France pulled out its culinary big guns for one of the greatest kitchen challenges ever- cooking lunch for the largest one-day gathering of 150 world leaders in history, including US President Barack Obama, China's President Xi Jinping, Russia's Vladimir Putin, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Five chefs, each awarded stars by the demanding judges of the Michelin food guide - Yannick Alleno, Alexandre Gauthier, Nicolas Masse, Marc Veyrat and Christelle Brua - joined forces for a gastronomic tour de force to defend France's culinary reputation at a climate summit in Paris.
Albanian President Bujar Nishani said, "It was a very good lunch, a surprising lunch, very friendly and relaxed." br>
Nishani said, "The meal was very tasty and delicious. My lunch was prepared with organic foods, which go very well with this climate summit. I washed lunch down with a glass of champagne to celebrate 'cooperation and friendship'."
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the president of the conference, said, "A lunch reflecting France's environmental and gastronomic excellence, but without ostentation."
The feasting began with a 'Modern Freneuse turnip soup with scallops cooked in floral steam', followed by 'Free-range poultry from Licques, stuffed celery preserve with truffles and parsleyed creamed spinach'.
The cheese course was an organic Reblochon from France's Mont Blanc region, and dessert a traditional Paris Brest cake with stewed citrus fruit and a 'light praline cream'.
The wine selection included a white Meursault 1er Cru 'Santenots' 2011, a red Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Chateau Beychevelle 2009, and the Champagne a Philipponnat Cuvee 1522 - with a fruit juice option for those averse.
Alleno, the three-starred chef who presides over the kitchens of the Restaurant Ledoyen on the Champs Elysee before the lunch, said, "There are no showy or very expensive ingredients. We will aim to impress with our cooking instead."
Meanwhile, in the center of Paris, President Francois Hollande chose to entertain Obama not in the gilt splendor of the Elysee Palace, but at L'Ambroisie, a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the Place des Vosges square.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and US Secretary of State John Kerry were among 14 people who sat down to dinner at the exclusive eatery.
Food critics said, "Established in the fashionable Marais quarter in 1986 by Bernard Pacaud and his son Mathieu, L'Ambroisie is considered a leader in classic French gastronomy."