfied. Contrary to legend, the calf’s head was not his fad. “I don’t know who ever said it was their favorite dish. It was ready for him everywhere, even after coffee. In the twelve years he spent at the Élysée, it was served to him twice, and the second time he said to me, “It was very good, but it’s no longer worth worrying about.” We never did it again,” says the Point former chef Guillaume Gomez.

Nicolas Sarkozy, Wednesday 16 May 2007: light

After his transfer of power with Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy took his place for a lunch of the essence of French cuisine, tinged with lightness: Breton lobster salad and crisp vegetables; Supreme of roasted poultry with asparagus tips, wild mushrooms. The stalemate is made on the cheese board which is replaced by a green salad, before closing the meal with Passiflora around exotic fruits.

The wines smell of high aerobatics between a Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 1995, a Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986, a Laurent Perrier Cuvée Grand Siècle champagne. During his five-year term, Nicolas Sarkozy will pay attention to his line, preferring vegetables, steamed fish and roasted meats. His cute sins will resonate in sweetness with coffee ice cream and especially chocolate.

François Hollande, Tuesday 15 May 2012: normality

Protocol is shaken for François Hollande’s accession to the throne. For the first time from the Vand Republic, the luncheon of the installation ceremonies of the head of state is orchestrated not under the seal of a married couple, but of a president and his companion Valérie Trierweiler. Around them we find a skewer of former socialist prime ministers: Pierre Mauroy, Laurent Fabius, Michel Rocard, Edith Cresson, Lionel Jospin.

Aside from the rather modern starter – pressed langoustines with citrus fruits – the rest of the menu concentrates all signs of normalcy: grilled beef rib from the vineyard, new carrots au jus; cheeses; Strawberry macaroon, creamy lemon, mascarpone ice cream. The wines are eclectic between Burgundy (Meursault 1er cru Genevrières 2008 domain Michelot), the Rhone Valley (Cornas Les Ruchets 2004 by Jean-Luc Colombo) and Champagne (William Deutz 1999). A true foodie, François Hollande has been a lover of fried rib steaks, dishes in sauce and chocolate mousse for five years.

Emmanuel Macron, Tuesday 16 May 2017: without deductible

After arriving at the Élysée on Sunday 14 May for a cocktail, Emmanuel Macron will head to Berlin on Monday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel. His first lunch at the Élysée came the next day in a style marked by austerity. We are in the most total purity. Excesses are kept in check from start to finish: tomato soup flavored with basil; mini tournedos of beef, green beans; cheeses; puff pastry cake with strawberries and licorice.

The wines are no exception to the rule of mastery with only two bottles on the program: a Rhône Valley in white (Viognier Le Pied de Samson 2015 Domaine Georges Vernay), a Saint-Estèphe in red (Château Haut-Marbuzet 2009 ). Not the slightest trace of champagne for this baptism of fire, a first among the V .’s existenceand Republic. For the rest, we know that Emmanuel Macron loves the cordon-bleu, a cutlet (veal, chicken, turkey) rolled around ham (cooked, raw, smoked) and cheese then breaded. Without forgetting the seafood, grilled fish, veal blanquette and macaroons.

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