Meet The Chefs Who Cook For The World's Most Powerful People

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The Club des Chefs des Chefs is the most exclusive culinary society in the world.Its membership consists of just 35 chefs, all of whom cook for royalty, prime ministers, and other heads of state.

The group, which meets annually to compare recipes and learn each other’s culinary traditions, recently traveled to Berlin and Paris for a gastronomic tour.

Hilton Little, Chef to the President of South Africa

Cooking for South African Presidents: Little joined the South African presidential household in 1996, and has cooked for South African presidents including Nelson Mandela. He has won numerous awards, including Salon Culinaire, Bocuse d'Or and Chef of the Year, according to his publisher's website.

While the favourite dish of the current South African president, Jacob Zuma, is under wraps, he recently recreated Mandela's favourite lamb and green bean stew for a cooking event.

In a 2009 interview with PRI's The World, he said that because presidents cannot go out to restaurants, he tries to keep things varied in the kitchen. 'In South Africa we have what's called a rainbow cuisine, a little bit of everything, you know? We call it 'some of cuisine': some of this and some of that,' he said.

Mark Flanagan, Chef to the Queen of the United Kingdom

Cooking for the Queen: 'Her majesty has very simple tastes, very down to earth,' Flanagan recently told a Macau publication. 'Our style is very classical, although we do try to encourage some contemporary dishes. The kitchen is based on traditional French style cuisine.'

Flanagan, who has worked at the palace for the past 11 years, and oversaw the buffet-style breakfast served to 600 guests following the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last spring.

Bernard Vaussion, Chef to the President of France

Ulrich Kerz, Chef to the Chancellor of Germany

Cooking for Chancellor Angela Merkel: Merkel reportedly loves cheese, which is kept stocked in her kitchen.

For the most recent meeting of the Club des Chefs des Chefs, which Kerz hosted in Berlin, he served a luncheon of Merkel's favourites, which included German specialties, vegetables, and fried fish.

Rupert Schnait, Chef in charge of official receptions for Austria

Cooking for Austrian officials: As the chef in charge of official receptions, Schnait has cooked for the Prince of Jordan, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and the Prime Minister of Sweden.

Schnait trained in several Austrian hotels, including the Hotel Bristol Vienna, where he became executive chef in 1989.

Tim Wasylko, Chef to the Prime Minister of Canada

Cooking for Prime Minister Stephen Harper: 'The Harpers, including their two children, were fans of 'typical Alberta' fare -- ribs, simple salads and fresh fruit,' the Montreal Gazette reported in 2010 in an interview with the PM's former chef. He also said the Harpers were fans of comfort food and one-pot dishes.

Wasylko came on board at the PM's residence after the Canadian Supreme Court poached the previous chef. He worked for hotels including the Fairmont Chateaus in Whistler and Montebello, and did a stint at the Canadian embassy in Mexico before becoming chef to the Prime Minister in 2010.

Vakhtang Abushidi, Chef at the Kremlin

Cooking for President Vladimir Putin: Putin won't eat a thing from the kitchen until it is tested by his official taster, a doctor who works with chef Abushidi, according to the AFP.

He's the only head of state to still demand that his food is checked.

Cristeta Comerford, Chef to the US President

Cooking for President Obama: Comerford, who was raised in the Philippines, worked as a hotel chef before being recruited to work in the Clinton White House.

Thanks to Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative, Comerford has focused on using seasonal ingredients grown in the White House's vegetable garden. One item President Obama won't touch? Beetroots, according to the AFP.

Christian Garcia, Chef to the Prince of Monaco

Cooking for Prince Albert II: Garcia told AFP that Prince Albert is a 'fine gourmet' and fan of home-grown cuisine, with lots of food coming from his organic garden.

He's also started cooking the South African specialty bobotie, a spiced meat dish baked with an egg topping, since the Prince's marriage to South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock.

One thing the Prince refuses to eat? Offal, according to Garcia, who is currently serving as president of the Club des Chefs des Chefs.

Shalom Kadosh, Chef in charge of official receptions in Israel

Fabrizio Boca and Massimo Sprega, head chefs to the Italian President*

Cooking for President Giorgio Napolitano: In 2009, Boca and Sprega hosted the Clubs des Chefs des Chefs in Italy. The two said they focus on simple recipes: ''Fads will come and go, but a plate of spaghetti in tomato sauce won't,'' Boca told Teatro Naturale.

According to Abbondanza! magazine:

The Italian Presidents' spaghetti al pomodoro is made by dropping fresh Italian tomatoes in boiling water for a count of 10 before transferring them to a dish of ice water to stop them from cooking any further. Once peeled and de-seeded, the pulp is fried in extra virgin olive oil, garlic and a few leaves of basil, with no added sugar or salt.

*Italy was represented at this year's Club des Chefs des Chefs meeting by Claudio Giuntoli and Federico Iori.

Michel De Matteis, Chef in charge of official receptions in Mauritius

Cooking in Mauritus: When he's not heading up the kitchen for official receptions on the island of Mauritius, the award-winning French chef presides over the restaurants at the Royal Palm Hotel.

Daryl Schembeck, Chef to the United Nations in New York

Feeding world leaders: Schembeck, who took over the UN kitchen in 2005, has the unique job of cooking for the 193 international delegates to the organisation.

How does he do it? 'Schembeck says he did his homework, researching the different religious and dietary restrictions of cultures from around the world, and studied past menus developed by previous UN chefs,' according to AFP. 'Overall, his culinary philosophy when preparing major meals is that it be fast, fresh, and easy to eat, he said.'

At a recent luncheon, for example, he served a loin of lamb with goat cheese and red pepper coulis.

Jaroslav Zahalka, Chef in charge of official receptions in the Czech Republic

Cooking in the Czech Republic: Zahalka, who oversees official receptions in the Czech Republic, is the head chef at La Casa Argentina, a highly rated restaurant in Prague, where he's known for his South American-style fare.

Rohan Fernandopulle, Chef in charge of official receptions in Sri Lanka

Cooking in Sri Lanka: In addition to overseeing official receptions in Sri Lanka, Fernandopulle is the Executive Chef at the Hilton Colombo. He's spent his career in hotel kitchens, including 27 years with Hilton.

He has competed in the Culinary Olympics and received the Chef of the Year Presidential Award in Travel & Tourism in Sri Lanka in 2008.

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