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Potages Crème d’Asperges
Cream of Asparagus Soup​

Filets de Poisson d’Akaki à là Duglêré
Fish from the Akaki River (in Central Ethiopia) poached in white wine and topped with minced fresh tomatoes​

Pigeau à là Suedoise
Pigeons dressed in a horseradish cream​

Steak de Porc Exelsion
Pork steak​

Poulet de Bresse rotie
Roasted Bresse chickens​

Salade panachée
Mixed salad

Fonde d’Artichands extra
Artichoke hearts dressed in a Hollandaise sauce made from lemon, egg yolks and butter​

Bavarois Diplomate
A set vanilla cream served with fruits, wine jelly and custard​

Fruits assorties


Menu dated 3rd November 1935

Dinner at the Imperial Palace, Addis Ababa, hosted by Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen of Ethiopia, to mark the anniversary of their Coronation.

The splendour of this grand banquet hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie disguises the great angst and nervousness amongst the imperial court. Exactly one month before this dinner the Italian army, at the direction of Benito Mussolini, had commenced its invasion of Ethiopia (Abyssinia).

As the Emperor’s guests lifted their spoons to partake in a bowl of cream of asparagus soup on this night, they knew that the country’s Holy City of Axum was already under Italian occupation. Six months later Addis Ababa and the Imperial Palace, which was the venue for this dinner, would be entirely under Italian control and Emperor Selassie would be in exile in Jerusalem where he retained a private home.

This menu is embossed with the dual monogram of the Emperor and Empress with the letter “S” for Selassie intertwined with the letter “M” for Empress Menen. The French menu is accompanied by a twin version written in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia.

Amongst the imperial culinary offerings is a dish of Filets de Poisson d’Akaki à là Duglêré made from fish from the Great Akaki River in central Ethiopia. This menu entry, in itself, is an insight into environmental degradation. Today there are no fish whatsoever in the Great Akaki River which serves as a toxic drain for sewage, industrial waste and storm water from the capital, Addis Ababa.

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Emperor Haile Selassie in 1934

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Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia

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Empress Menen of Ethiopia

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Royal Menus - haile selassie - 1935 copy


White House


Dinner hosted by President Richard Nixon of the United States for

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia 

15th May 1973

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"I could propose a toast to him as the leader of Ethiopia, a country that the United States is proud to have a long and very, very friendly relationship with over the years. I could propose a toast to him as a great leader of Africa, that continent with all of the promise that it holds for the future", said Nixon.


"But tonight we are privileged even beyond that, because in our midst, here again in this house, being honored more than any man who has ever been in this house, is the senior statesman of the world, and how privileged we are to raise our glasses to the senior statesman of the world, His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie".

Behind the glamour of a White House dinner, Emperor Haile Selassie had arrived with a grim message for the United States. “I am here on an urgent matter”, the Emperor of Ethiopia confided to President Nixon in the Oval Office. “Soviet influence is expanding rapidly”, he warned, before making his desperate case for military aid.


I am sorry to burden you with this, but we have nowhere else to go”, pleaded the Emperor (who would be murdered by the communist “Derg” a little more than a year later).


After an hour of this private conversation, the two leaders adjourned their discussions. “It is always valuable to talk with His Majesty. I am happy we can continue to talk tonight at dinner”, concluded Nixon.

The White House dinner took place at 8:40pm with an entrée of halibut poached in white wine with minced tomatoes (Halibut Duglêré), followed by Filet Mignon medallions dressed with sautéed chanterelles and a veal gravy (Filet Mignon Forestière).

(To read the President's full toast and the Emperor's reply visit: Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project


Photo: Emperor Haile Selassie and King Paul, Athens, 1954.

Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

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In June 1954 Emperor Haile Selassie arrived in Athens for a four-day state visit to Greece as a guest of King Paul and Queen Frederica.


After a Thanksgiving Service, in the Orthodox faith, at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, the King and Queen hosted a lunch at the Royal Palace for the Ethiopian Emperor that started with a simple and classically Russian serving of caviar and blinis (small pancakes made from buckwheat flour).


The entrée was followed by a famous French dish, Poulet sauté à la Demidoff, created by the equally famous 1800s Parisian restaurant, Maison Dorée, for its frequent diner and noted bon viveur, Prince Anatole Demidov of San Donato. For this dish, the suprêmes of chicken are sautéed with white wine and juliennes of carrot, celery and turnip cooked with ham and truffles, before being deglazed with Madeira.


The dessert of Vacherin au Chocolat consisted of two layers of meringue sandwiched together with a filling of chocolate ice-cream mixed with sponge fingers soaked in liqueur, before being topped with whipped cream and crystalised fruits.

Caviar & Blinis

The King of Greece hosts the Emperor of Ethiopia to lunch

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