Impeccable dinner in French presidential style - “À la table des Présidents” by Guillaume Gomez
Dear readers, being apart from my blog for the longest time since I founded it, it wasn’t easy, and definitely not what I intended to do nor giving it up; after recovered from Covid and some tasks that I just finished from my fragrance’s project, I have been looking for some stylish topics simultaneously that I can blog about, juggling between multiple things that happened to me lately, the one thing that I’ve been constantly hearing about, is the French presidential pre-election campaign; as a Francophile like myself, my knowledge and interest with French politics is rather minimal, but one thing do interest me about this, is the grandeur and entertaining style of the French president, how the national leader treated their esteemed guests and diplomats from around the world and what will that look like inside the Élysée Palace? For sure I don’t have these answers myself, but I do know one person has it, and that is the author of the book named ‘À la table des Présidents’ – Mr. Guillaume Gomez , also former Head Chef of the Élysée Palace, Meilleur Ouvrier of France, and the President of the Chef of the French Republic.
I came across this beautiful book (by the way, it was published back in Nov 2020) after I recovered from Covid and able to get out of my home after self-quarantine, the book is like a magnet that instantly caught my attention with its crispy white hard cover and the simple red and blue lined frame. Unlike any other kind of cookbook that simply sharing secret recipes by the esteemed Chef himself, this book celebrates the pleasure and art of eating, inviting readers to a feast of stories and words. Each exclusive menu, no matter from the past to present, is contextualized and modernized, gives us the desire to go further in the discovery of what are the receptions at the French presidential palace of the Elysée looks like, and how impeccable and sophisticated of all these national leaders and guests dressed, showing the best version of themselves from their attire.
Some of the iconic menus that are among the most prestigious in gastronomy: The official dinner of General De Gaulle who received late former US president John Kennedy and his wife Jackie, on 31st May 1961, and the dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and late Prince Philip by former French president François Hollande in 6th June 2014, then the lunch between former US president Barack Obama and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 6th June 2009, and the recent reception which the current French president Emmanuel Macron invites former US president Donald Trump and his wife in 10th November 2018, this book literally is an immaculate collection of formal dinners, reception and menus of all the historic (and current) French presidents hosted through out to the century, even the music playlist, the exquisite table-top utensils and glassware are documented in this book along with the exceptionally thoughtful and unique menus that Chef Guillaume has recorded in this copy, showing his dedication and passion about conventional French haute cuisine, the art of French gastronomy, and the precision, formality and grandeur of the French traditional protocol over entertaining such important guests and high ranking government officials and national leaders.
Although I have never been inside the Elysée Palace (just watching the premises from the outside though) nor having an honorary invite by President Macron for one of his formal dinner yet, but reading this book did makes me happy enough to experience these splendid dinners and receptions visually, of course, if Chef Guillaume is willing to, I’d be happy to see the menu that what he’ll prepare for me.
“A la table des presidents” by Guillaume Gomez, published by Cherche Midi.