World leaders break French bread as they gather to save humanity

Delegates and journalists arrive for the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 on Nov 30, 2015.
Delegates and journalists arrive for the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 on Nov 30, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - United Nations climate summit host France will seek to titillate the tastebuds of 150 world leaders Monday (Nov 30) with a 75-minute lunch it hopes will put them in the mood for making history.

The meal will break what is set to be 12 hours or more of back-to-back, three-minute speeches by heads of state and government tasked with injecting a sense of mission into the conference meant to stave off disastrous global warming.

The four-course menu will be prepared by five top-notch chefs, all volunteering their services, to show off local, biological produce.

Accompanied, of course, by the finest French wines.

"A lunch reflecting France's environmental and gastronomic excellence... but without ostentation," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the president of the conference, told reporters on Sunday (Nov 29).

Digging into the French offering will be the likes of Barack Obama, Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi - even rivals Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been invited to break bread together, as have Israel's Benjamin Netanhayu and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

The feasting will start 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," according to the menu.

The cheese course will be 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 includes 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.

The venue will be a hall at Le Bourget airport in Paris' northern outskirts, hosting the marathon conference.

The chefs are Yannick Alleno, Alexandre Gauthier, Nicolas Masse, Marc Veyrat and Christelle Brua.

"There are no ostentatious or very expensive ingredients," said Alleno.

"We will aim to impress with our cooking instead... it is going to be a beautiful feast." The heads of state and government are in Paris only for the first day of the conference, which runs until Dec 11.

Rank-and-file bureaucrats will take over from Tuesday (Dec 1) with negotiations for the new pact to limit climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use.