“Lamb shoulder, black pork ham and Tarbes beans” on the menu for French and Chinese presidents expected in the Pyrenees

By receiving Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Hautes-Pyrénées, this Tuesday, May 7, 2024, Emmanuel Macron wants to make the Mongie valley where his family roots lie in history.

“A tree, if you want it to stand, it needs roots”, philosopher the breeder and friend of Emmanuel Macron, Eric Abadie, whose mountain restaurant L’Étape du Berger in the Hautes-Pyrénées, at the summit of Tourmalet, will welcome the President of the French Republic and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping , Tuesday May 7, 2024. This lunch is part of as a continuation of the Chinese president’s state visit to France which is due to start this Monday, May 6. A way of breaking the imposing protocol which surrounds the slightest trip by the Chinese leader to try to establish a sincere dialogue, particularly on the key issue of Ukraine.

On the menu : “shoulder of lamb, black pork ham and Tarbes beans, a selection of cheeses from the best worker in France Dominique Bouchait, and blueberry tart for dessert, at the express request of Brigitte Macron. The two presidential couples and their interpreters will taste local wines, a Montus red and a Saint Mont blanc”, detail our colleagues from AFP.

The restaurant was not chosen at random. “Manu”, Eric Abadie, the boss of the Etape du berger met him as a “kid” when he came to have lunch at his restaurant opposite the slopes of La Mongie with his grandfather, says the breeder of 61 years old with a solid build. Emmanuel Macron then a teenager spends all his summers in Bigorre with his maternal grandparents Jean and Germaine Nogues.

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Eric Abadie, owner of the restaurant L’tape du Berger, is preparing to welcome the French and Chinese presidents to his restaurant La Mongie in the Hautes-Pyrénées, this Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

© LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

“The flow happened” and their friendship has now lasted almost thirty years.
The political adventures of the “kid” did not break the links.

“When he was Minister of the Economy, (…) I made him sleep on a sofa, with Brigitte. Not everyone would have done it”

Eric Abadie, sheep breeder and boss of Etape du Berger

The two men spoke again the day before on the phone, for around twenty minutes.
“My family roots are here (…) As soon as I can, I come. It is a place of truth where I arrive serene and determined,” candidate Macron confided in 2017 to our colleagues at La Dépêche du Noon. Emmanuel Macron also regularly visits his grandmother’s grave in Montgaillard. He comes to ski at least once a year at La Mongie.

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Emmanuel Macron comes to ski once a year at La Mongie, as was the case in February 2024.

© LAURENT DARD / AFP

Although it has been closed for a month, the La Mongie resort is in “buzz” a few days away from receiving “not one, but two presidents”, confides Enzo Celhaiguibel, 35, on the doorstep of his hotel La Voie Lactée. . “If Emmanuel Macron chose this place which is dear to him and to which he is very attached, it is not for nothing”, believes the hotelier, who sees in it a “desire to revitalize the valley”.
To Eric Abadie, the president recently confided on the telephone: “I will be in power for ten years, and I would like there to be things that remain.”

By having Xi Jinping ride there, the French president wants to make the Tourmalet part of history.

(With AFP)

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