• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

New French PM Valls lays down the law on... fish

Ben McPartland · 7 Apr 2014, 16:59

Published: 07 Apr 2014 16:59 GMT+02:00

Spanish-born Valls has only been in the job less than a week but he has already laid down the law, at least with the chefs at the official Prime Minister's residence of Matignon in Paris.

French chefs have a reputation for being slightly intolerant of dietary requirements or preferences, but that didn't concern Valls it seems.

According to Le Figaro newspaper one of the first things Valls did on replacing his predecessor Jean-Marc Ayrault, was to alert the Michelin starred Matignon chef Christophe Langrée and his team to his strict dietary requirements.

They include a widespread ban on fish, Le Figaro says.

Barcelona-born Valls is apparently not a fan of poisson, which may appear strange given he comes from the Mediterranean region of Spain, where fish is considered an important part of the diet.

Instead Valls has told the chefs that he only eats red meat.

The new PM, also has a gluten intolerance, which as Le Figaro seemingly gleefully points out, will rule him out of several classic French desserts like lemon Meringue pie as well as certain biscuits, cakes breads and other products.

The French press were quick to pounce on the story of Valls’s dietary demands, leading to headlines such as Le Figaro's “Manuel Valls drives the Matignon chefs crazy” and Le Parisien's “The culinary requirements of Manuel Valls trouble Matignon’s chefs”.

(Le Figaro: Manuel Valls drives the Matignon chefs crazy)

Valls however joins a growing number of French eaters who won’t eat certain products unless they are gluten free.   

Story continues below…

France, a country where 500,000 people reportedly live with a gluten intolerance, has seen sales of gluten-free products grow tenfold since 2008, according to the French association for people with gluten sensitivities.

In reality Valls’s dietary demands are unlikely to upset the Matignon chefs as much as fellow minister Nicole Bricq angered the chefs at the Presidential Palace last week.

Bricq was over-heard telling the former PM Ayrault and his wife that the food at the state banquet for the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping was "disgusting". The minister who lost her job in the reshuffle last week was later forced to issue a very public apology.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
15-year-old French student charged over attack threat
Paris Gendarmes during a previous terror-related arrest in May 2016. File photo: Matthieu Alexandre/AFP

A 15-year-old high school student was charged and held Friday on suspicion of wanting to commit a terror attack.

Paris luxury hotel told to pay up after guest molests cleaner

A cleaner who was molested at a Paris luxury hotel by a Qatari guest has reportedly been awarded €57,000.

Frenchman leading Brexit negotiations starts new job
Photo: AFP

Frenchman Michel Barnier officially starts work as the European Commission's Brexit negotiator on Saturday in an appointment that British media called a "declaration of war".

VIDEO: Frenchman goes on iPhone-smashing rampage
Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Meet France's angriest Apple customer.

Nuit Blanche: Get set for an all-night party in Paris
Photo: La Nuit Blanche

Will YOU be heading down to the Seine on Saturday?

France told there's no more money for TGVs
High speed TGV trains parked in Lille. Photo: AFP

A report from the French senate has recommended that three planned high speed rail networks be scrapped.

Frenchman surfs again after shark bites off his leg
All photos: AFP

Meet the amputee Frenchman who is surfing again he was attacked by a shark.

Paris motorists to fund city's public transport system
Photo: AFP

Motorists in the Ile-de-France region will be hit by a tax rise in order to finance the city's trains and buses.

More French women becoming mothers after 40
French mums are getting older. File photo: Pexels

French mums are getting older, but the overall birthrate has fallen.

Paris police bust high-rolling gang of pram thieves
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

A gang of thieves has been caught after they pinched an estimated €100,000 worth of prams.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
It's official: France finally gets its new map
National
VIDEOS: France's raunchiest TV commercials of all time
Sexism at the wheel: France wants more women drivers
Society
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Society
Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Society
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Education
Why are foreign students in France 'Europe's unhappiest'?
Education
The troubles with French universities laid bare
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
2,734
jobs available