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French president's chef says adieu

France's presidential chef is retiring after four decades of culinary service, having fed five French presidents and peppered the steaks tartare of some of the world's most powerful leaders.

Sixty-year-old Bernard Vaussion was filled with emotion while cooking his last lunch for President Francois Hollande ON Thursday at the Elysee Palace - a farewell meal that included raspberry millefeuille. Mr Hollande has a well-known sweet tooth.

Mr Vaussion said that over the years the most important skills for the job - besides cooking - was the ability to adapt to the tastes of each leader.

Francois Mitterrand loved seafood, Jacques Chirac preferred snails and sauerkraut, and Nicolas Sarkozy caused a stink by rejecting French gastronomy for healthier foods.

Mr Vaussion's deputy, Guillaume Gomez, succeeds to the top job.

AP

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