After almost 40 years working in France's presidential palace, Bernard Vaussion has decided that it's time for someone else to be the personal chef to the country's head of state. During his time running the Elysee Palace kitchen, he has served six presidents and a countless number of world leaders, including Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
According to Agence France-Presse, Vaussion's final meal for current French president Francois Hollande was crab with celery remoulade, tournedos steak with mushrooms and a flaky raspberry pastry.
Vaussion, who has just turned 60, began his career as a sous chef at the British Embassy in Paris. He was later hired as an assistant chef at the Elysee Palace during the presidency of Georges Pompidou.
"I remember the apprehension of cooking for world leaders and our head of state," Vaussion said to the source. "There is always a lot of pressure […] In a restaurant, if there is an error, the customer doesn't come back. Here it is me who would be asked to leave."
Over the years he has been asked by various journalists and chefs about the eating habits of his employers. Vaussion has always kept it his policy not to disclose many details, and not just for privacy reasons. He once made the mistake of telling someone that former president Jacques Chirac enjoyed calf's head. The leader then found himself being served the dish wherever he went.
Vaussion will be succeeded by his deputy, 35-year-old Guillame Gomez, who already has 17 years of experience in the presidential kitchen.