Postcard from... Paris


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The Independent Online

Poor FrançoisHollande can get nothing right. Even the cuisine at the Elysée Palace, which is supposed to showcase French “savoir faire” et “joie de vivre”, has been described as “disgusting” by one of his own ministers.

It was not just some ministerial lunch that Nicole Bricq, the minister of trade, was describing. It was a dinner on Wednesday night given by President Hollande in honour of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. The next day Ms Bricq was filmed and recorded by a TV crew without her knowledge while she was chatting to the French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, and  his wife.

“Frankly,” she said, “between the cooking at the Matignon (the prime ministerial residence) and the Elysée, there is no comparison. At the Elysée the other night, it was disgusting.” The entertainment budget at the palace is €44m a year . The Elysée chef, Guillaum Gomez, went onto Facebook yesterday after Ms Bricq had, er, dropped her brick. “Myself and the team, we will continue to do our work with the same passion and the same devotion,” he said. The menu for the decried dinner was foie gras then roast chicken with mushroom sauce. A French government reshuffle is due next week. Any bets on Ms Bricq staying?