What role does the culinary economy play in Africa's tourism industry? It is almost negligible," laments Teguia Bogni, who believes that the continent's governments would do well to capitalize on this heritage to make their destinations more attractive.

Official visits by statesmen or famous personalities are strategic opportunities for some countries to demonstrate their power in certain areas, building in the process an attractive, credible and authentic nation brand. This is the case of France, which during the state visit of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, from September 20 to 22, 2023, reaffirmed that it has the "best gastronomy in the world," in the words of Nicolas Sarkozy at the 2008 International Agricultural Show.

The power of taste

For the dinner held in honor of the British monarch at the Château de Versailles, French President Emmanuel Macron literally pulled out all the stops: a 60-meter-long table lavishly decorated with glittering tableware for the 160 carefully selected guests (politicians, sportsmen, businessmen and celebrities). Fabrice Desvignes, head chef at the Elysée Palace, and three Michelin-starred French chefs - Pierre Hermé, Yannick Alléno and Anne-Sophie Pic - were responsible for the menu, which was dominated by French dishes and products. Guests tasted lobster, Bresse poultry, Comté cheese and Ispahan cookie, accompanied by a double magnum of Château Mouton Rothschild 2004

It was to be expected that the President of the Republic of Kenya, William Ruto, would initiate such culinary diplomacy during the official visit of King Charles III and his wife to his country from October 31 to November 3, 2023. At the state banquet, the menu was quite out of place, as evidenced by the following gastronomes: chicken Wellington, carpaccio, Sarova chocolate tart, watercress salad and Stilton and champagne. Moreover, the British media gave a lot of coverage, not to Kenyan cuisine, but to Indian cuisine, after Charles III ate at the Nairobi Street Kitchen, an Indian food truck.

Article source: jeuneafrique