Well-done steak with ketchup washed down with Diet Coke do not normally feature on his menus but French superchef Alain Ducasse may have to make an exception when he cooks for US President Donald Trump at the Eiffel Tower.
While details of Thursday’s dinner with beef-loving Trump’s French opposite number Emmanuel Macron have yet to be revealed, it is likely that concessions will have to be made to the American leader.
He is known for his love of junk food and his belief that ketchup can go with almost anything, which may prove quite a challenge for Ducasse.
His standard 190-euro ($217) summer menu at his Michelin-starred Jules Verne restaurant foregoes beef altogether in favour of seafood and chicken.
Its signature dish is marinated sea bream with courgette and lime. Instead of French fries, it comes with new potatoes from the island of Noirmoutier with smoked cream and caviar.
Oven-baked blue lobster with tomato and black olives may be more to Trump’s taste, however. The president dined on Maine lobster after his inauguration in January.
– Dizzying views –
The two leaders will sit down with their wives Melania and Brigitte — who share a passion for fashion — in the spectacular dining room situated on the tower’s second floor.
It has breathtaking views across the French capital from the Louvre to the golden dome of Napoleon’s tomb at Invalides, which Trump will visit earlier in the day.
While the vistas may be dizzying, teetotaller Trump will not be availing himself of the famous wine cellar.
The Michelin guide calls the restaurant “the summit of French heritage” even though it only gives it one of three possible stars for its food.
The dining room looks directly down on Trocadero, where Adolf Hitler famously posed in front of the Eiffel Tower after his troops occupied the city in 1940.
Ducasse, 60, who has won a total of 21 Michelin stars for his restaurants dotted across the globe, told AFP that he wanted to “share a certain idea of French gastronomy” there when he opened it in 2007.
The Eiffel Tower dinner is a rare departure from the established tradition of visiting heads being entertained at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of French presidents.
The decision to host Trump at Paris’s most famous tourist landmark is seen as part of a charm offensive by Macron to build bridges with the US leader, who has often looked isolated on the international stage. – AFP