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France

Elysée served Chinese president ‘disgusting’ dinner, says French minister

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-28

France’s trade minister has been caught on camera describing the state dinner served to China’s president this week as “disgusting”.

French officials spent weeks planning a lavish state visit for President Xi-Jinping and his wife this week, but it only took a few seconds for Trade Minister Nicole Bricq to rain on the parade.

She was caught on camera describing the food served to the Chinese leader on Wednesday at the Elysée Palace as “disgusting”.

The France TV video capturing the moment has gone viral on the Internet.

Bricq was praising the lunch served on Thursday at the residence of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Xi’s honour, saying it was much better than the food served during the in-house catered state dinner.

“There is no comparison,” Bricq told Ayrault and his wife, unaware that nearby cameras were picking up her comments.

“It was not up to par… no, it was disgusting. It has to be said,” Bricq joked.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were supposed to enjoy the best of French cuisine during their stay that ended on Friday morning.

Their visit to France began on Wednesday in what is widely considered the country’s cooking capital: the eastern city of Lyon.

There they were treated to sea bass with lobster sauce, followed by thyme-flavoured lamb cooked by a selection of France's most celebrated chefs.

French daily Le Figaro reported that the “disgusting” state dinner served later that day included fois gras with truffles and roasted chicken from the Landes region.

Appearing to react to the embarrassing gaffe on his official Facebook page, Elysée chef Guillaume Gomez thanked those who had sent him messages of support.

"We will continue to do our job with the same passion and dedication," he wrote.

The slip may have come at the worst of times for Bricq as President François Hollande comes under intense pressure to reshuffle his cabinet.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-03-28

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