The White House today denied a recent report in French media that the president had a food "taster" in the kitchen of the "La Fontaine de Mars" restaurant, where the President and First Lady Obama dined Saturday night.
"They have someone who tastes the dishes," waiter Gabriel de Carvalho told the Itele news channel Sunday. "It wasn't very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well."
The restaurant told the same story to the AFP.
"Once again, not true," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who – along with his boss – has expressed exasperation with European media reports they say are just plain made up out of thin air.
(The President scolded the German media for stories about alleged tensions between him and Chancellor Angela Merkel and pushed back against French media reports that he had snubbed President Nicolas Sarkozy by declining a dinner invitation. Gibbs, meanwhile, has suggested the whole of British newspapers not credible outside of the sports pages.)
Traditionally it's fairly common for a US Secret Service agent or a White House residence valet to be in the kitchen keeping an eye on preparation, but the White House would not comment.
It’s worth noting, as Ed Morrissey has, that the British made a similar claim about a food-taster during a President Bush visit to Buckingham Palace in 2003.