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Asia-Pacific

France served China's Xi 'disgusting' state dinner, minister

media Cheers! Xi Jinping (L) and François Hollande at the state dinner Reuters/Ian Langsdon/Pool

The French presidential dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife was "disgusting", according to Trade Minister Nicole Bricq, caught talking to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault as the cameras rolled.

"It was disgusting, it has to be said," Bricq told Ayrault and his wife Brigitte outside the prime minister's residence, the Hôtel Matignon, whose food she made clear she greatly preferred.

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were treated to sea bass in lobster sauce and hay and thyme-flavoured lamb on the first leg of their visit to France in the central city of Lyon, a French gastronomic mecca.

The menu at the Elysée presidential palace has not been made public but was clearly not to the minister's liking.

Chef Guillaume Gomez refrained from direct comment but on Friday thanked people who had sent him messages of support on Twitter on Friday.

"Along with the squad, we will continue to do our job with the same passion and the same devotion," he tweeted.

Some of Gomez's supporters predicted her imminent departure from the cabinet, calling her "spoilt".

Neither Xi nor his wife have commented on the food, in public at least.

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