About Club Des Chefs
Running a royal kitchen or providing interesting meals for a head of state is no easy matter. The exclusive Club des Chefs des Chefs ensures the highest standards are maintained.
It could be said that behind every successful statesman is a good chef, and none would agree more than the Club des Chefs des Chefs or '' Chefs of the Head of State'', an elite club consisting of personal cooks to Kings, Princes and Presidents.
The club, which has only about 30 memebrs from around the world, is governed by strict rules. Only chefs working for members of a royal family or a head of state can be admitted. if a head of state does not have a personal chef, as in the case in India and Switzerland, the Chef de Cuisine of the hotel responsible for the official government receptions can become a member of the club. Honorary positions are awarded to chefs who are no longer professionally active.
The Chefs of the Heads of State boasts an impressive list of people who qualified for special membership. These fortunate few are credited with promoting a country's cuisine or chefs.
Among these members are present and past Presidents of the United States of America: Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan; Russian President Boris Yeltsin; King Carl XVI, Gustaf of Sweden; President of the Chinese People's National Assembly, Wan Li; King Hassan II OF Morocco; and Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien.
The Club was formed in 1977 at Collonges Au Mont D'Or in France when Gilles Bragard, '' Couturier of the Chefs'' invited the chefs of a few heads of state to a friendly dinner. The evening was such a success that they decided there and then to form a club where food trends, the evolution of the profession and the lastest innovations in the industry could be dicussed on a regular basis.
Marcel Le Servot, Chef de cuisine of Elysee Palance until 1986, became the first president and Gilles Bragard was appointed general secretary. The club's president since 1997 was Gilles Brunner, chef de Cuisine to Prince Rainier of Monaco.
The club holds annual reunions, each year selecting a different country. This allows the chefs to explore the cultural ties and culinary traditions of country and at the same time promotes co-operation between the organisation and the country visited.
In the 23 years of its existence, members of the club have been guests at the famous Waldof Astoria Hotel, they have been granted a private audience with President Reagan in the White House's Oval Office, attended a reception in honour at the People's Palace in China and visited Thailand at the invitation of the Royal Family.
They have met dignitaries from the four corners of the earth, visited exotic locations and sampled the best each country's cuisine has to offer.
In 1995 they were guests of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien at his private residence in Ottawa. So it was not surprising that Quebec was chosen as the site for their 20th anniversary. In 1998 the club met in Mauritius where they were received by President Cassam Uteen.
Members of the club of chefs believe they are not only responsible for the well-being of the statemen and woman they serve, but have an obligation to carry on the traditions of great cooking throughout the world. They also consider themselves ardent representatives of their national gastronomy.