World leaders' cooks meeting held in Prague

Cooks of the heads of state from around the world are gathering in Prague this week to exchange recipes.

Twenty members of the Club des Chefs arrived in Prague over the weekend for the meeting held annually since 1977.

"I had lot of contacts among the chefs in the world and I noticed that the chefs of the heads of state don't know each other," founder of the club, Gilles Bragard, told reporters Monday. "So I organized the first meeting in 1977 and that's how the club was born."

Since then, members of the club meet each year in a different country "to discover the best of the country and it's gastronomy," Bragard says.

This year's participants include Mark Flanagan, a head cook for the Britain's Queen Elizabeth II; Hilton Littel, chef for the South African President Thabo Mbeki; and Madhusudan Gupta, head cook for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Bragard says his club is one of the most exclusive club in the world.

"To be a member, you must to be the chef to a head of state, so there's only one chef for one country in the club," he said.

But there still is one exception. Two Chinese chefs attended the meeting in Prague.

"In China, they have more than twenty chefs, one chef for each regional cuisine. So we invite two chefs from China each year," Bragard said.

Bragard said that the power of food should never be underestimated, saying the chefs of the heads of state play a very important role in diplomacy.

"The politics may divide men but a good table reunites them," he was quoted by the AP as saying.

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