The personal chefs of world leaders are meeting in Delhi as part of the 40th Club des Chefs des Chefs, and are being hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee’s personal chef, Montu Saini. The chefs, including that of US President Barack Obama, have visited a spice market and met Mukherjee. They will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visit Chandni Chowk. The chefs who cook for the world’s leadersusually keep a low profile, leaving the limelight to their bosses. But once a year it is their turn to be wined and dined and treated as honoured guests in a foreign country.
Billed as the world’s most exclusive gastronomic society, the Club des Chefs des Chefs brings together the men and women who cook for heads of state to exchange ideas and — presumably — insider information on their bosses’ tastes. They have met annually since the club was first established in Paris in 1977 and this year for the first time they are doing so in India, hosted by the president’s personal chef, Montu Saini.
“The presidents all met each other. I thought it was a good idea to make a sort of G20 of the chefs,” the club’s founder Gilles Bragard told journalists in Delhi
Naturally, the tradition involves trying out local delicacies. But Saini has left little to chance when it comes to the Indian capital’s most notorious complaint.
Rather than subjecting the chefs to Delhi street food, he has had the kitchen of their five-star hotel recreate golgappas and aloo tikkis — popular fried snacks made of wheat flour and potato and served with sweet and spicy chutneys.