First couple gets a taste of Lyon

Updated: 2014-03-27 08:32

By Pu Zhendong and Li Xiang (China Daily)

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First couple gets a taste of Lyon

President Xi Jinping tastes a local dish before dining at the city hall in Lyon, central France, on Tuesday. Xi is visiting the European country for a three-day stop befor traveling to Germany.[Photo/Agencies] 

President Xi Jinping and first lady Peng Liyuan had a chance to savor original French cuisine on Tuesday as the couple received a warm welcome from the Lyon government.

Xi arrived at the famous French gourmet city at 6:40 pm and attended a banquet at city hall.

The food was prepared and served by celebrity chefs including Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex of the restaurant club Les Grande Tables du Monde, Alain Lecossec of the Institut Paul Bocuse and Philippe Bernachon, a chocolatier.

The dishes included an appetizer of spinach leaves with hazelnut sauce; a main course of lamb fillet; and a dessert of cream cakes, ice cream and chocolate. The meal was served with French wine.

The main dish, lamb steak with thyme and hay, has been nominated for UNESCO's World Heritage recognition.

Institut Paul Bocuse, one of the world's leading schools for gastronomy, is named after Paul Bocuse, a renowned French chef based in Lyon.

Bocuse, 88, is famous for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine. He actively promotes nouvelle cuisine, which is less opulent and calorie-laden than the traditional French cuisine and stresses the importance of high-quality fresh ingredients.

Considered an ambassador of modern French cuisine, Bocuse has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the medal of Commandeur de la Legion d'honneur. He was honored in 1961 with the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France.

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