Jacques Pépin: Cooking for World Leaders

From cooking with for Presidents and serving on gold plates of Marie Antoinette, Jacques Pépin describes some epic meals.

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[MUSIC] When I worked for the President, of coarse there were different type of ingredients we do. Certainly we general goal. I film [UNKNOWN] on Monday and we did the menu for the week. And secretary of state and sometime head of state, we set up a menu. But on Sunday, they were [UNKNOWN] meal. The Sunday meal after church. We are very devote Catholic. It would be the type of [UNKNOWN] that the president like. That [INAUDIBLE] like. A leg of lamb, not too rare because it is no good for the blood of the president, that type of thing. So it was super fresh, excellent, and radiant, incredible cheese. But very, very simple. I mean usually the most Important person will end up eating the simplest food. And that's often the case. Now when he came to state dinner, we serve Eisenhower, and Nehru, Tito, Macmillan. The we would have the protocoller would come and tell you dinner is very important, so it has to have three An entree, mid, first course, second, third, fourth course, oh no, very same part only an hour, only an hour and a half. Then in addition to that you're not going to serve beef to the prime minister of India or a roasted pork to the King of Morocco, that type of thing. So they give you the parameter into which you choose your menu. [UNKNOWN] interesting. You know, for the special dinner we did for head of state, we had access to [FOREIGN] in France at the museum where we had the plate, which were gold, you know plate, a silver platter plated in gold. And which were extraordinary, takes much longer to clean up the plate than to cook the fish you are going to put on it. Tiny roses and all of that all around and the plate of Madame de Maintenon, the plate of Louis XIV, Louis XVI, all of that is part of the domain of the unreal accents to that so we are very careful not to break a plate Break one of the plates of Marie Antoinette, you get to the guillotine you know so. Yes, but usually the food may have been very simple. Remember that at that time everything was served on large platters, which were very impressive, brought by, The maitre d of course who goes around the table at the service a la française, meaning that the guest himself is going to help himself from that tray. As opposed to a service a l'anglaise, the time where the waiter actually grabbed the meat from the tray to serve it to you on your plate. All of that does not exist anymore, everything is on plate. [LAUGH] And this is probably maybe the biggest What's left of the Vancoozy. The service on plates. People don't realize it did not exist before the seventies. [MUSIC]
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Jacques Pépin: Cooking for World Leaders


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